White Sox

John Danks, defense struggle as White Sox lose to Rays

6-12-danks-white-sox-lose-to-rays.png

John Danks, defense struggle as White Sox lose to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- John Danks didn’t do himself any favors when he allowed two early runs. The White Sox defense and a series of bad breaks didn’t make it any easier.

Issues that have plagued the White Sox all season resurfaced on Friday night and prevented them from extending their winning streak to four games. The White Sox hurt themselves defensively and were in too big of a hole to climb out of despite a Jose Abreu home run, losing 7-5 to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Danks allowed five runs (three earned) and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

“Baseball,” Danks said. “I felt good with what I had going, throwing strikes with multiple pitches, was down in the zone. It’s just one of those nights where it couldn’t bounce my way.”

Danks created his own problems when the Rays rallied for two runs in the third inning on RBI singles by Brandon Guyer and Joey Butler. The left-handed pitcher issued a leadoff walk to .102 hitter Nick Franklin and Mikie Mahtook, a .111 hitter, singled before Rene Rivera bunted them over to set up Guyer and Butler.

But Danks ran into plain bad luck in the fifth inning.

[MORE: Mark Parent looks forward to challenge as Ventura's fill-in]

Butler reached on an infield single and raced to third when Evan Longoria’s broken-bat bleeder got through the right side against a defensive shift. Logan Forsythe gave Tampa a 3-2 lead with a sac fly.

Then a defense that is second to last in the majors in Defensive Runs Saved took over.

Jake Elmore started the sixth inning with an infield single. Franklin then reached base when Abreu dropped Gordon Beckham’s throw after a nice play on a slow chopper.

“It was my fault, completely my fault,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I just tried to open my legs to stretch too soon and I just missed it. It’s completely my fault.”

After a sac bunt moved both over, Carlos Sanchez’s throw to the plate on Rivera’s grounder off Daniel Webb was a hair late to get Elmore. Kevin Kiermaier’s pinch-hit single made it 5-2 and both he and Rivera moved into scoring position on a passed ball by Tyler Flowers. Adam Eaton then misread a single by Butler -- who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs -- to give Tampa a four-run lead.

Danks threw strikes on 70 of 94 pitches.

“Beck made a nice play too on that ball,” said White Sox bench coach Mark Parent, who is filling in for Robin Ventura this weekend as the manager attends his daughter’s college graduation. “It was just one of those things where we were always a shade too far one side or another in the infield. Not knowing this team a whole lot, we positioned them what we thought would be the best. We’ll check it out again tomorrow and adjust from there. But sometimes you have to turn around and pitch according to your defense, too.”

An inning later, the Rays got an insurance run after Alexei Ramirez and Sanchez nearly collided on Steven Souza Jr.’s blooper to shallow center as the ball kicked off the shortstop’s glove. Elmore singled and both moved up on a Junior Guerra wild pitch with Franklin’s RBI single making it a 7-5 game. Franklin went 2-for-3 with a walk, reaching base four times.

“It’s baseball,” Danks said. “They put the ball in play, made things happen and it worked out for them.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox rallied twice to make things interesting.

They tied it in the fifth at 2 when Sanchez walked and scored after Rivera’s throw to first on an Eaton bunt single soared down the right-field line. Eaton went to third on the play and scored on Ramirez’s sac fly to center.

Ramirez had an RBI groundout and Abreu a two-run homer off the right-field foul pole in the seventh to get the White Sox back within 6-5. It’s the third straight game in which Abreu has homered, a first in his career.

Though Abreu was talking about hitting, his statement easily applies to the defense of the 28-31 team as well.

“We all have to change the little things and make some adjustments,” Abreu said.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

hahn-pod.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

eloy-pod.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.