Despite three straight days without baseball, the White Sox did not come back from their long weekend looking their freshest.
It was a real ugly night in Oakland as the White Sox dropped the series opener with the A's by an 8-1 score. With a non-existent offense and a mistake-prone defense, anyone not named Reynaldo Lopez had a bad all-around evening at the Coliseum.
Lopez was good with 10 strikeouts and just two runs allowed in his six innings of work. He's got a 1.42 ERA and has been hands down the team's best starting pitcher in the early going this season. He did give up a home run and walk four batters, and he wasn't exactly efficient, throwing 106 pitches in six innings. But he limited the damage and did his job, giving his team a chance to win.
But the White Sox offense, struggling as it is, had no chance against Daniel Mengden. He came in with a 6.19 ERA and hadn't made it out of the sixth inning through his first three starts, but the White Sox made him look like a Cy Young candidate Monday, mustering just one run (a solo homer from Jose Abreu in the ninth inning of an eight-run game) on six hits over eight-plus innings.
Things fell off the rails in the bottom of the seventh, when the White Sox committed a trio of errors — including two on the same play — helping the A's to a few more runs. A soft ground ball bounced off the heel of Abreu's glove, and two batters later, Luis Avilan got the bases-loaded double-play ball he needed, only for the grounder to go right through Tim Anderson's legs at shortstop. To make matters worse, Leury Garcia whiffed while attempting to scoop up the ball in left field. Those two errors on the same play brought home two runs, and another scored when Anderson converted a much more difficult double play on the next hitter. A fourth error came in the eighth, when Adam Engel overthrew second base.
The bullpen also added to Monday night's woes, allowing four earned runs in two innings. That won't help the White Sox place in the relief-ERA standings. They entered Monday's game with a 5.35 bullpen ERA, which ranked 27th in baseball. That ERA jumped to 5.98 Monday.
Back to the bats, though. The numbers are getting pretty hard to look at. The White Sox went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position Monday, adding to woes that stretch back more than a week. In their last eight games, the White Sox are 7-for-65 with runners in scoring position and have stranded a total of 63 base runners.
They also continued an upsetting trend of not scoring runs for Lopez, who seems to have become the new Jose Quintana when it comes to pitching well and receiving little to no run support. The White Sox offense has scored a total of three runs in the three games Lopez has started this season.
The White Sox came home from their first road trip at 3-2. They've gone 1-7 since and have been outscored 40-20 in those eight games.