White Sox

Jeff Samardzija bounces back but White Sox fall to Weaver, Halos

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Jeff Samardzija bounces back but White Sox fall to Weaver, Halos

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jeff Samardzija found his rhythm again on Wednesday night but Jered Weaver kept the White Sox offense from ever finding one.

Samardzija bounced back from a horrid start to August with seven strong innings but the Los Angeles Angels downed the White Sox 1-0 in front of 35,036 at Angel Stadium. Carlos Perez’s sixth-inning solo home run provided the only offense of the game and earned a win for Weaver, who pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

“(Weaver) knows what he has to do when he’s on the mound and he showed it tonight,” Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “He kept me off balance all night long and he was tough. I wasn’t able to make an adjustment because he was very good.

“His curveball is very difficult because it keeps you off balance every time.”

Following five brilliant July starts in which he went 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA, Samardzija had a 12.91 ERA in his last three outings.

[MORE: Adam LaRoche would have benched himself two months ago]

While he supplied the Angels with plenty of early opportunities on Wednesday, Samardzija toughened up in each instance. Working with catcher Tyler Flowers for the first time since Opening Day, Samardzija stranded the bases loaded in the second inning, left a man on third in the third and two more in both the fourth and fifth innings.

But a 2-0 fastball from Samardzija to Perez caught too much of the plate and the catcher belted it out just over the leap of Melky Cabrera for a solo homer, the 21st allowed by Samardzija this season.

“Any time you lose a game, you are disappointed,” Samardzija said. “You just keep going back to the homer you gave up. It could be a 0-0 game and still in it. I fall behind 2-0 with one out and you leave one over the plate and it gets taken advantage of. That one will be in your head for a while.”

Samardzija allowed a run and eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings. It was the fewest earned runs Samardzija has allowed in a road start since July 23.

“Jeff pitched a great game,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “The home run got us but he battled out of some jams.

“He probably cranked it up a little more. Any time you get in jams like that you have to find your way out of it and he did. He scrambled enough to get out of it.”

But Weaver was better.

Using an arsenal of 63-to-86 mph pitches, Weaver kept the White Sox out of whack after he escaped a first-inning jam.

Adam Eaton opened the game with a single and Cabrera moved him to third with a one-out hit of his own. But Weaver got Avisail Garcia looking and J.B. Shuck (two hits) flew out to deep center to strand the pair.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Weaver retired 10 in a row before he allowed a two-out single in the fourth. He worked around a leadoff double by Carlos Sanchez in the fifth, too. Tyler Flowers bunted Sanchez to third but Weaver got Tyler Saladino to hit a squibber to the mound and Eaton bounced out.

Weaver allowed five hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

The White Sox finished 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, including stranding the tying run in the ninth as Joe Smith got pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche to bounce into a game-ending double play with two aboard.

LaRoche originally was ruled safe at first on the play but league officials overturned the call after a 3-minute, 36-second replay review.

Instead of having another chance to tie, the White Sox lost. And Samardzija was forced to think about giving up a solo homer instead of focusing on his best start in weeks.

“I’m happy with the fact that what had been getting me in trouble before was giving up little hits and letting them get to me and then it snowballs,” Samardzija said. “I wanted to go out there and stay in control of the game and continue to make good pitches. Regardless of the results, justkeep doing that.

“I was pleased with how that went. Like I said, I’m more disappointed in falling behind 2-0 than the pitch that happened and the result. You are in attack mode there, 0-0, you want to be ahead in the count or at least 1-1.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.

The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:

— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.

— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.

— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).

— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.

— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)

— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).

Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.