Over the last three days the Chicago White Sox (59-68) have not played all that well. That caused the South Siders to be swept by the Baltimore Orioles at home. They lost 8-2 on Monday, 5-1 on Tuesday and 4-3 on Wednesday.
On Monday Chris Sale surrendered three runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out eight over six innings of play. He surrendered two homers on the night and suffered just his 3rd loss of the season.
The offense was unable to get anything going off Bud Norris as they scored two runs on just three hits over seven innings. Norris struck out five batters and walked no one.
The Sox bullpen was just as bad as Ronald Bellisario and Eric Surkamp each surrendered a run and Matt Lindstrom struggled yet again allowing three runs on three hits, walking a batter and not recording an out in his appearance.
On Tuesday, Chris Tillman dominated the White Sox hitters allowing just one run on three hits over eight innings. He struck out nine White Sox batters while walking just one in route to the 5-1 win.
The only run that Tillman gave up was a solo shot by Jose Abreu in the first inning. It was his 32nd of the season.
On Wednesday, three homers from the Orioles led them to their 4-3 victory and a sweep. Hector Noesi surrendered all three of those homers as he allowed four runs on seven hits walking none and striking out eight.
Despite Avisail Garcia’s 2-run blast in the first inning, the Sox were unable to get a victory.
Robin Ventura and his coaching staff clearly have some work to do as the Sox have an off-day today as they travel to New York.
Minnesota. Freaking Minnesota.
The Metrodome, known to White Sox fans as “the house of horrors” is long gone. The Twins moved to their new home at Target field beginning in 2010 and the Metrodome has since been demolished. But the baseball team itself still remains. The the team that the White Sox still struggle remains. And so it began on Thursday. Four days later, the White Sox had lost four straight games and fallen to last place in the AL Central.
The Chicago White Sox are now 35-41 and are now seven games out of first place, both low water marks on the season.
On Thursday it was Yohan Pino making his MLB debut and dominating the Sox. He allowed just two runs on five hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out seven. The lack of offense was just bad as the Sox had just six hits on the night.
The game was tied in the bottom of the 8th when Joe Mauer broke through with a RBI double off Jake Petricka to give the Twins the lead who would go on to win 4-2.
On Friday, the Sox rallied in the 9th inning to tie the game at 4-4 only to blow the game in the bottom half of the frame. It was a disappointing end to a solid rally. Trailing 4-2 with just two solo homers (Beckham and Abreu) back in the first inning for their only runs, the Sox began their comeback.
In the 9th Dayan Viciedo began the comeback with a one-out triple. He then scored on a Paul Konerko single. After a Tyler Flowers single moved the pinch-runner Moises Sierra to 2nd, Adam Eaton doubled home Sierra to tie the game. Glen Perkins intentionally walked Gordon Beckham to load the bases and with one out the Sox had a huge chance to take the lead. But Conor Gillaspie hit into an inning ending double play.
Daniel Webb, still on the mound from the 8th inning would walk 2 of the next 3 batters putting the Sox in a hole. Scott Downs would come on to record a line out, but Ronald Bellisario would be unable to retire Brian Dozier who would single up the middle to score former White Sox Eduardo Escobar for the winning run.
On Saturday, with the Twins down 2-1, as the old saying goes: Momma, here comes that man. Joe Mauer delivered a 2-run double to put the Twins ahead. He would score on Kendrys Morales RBI single. Down 4-2 in the 9th the Sox would again try to rally, but the comeback would again fall short as they would lose 4-3.
Finally, on Sunday, the Sox looked to not be swept. They were even ahead 5-2, scoring five runs in the 3rd off Phil Hughes. But White Sox starter John Danks had a bad day as he allowed six runs on 10 hits, walking four and striking out one over five innings. The Sox would lose 6-5.
Now on to Baltimore…this could get ugly.
After taking two out of three games against the Dodgers and completing a successful MLB draft, the White Sox were hopeful when they began their three game weekend set on the road against the LA Angeles. They were just 2 1/2 games behind the AL Central leading Tigers as the weekend began and in 2nd place in the division. As I left for a weekend retreat knowing I would miss all three games, I was hopeful as well. But the weekend was a sour one from the baseball perspective.
The Tigers won 2 out of 3 against the Boston Red Sox and the Sox were swept in Anaheim. On Friday the Sox lost 8-4, on Saturday they lost a heart-breaker by a final of 6-5 as they blew a 5-0 lead giving up six runs in the 8th inning as Chris Sale was denied a victory. Finally on Sunday they lost 4-2. This puts the team behind the Tigers by 4 1/2 games heading into a 4 game set with them beginning on Monday night.
The first batter for the Angels on Friday started the series off on a bad note for the White Sox. Kole Kalhoun hit a leadoff homer for the Angels on just the 3rd pitch of the game for Andre Rienzo. After a single and a stolen base from Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton drove in Trout to give the Angels a quick 2-0 lead.
Alejandro De Aza hit his 5th homer on the season with a solo shot to right to begin the 3rd inning, but Rienzo gave up five runs in the 4th inning and was out of the game before the inning came to a close. Rienzo’s final line was not good, surrendering seven runs on nine hits, walking one and striking out two in just 3 2/3 innings.
Adam Dunn drove in a run on an RBI single in the 5th and hit his 10th homer on the season with a 2-run shot in the 9th but it was not enough in this one. The Sox were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base on the night.
On Saturday the Sox got off to a great start. Adam Eaton and Gordon Beckham each had RBI singles in the 3rd inning to put the Sox up 2-0. Alejandro De Aza doubled home a run in the 4th to put the Sox up 3-0. In the 6th they added in two more runs on an Adam Dunn solo homer and a sacrifice-fly by Alejandro De Aza. But that 5-0 lead would not hold.
Chris Sale did not give up his first hit till the 5th inning. He had only given up three singles through the fist seven innings and had a 5-0 lead, but the 8th inning would be a disaster for Sale. After an Erick Aybar double and a Chris Iannetta single that scored the first run for LA, the big mistake would occur. Alexei Ramirez would be charged with an error as he could not get a grip on the ball in his glove. It should have been an easy force out at second at least but it opened up the door for the Angles. The error was followed by a Howie Kendrick single to load the bases. On his 7th pitch of the at bat and a 3-2 pitch, Mike Trout hit a grand slam for his 12th homer of the season. It was Sale’s 115th pitch of the game and would be his last on the night.
Sale was visibly upset after he left the game. His final line would be five runs (four earned) on seven hits, walking one and striking out six for the no-decision. Jake Petrika would enter the game and after getting the first two outs, he would surrender three straight singles and the lead. The Sox would go down 1-2-3 in the 9th and the game was over.
Sunday the sweep was complete as the Sox could not solve C.J. Wilson. Wilson allowed just one run on three hits while his counterpart, Jose Quintana struggled. Quintana allowed four runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out four in just 4 1/3 innings.
The Sox again struggled with runners in scoring position going 2-for-5 on the night. Over their last nine games, they have hit just .180 with RISP. That does not help your team. If they are going to give the Tigers any competition, they have to be better starting Monday.
Hector Noesi (1-3; 3.92 ERA) coming off his first win as a starter since 2012 will look to get the Sox back on the winning track. He will take on Rick Porcello (8-3; 3.69 ERA) at 8:10pm ET. The Sox are 31-33 while the Tigers hold a 4 1/2 game lead in the AL Central with a 33-26 record.
LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!