White Sox

White Sox offense goes silent again in 2-1 loss to Royals

White Sox offense goes silent again in 2-1 loss to Royals

KANSAS CITY -- The White Sox not only lost another series on Thursday night, they also lost Miguel Gonzalez for at least 15 days.

The starting pitcher said he’s headed for the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin after he exited in the second inning of a 2-1 White Sox loss to the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. A trio of young relievers pitched well in Gonzalez’s absence, but the offense couldn’t solve Danny Duffy as the White Sox dropped to a season-worst six games below. 500. Kansas City took advantage of Duffy’s complete game with two runs scored against Carson Fulmer in the sixth inning to win the rubber match of a three-game set.

“I felt it on the first pitch (of the second inning),” Gonzalez said. “After that, I didn’t have anything to push off with, no strength. I’ve done it before. That was my second time doing it on my right leg. Knowing you can’t have that strength, you can’t go out there and make it worse.”

After an up-and-down start to the season, Gonzalez has been a steady option at the back of the White Sox rotation. The right-hander carried a 2.76 ERA in his last seven starts into Thursday’s finale against Duffy. Gonzalez struck out a pair in a scoreless first inning before he suffered the injury against Salvador Perez.

Gonzalez said he suffered the same injury last season and hopes his absence is limited to 15 days.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

The scenario couldn’t have been any more difficult for the White Sox after the bullpen pitched 6 1/3 innings in Wednesday’s extra innings loss. But Michael Ynoa, Fulmer and Tommy Kahnle responded with seven sharp innings on short notice.

Ynoa got off to a rough start as he hit Perez with his first pitch and Alcides Escobar reached on an error. But Ynoa, who has shown nice flashes since he was promoted in mid-June, followed up with his strongest stretch to date. After a sac bunt moved them over, Ynoa stranded the two runners in scoring position as he ended the bottom of the second inning with a strikeout of Raul Mondesi.

The tall right-hander also set down the side in order in the second and third innings, striking out Eric Hosmer and Perez in the fourth. Ynoa didn’t walk any batters or surrender a hit in a 43-pitch effort.

Fulmer continued the string of dominance when he struck out a pair in a perfect fifth inning. The Royals scored twice to rally from a 1-0 deficit when Fulmer issued a leadoff walk in the sixth. Cheslor Cuthbert tied it with a one-out RBI triple and Eric Hosmer singled him in. But Fulmer retired four of the last five he faced, striking out three in three innings.

Kahnle struck out the side in a scoreless inning, too.

“They did a great job,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “They knew they had a long way to go tonight. Michael did a nice job spur of the moment, so did Carson.”

The offense wasn’t up to the task against Duffy, who needed 98 pitches for the complete-game effort.

Duffy retired the last 11 batters he faced and only got into trouble in the second inning. That’s when he surrendered three straight two-out hits, the last an RBI single by Jason Coats. But Duffy retired Adam Eaton to end the rally and limit the damage to a run.

Duffy allowed seven hits in all and never let the White Sox have more than one runner reach base in any other frame. Down a run, third baseman Todd Frazier just missed on a 3-0 pitch in the ninth inning, flying out to deep left.

A night after the White Sox went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, stranding a pair of runners five times in a 3-2 loss, Duffy limited their opportunities. The White Sox scored three runs over their final 23 innings at Kauffman Stadium and lost a winnable series.

“They did a heck of a job,” Frazier said of the bullpen. “I’m proud of them. You know, it’s good to see that. Ynoa came in and pitched three innings and did his job. Carson gave up two runs there, but at the same time he pitched well. You give up two runs, you gotta win the game. It doesn’t matter who is pitching. We did it yesterday, too. You have to find a way to tack on.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: The all-request, whatever's on your mind episode


White Sox Talk Podcast: The all-request, whatever's on your mind episode

In this special bonus episode, we opened up the podcast to our favorite people: you the White Sox fan!

You asked the questions and we answered them!

