The White Sox have played some of their best baseball of the season in front of their home crowd.
But U.S. Cellular Field hasn't been too kind to the South Siders lately.
The White Sox wrapped up a disappointing seven-game homestand on Sunday with a 8-1 loss to the Twins, resulting in their fifth loss in seven games over that stretch.
Early inning troubles plagued the White Sox again when starter Jose Quintana gave up a leadoff home run to second baseman Brian Dozier.
The left-hander then settled down, retiring the next nine hitters before a disastrous fourth inning ensued.
First baseman Joe Mauer smacked a line drive right at Adam Eaton, but the center fielder seemed to take his eye off the ball in hopes of trying to double off Shane Robinson from second. Eaton let the ball get by him, allowing Robinson to score on the error, bringing the Twins' lead to 2-0.
“Big inning there I created,” Eaton said. “Tough ball. Goes up and it’s kind of knuckling. Play needs to be made.
“I would be lying to you if my eyes weren’t wandering a little bit. I’ve made that play 100 times. Whatever happened to that ball, it didn’t find my mitt.”
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Later that inning, outfielder Torii Hunter drove in a run on an infield single and allowed another run to score. Three batters later, outfielder Eddie Rosario delivered a two-run single to extend the Twins' lead to 5-0.
“He had good stuff,” Ventura said of Quintana. “But you start getting up in the zone fastball wise, these guys can hit a fastball. They’re on it.”
Jose Abreu finally got the White Sox offense going with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. It was the slugger's seventh of the season and first since May 9.
“For him, there’s more there,” Ventura said of Abreu. “We know that. This is just a rough stretch for him but he homered today and you hope that’s good things to come.”
Dozier continued his dominance over the White Sox on Sunday by smacking a three-run home run off reliever Scott Carroll in the seventh.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson was brilliant for the second time this year against the White Sox. The right-hander tossed eight innings of one-run ball, including eight strikeouts. He's only given up one run over 16 innings against the South Siders in 2015.
“Even when they got up, Gibson was pumping strikes,” Ventura said. “If he was going to give us something, a walk or a hit batter you’d take it but he jumped ahead early.”
Adam LaRoche, who went 0-for-3 in the loss, believes the team is capable of much more and it’s hard to watch the performances they’ve had on the field.
“Extremely frustrating,” LaRoche said. “We are not just getting beat: we are beating ourselves and making good pitchers look great. It’s embarrassing.”
The White Sox failed to provide Quintana with much run support again. In his last five starts, the offense has only provided seven runs for the left-hander.
White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia returned to the lineup after a two-game absence due to right knee inflammation and went 1-for-2. Ventura removed him from the game for precautionary reasons in the seventh.
Two rough series at home against the Indians and Twins have the White Sox doing an emotional 180 from when they arrived back home just six days ago. As they load up for Toronto with a matchup against the Blue Jays on Monday and an 11-game road trip staring them in the face, Ventura hopes the team packs a scrappy attitude to turn their luck around.
“You’re able to gain some momentum from where we started and it ended not well,” Ventura said. “Now you got to find a way to go on the road and keep grinding. These guys just need to find a way to scratch across a couple runs and make it a clean game.”