Chess Match: Ozzie makes right moves

Chess Match: Ozzie makes right moves

CHICAGO -- Whether choosing a reliever or deciding when to give the green light to a baserunner, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen pushed all the right buttons as Chicago avoided elimination from the American League Division Series with a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Wise move
The situation:
White Sox left fielder Dewayne Wise leads off the third with a walk.


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The decision: With two outs and A.J. Pierzynski at the plate, Wise steals second base.

The outcome: Pierzynski follows with a base hit up the middle to score Wise with the tying run.

The analysis: Wise picks a great spot for Chicago's first stolen base of the series. Pierzynski was behind in the count, and even if Wise had been thrown out to end the inning, the White Sox would have have their Nos. 2-4 hitters up in the next inning. Ths Sox offense has been struggling, so the gamble isn't all that surprising and worth taking considering the circumstances.

The explanation: "That's part of my game. When I get on base, I'm gonna have to wait on a good pitch like a slider in the dirt to try and steal second base." -- Wise

Good call
The situation:
Top of the seventh, two outs and the tying run at the plate in Evan Longoria.


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The decision: Guillen brings in right-hander Octavio Dotel to face Longoria.

The outcome: Longoria takes a called third strike to end the threat.

The analysis: Dotel is a high-risk/high-reward reliever, but this time he rewards the Sox with one of the biggest outs of the game.

The explanation: "To be honest with you, I don't want to give anything good to that guy because everybody knows how tough he is. I just try to get ahead, throw strike one and strike two. That's why I threw back-to-back sliders. That doesn't work out, so I just came back with my fastball. Thank God he took it, because he's one of the hitters you've got to be afraid of." -- Dotel

Insurance run
The situation:
Ken Griffey Jr. leads off the sixth with a walk.


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The decision: Guillen sends Brian Anderson in to run for Griffey.

The outcome: Anderson steals second base.

The analysis: Anderson's speed paves the way for another run as he takes third on a groundout and later scores on Juan Uribe's two-out single. The insurance run is important as it gives the White Sox a 5-1 lead heading into the seventh.

The explanation: "We'd talked about [running] in various situations. That was one, and fortunately it worked out for us." -- Anderson

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.