Who will be the White Sox closer in 2020? Can Avi Garcia be an effective #2 hitter? Who will be the Nicky Delmonico of 2018? Who has been the biggest surprise at spring training?  There are questions about Adam Engel, Ryan Cordell, Carson Fulmer, Yoan Moncada, as well as Roger Bossard, Mike Ditka and Rocky Biddle.

We also give away a signed Freddy Garcia baseball from 2005.   

Take a listen here or in the embedded playlist below.

White Sox opposition research: What's there to know about the Toronto Blue Jays?


White Sox opposition research: What's there to know about the Toronto Blue Jays?

As the 2018 season nears and the White Sox get ready to take on the rest of the American League, we're taking a team-by-team look at all 14 of their opponents.

What’s there to know about the Toronto Blue Jays?

They seem to have missed their window.

Living on a lighted stage approaches the unreal, they say. And it did there for the Jays for a while, too, as they made back-to-back trips to the American League Championship Series. Those teams were fun. They hit a lot of homers. They flipped a lot of bats. We all got to watch Geddy Lee keep score on national TV. Good times.

Well, the good times haven’t lasted, and the Jays again seem to be on the outside looking in of an AL East race that figures to feature the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox and no one else.

Jays fans have had to say a farewell to kings in the past two offseasons, with two of the biggest engines of those ALCS teams, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, no longer with the team. Encarnacion is entering Year 2 with the Cleveland Indians. Jose Bautista would like to be a working man, but he’s still watching the tumbleweeds roll by on the deserted plains of this offseason’s free-agent market.

Sure, Josh Donaldson is still around, a modern-day warrior with a mean, mean stride and a mean, mean swing, too. The same can be said for Justin Smoak, who teamed with Donaldson to mash a combined 71 homers last season. But are the dipped numbers of Kevin Pillar and Ryan Goins and the increasing ages of Russell Martin, Kendrys Morales and Curtis Granderson giving anyone in the Great White North great confidence in this lineup? Even the two imports from the St. Louis Cardinals, Randal Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz, couldn’t reach base at a .300 clip last season.

The best news for the Jays might be what’s going on 60 feet, six inches away from home plate — excuse me, 18.4404 metres from home plate. Marcus Stroman might start the campaign on the disabled list, but he’s still really good after posting a 3.09 ERA last season. J.A. Happ was good last year. Marco Estrada was OK. And the Jays added Jaime Garcia this offseason, who isn’t a blockbuster newcomer, but he managed 129 strikeouts in 157 innings last season while pitching for three different teams.

Is any of that enough for the Jays to compete this season? To get closer to the heart of the AL East race? No probably not, but it’s really up to you to decide. And remember that if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

I’m out of applicable Rush lyrics, so let’s just move this along.

2017 record: 76-86, fourth place in AL East

Offseason additions: Curtis Granderson, Randal Grichuk, Aledmys Diaz, Yangervis Solarte, Jaime Garcia, Seung hwan Oh, Tyler Clippard, John Axford

Offseason departures: Jose Bautista, Miguel Montero, Darwin Barney, Dominic Leone

X-factor: The Jays had one of baseball's better closers last season in Roberto Osuna. He's had that job for a while now and has racked up 95 saves in his three big league seasons, including 36 and 39 in 2016 and 2017, respectively. His ERA was a career-high 3.38 last season, but he finished more games than any other pitcher in baseball and struck out a career-high 83 batters in 64 innings.

Projected lineup:

1. Curtis Granderson, LF
2. Devon Travis, 2B
3. Josh Donaldson, 3B
4. Justin Smoak, 1B
5. Russell Martin, C
6. Kendrys Morales, DH
7. Randal Grichuk, RF
8. Kevin Pillar, CF
9. Aledmys Diaz, SS

Projected rotation:

1. Marcus Stroman
2. J.A. Happ
3. Aaron Sanchez
4. Marco Estrada
5. Jaime Garcia

Prediction: Fourth place in AL East, no playoffs

Catch up on the AL:

Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays

Catch up on the NL:

San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants