Even though they tied a team record on Saturday afternoon, the White Sox became only the third team in baseball history to hit seven home runs in a game and lose.
Brett Lawrie produced his first multi-homer game, but a poor outing by starter Miguel Gonzalez did in the short-handed White Sox, who lost 10-8 to the Toronto Blue Jays in front of 25,776 at U.S. Cellular Field.
The seven home runs -- all solo shots -- matched an April 23, 1955 performance at the Kansas City Athletics. But it wasn’t enough to prevent them from falling below .500 as Gonzalez allowed eight runs in 5 1/3 innings. Dioner Navarro, J.B. Shuck, Tim Anderson, Alex Avila and Adam Eaton all homered in the loss.
“I don’t think I’ve seen that before,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
While it may not be as unprecedented, the workload has been hefty for the White Sox bullpen over the last week. The group had combined for 26 1/3 innings in the team’s previous seven games and needed a lengthy effort from Gonzalez. Ventura said afterward he ruled relievers David Robertson and Nate Jones, who each appeared in five of those games, and Matt Albers and Zach Duke, who had four each, out of action.
So it couldn’t have been easy for Ventura to stomach when Gonzalez allowed five consecutive first-inning hits and fell behind 3-0. Devon Travis made it a five-run game in the second inning with a two-run homer.
Starved for length from the starting pitcher, Ventura stuck with Gonzalez, who retired the side in order in the third. But the Blue Jays continued to add on against Gonzalez, pushing across three more runs in the fourth inning. Josh Donaldson drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs to make it a 6-3 game and Edwin Encarnacion’s two-run single again pushed the deficit to five.
While Gonzalez pitched a scoreless fifth inning, he was lifted after a one-out double in the sixth by Ezequiel Carrera.
“We've got to win that game,” Gonzalez said. “That can't happen. I have to be more consistent.
"It's frustrating not to be a little bit more consistent early in the ballgame.”
Gonzalez is now 1-3 with a 7.83 ERA in four home starts this season.
Encarnacion doubled in an insurance run and Troy Tulowitzki singled in another in the ninth off rookie Michael Ynoa to give Toronto a 10-7 lead.
Despite facing big deficits all game, the White Sox didn’t surrender.
Lawrie’s inside-the-park-home run with two outs in the second off R.A. Dickey lit a fuse. It was the first inside-the-park-homer by a White Sox player at U.S. Cellular Field since Chris Singleton on Sept. 29, 2000.
Navarro then lined one out to right to make it 5-2 and Shuck followed with his first homer since April 19, 2014 -- a span of 318 plate appearances. It’s the first time the White Sox hit three consecutive homers since they hit four in a row against the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 14, 2008.
Lawrie’s solo homer off Dickey in the fourth made it 8-3 as he became the first White Sox player since Ron Santo on June 9, 1974 to have both a traditional homer and an inside-the-park-homer in the same contest.
The White Sox added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Lawrie to make it 8-5, but reliever Jesse Chavez stranded a pair of runners.
Anderson’s homer off Drew Storen in the seventh made it a two-run game and Avila’s oppo-shot off Jason Grilli in the eighth got the White Sox within a run.
Eaton homered in the ninth, too, but it wasn’t enough.
“They’ve got a well oiled machine over there,” Eaton said. “They’re tough to compete with. At the same time, you hit seven home runs, you think you should win the ballgame. But that's the way baseball goes. Baseball is a weird game.
“It's a tricky game. You can never really predict it.”