6/12 The fateful 7th inning

Carlos Silva deserved better on Saturday.

“He was dealing again,” Xavier Nady said of the right-hander. “We’re just not getting any runs — that’s it. It stinks.”

This was the first time Silva received less than three runs of support in a start. The Cubs were averaging 6.92 runs per start for Silva, which was fifth in the National League and eighth in baseball. But on Saturday, they went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and the only run came on Ryan Theriot’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth.

“I go out there and do my job,” Silva said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, if they’re going to score runs or not. That’s my job to keep my team in the game.”

The key inning was the White Sox’s seventh. They led 1-0 when Juan Pierre walked and then stole second. Catcher Geovany Soto’s throw was in time but Pierre reached around rookie shortstop Starlin Castro and convinced second base umpire Kerwin Danley that he had avoided the tag.

“I tagged him,” Castro said.

“We’ve worked on that with the young shortstop,” Piniella said. “He has a tendency to want to reach out instead of putting the ball and the glove on the bag where he can tag the runner. He wants to reach. The umpires, when they see you reach and reach again, they’re not going to give you the call.”

Two outs later, Paul Konerko battled Silva in a nine-pitch at-bat before he dropped a single in front of Nady in right. Pierre scored. It looked like a catchable ball.

“It was a ball that hung up there a long time,” Piniella said.

“Where I was playing, diving — I don’t know,” Nady said. “Two strikes and with Pierre on base, I was shaded way over and shallow.

“I saw it fine,” Nady said. “I don’t know if I would’ve got there diving.”

Silva impressed the White Sox, who have seen him during his days in the American League.

“He’s good, man,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “That was a different guy then the one I was facing in Minnesota. He’s throwing a lot harder, a lot more offspeed pitches. He used to throw almost exclusive fastballs. He had a great slider and a great changeup. He throws strikes. He was pretty darn good. You can see why he’s 8-1 with an under 3.00 ERA.”

– Carrie Muskat

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