TORONTO -- Neither Hector Noesi nor the White Sox seem to have much of a margin for error these days.
So it didn’t figure to be long before Alexei Ramirez’s first-inning misplay -- he spun and missed tagging second base on what should have been a relatively easy double play and only got one out -- haunted the White Sox.
Three batters later, the White Sox trailed by four runs.
Drew Hutchison and the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t need much more to send the White Sox, 6-0 losers at the Rogers Centre, to their third straight loss and sixth in seven games. To make matters worse, outfielder Avisail Garcia exited Monday’s game after 1 1/2 innings with right knee inflammation. Hutchison threw a four-hit shutout.
“I don’t know what the purpose is,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Ramirez’s spin. “(Hector is) out of the inning if we end up playing clean.”
Making his first start since May 9, Noesi -- who allowed five earned runs in seven innings -- did himself no favors in the first inning as Jose Reyes led off with a double and Josh Donaldson drew a walk.
[MORE SOX: Avisail Garcia exits Monday's contest early]
But Noesi got Edwin Encarnacion to bounce into a potential double play only for Ramirez -- who declined comment -- to miss the bag after a good feed from Emilio Bonifacio. Ramirez’s relay to first was in plenty of time to retire Encarnacion, but second-base ump Jordan Baker immediately ruled safe at second and Robin Ventura’s argument got him nowhere.
With men on second and third, Noesi got cleanup hitter Russell Martin to bounce out to third, which meant neither runner could advance. Chris Collabello took care of that on the first pitch he saw from Noesi as his two-run single gave Toronto a 2-0 advantage. Two pitches later, Justin Smoak got enough of a 95-mph fastball to homer into the right-field bullpen for a four-run cushion.
“They got (Noesi) before he got settled in,” catcher Geovany Soto said. “That first inning, we all saw it, they got four runs. After that he settled in and was throwing strikes and commanding both sides of the plate. But it was a little too late.”
All four first-inning runs go on Noesi’s record as earned. He could have pitched his way out of trouble.
But there’s no question that a White Sox defense that ranks 29th among 30 teams with minus-24 Defensive Runs Saved had its fingerprints all over the inning.
Ramirez, who ranks 20th of 29 shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved, also settled for one out in the eighth inning when he dropped a Tailor-Made double play and Smoak made it count with a two-out, RBI single off Scott Carroll.
“I was happy (with the grounders),” Noesi said. “We could have made a double play and then the bases should be cleared by the next hitter.”
Those plays along with a second-inning Josh Donaldson solo home run accounted for what proved to be an insurmountable deficit.
Fresh off a seven-game homestand in which they scored 15 runs and had a .196/.252/.290 slash line, the White Sox didn’t offer Hutchison much of a challenge.
[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Hutchison -- who entered the game with a 6.06 ERA -- never allowed more than one batter to reach in any frame and two were wiped out by double plays, including one by Ramirez to end the second inning. Ventura said Hutchison’s outing reminded him of 1996 American League Cy Young winner Pat Hentgen.
The team’s chances only were further damaged when Garcia, who sat out Friday and Saturday’s games, exited. Garcia singled with one out in the second inning but appeared hobbled on the bases. J.B. Shuck replaced him in the bottom of the second inning in right field. Garcia is listed as day to day with right knee inflammation.
As it were, however, the White Sox put themselves in a hole out of which they’ve had too much trouble recovering from.
“(The double play) should be turned,” Ventura said. “It wasn’t. It ends up hurting you. After that, Hector battled and got through it. But the only thing really good about the game was it was fast. That was it. We weren’t very good offensively. We weren’t good defensively in that situation, and you’re going to end up losing the game.
“If you’re not going to score, it becomes very thin. Right now the offense isn’t clicking at all. You’re not being able to put anything in the outfield. Most of your hits are in the infield. They know it, and it’s got to change or you’re going to lose games.”