Leury Garcia and Alexei Ramirez both pitched for the White Sox on Tuesday night.
Should give you an idea how things went for Jeff Samardzija.
In the midst of an already difficult season, Samardzija was rocked for a career-high 10 runs in three-plus innings and the White Sox were trounced by the Oakland A’s, 17-6, at U.S. Cellular Field. Garcia and Ramirez each threw a scoreless inning as the White Sox pitched two position players in the same game for only the second time in club history and first since 1902.
“It's been tough, especially it's tough to do when you've got your position players out there pitching on the day you start,” Samardzija said. “It doesn't feel good and it's not what you want.”
Garcia and Ramirez provided levity to an otherwise awful day for the White Sox.
Consider: Jose Abreu reached base four times in four trips and both Ramirez and Melky Cabrera hit their 10th home runs and none of it mattered.
Samardzija (9-13) made it all moot.
He walked two of the first four batters he faced to load the bases en route to surrendering five first-inning runs.
And it only got worse.
Samardzija, who allowed nine runs three previous times, including twice this season, faced 10 batters in the first inning. The White Sox scored twice in the bottom of the first but Eric Sogard’s RBI triple in the third gave Oakland a 6-2 lead.
Then the A’s began to pour it on.
They sent 15 men to the plate against Samardzija and Daniel Webb in the fourth inning and scored 10 times to take a 14-run lead.
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Samardzija was showered with boos as he exited after he allowed 11 hits and walked three in three-plus innings. The outing raised his earned-run average from 4.89 to 5.27.
“It's got to be command,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It's going to come down to command and being able to spot, throw strikes, all that stuff. I mean that's what it comes down to.
“He's going out competing. The results aren't there but as far as focus and being in the moment and pitching, he's doing that. It's just not going well. That’s a fact.”
With both Samardzija and Sunday’s starter Chris Sale only recording nine outs each, and a 14-inning game in between, Ventura needed a yeoman’s effort from his bullpen.
But Webb only recorded an out as he allowed six runs (four earned) and Zach Putnam, Nate Jones and Matt Albers could only get the White Sox through the seventh inning. Ventura turned to Garcia, who pitched last season, for the eighth and Ramirez in the ninth.
“You really don't like doing that,” Ventura said. “The way the bullpen was the last few days, we're very light out there. Leury has done it before, Alexei is probably the best equipped to throw strikes and make the best of a bad situation.”
Garcia’s scoreless inning was his second career appearance. He struck out one and gave up a hit and a hit a batter.
Ramirez allowed a hit, hit a batter and shook off Geovany Soto in his pitching debut.
Garcia and Ramirez became the first position players since Frank Isbell and Sam Mertes on Sept. 28, 1902 to pitch in the same game for the White Sox, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
“It wasn’t the ideal situation for the team,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “But because of the score and the situation, I just talked with Robin and said, ‘Hey, if you need someone to pitch, I can do it.’ Yeah, I enjoyed it. It was very special. I have to thank him for the opportunity. It was something that I always liked to do and I could do it today. I enjoyed it.”