ARLINGTON, Texas — David Robertson could only watch as Shin-Soo Choo poked a walk-off single into left field in the 11th inning.
Choo’s game-winner off left-hander Dan Jennings dealt the White Sox a 2-1 loss Thursday night against Texas at Globe Life Park. Jennings, whose ERA rose to 7.84, was the fourth reliever used by White Sox manager Robin Ventura after Carlos Rodon allowed one run with 10 strikeouts over six innings.
Ventura said he wanted to save Robertson, who signed a four-year, $46 million deal in December, for a save opportunity if the White Sox were to take the lead in extra innings.
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“We were short tonight, with Robby if you put him in there you know you’re only going to get him for that inning,” Ventura said. “If he ends up scoring you’re going with somebody else so you’re saving him, especially with this road trip’s been with him. Held that back and hopefully we score a run.”
Robertson appeared in three games on the White Sox 11-game road trip, blowing two saves in Toronto and nailing down a save May 29 in Houston, his last appearance. The White Sox bullpen was shorter on Thursday, too, with right-hander Zach Putnam unavailable due to an issue with his thumb.
After Daniel Webb shut out Texas for 2 2/3 innings — Carlos Sanchez’s fantastic turn of a double play in the eighth with the bases loaded kept the Rangers off the board — Ventura turned to Jennings against a lefty-heavy lineup.
Leonys Martin led off the 11th with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Delino DeShields was intentionally walked to get to a trio of left-handers — Choo, Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland — with one out. Choo, though, made quick work of Jennings by flipping a curveball past Alexei Ramirez for a game-ending hit.
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“He’s been getting hit around a little bit,” Ventura said of Jennings, “a little too much in the middle of the zone for us.”
After plating nine runs against Texas Wednesday night, the White Sox were unable to do much against Yovani Gallardo (6 IP, 1 ER) and five Rangers relievers. The White Sox emerged from this 11-game road trip with a 5-6 record, which wasn’t what they hoped for but was good enough to keep them from getting buried.
Ventura said despite the sub-.500 record, he was pleased with the way his team battled through a grueling trip that took them from Toronto to Baltimore to Houston to Arlington.
“We wish we would have gotten this one tonight,” Ventura said. “It would have put us over the edge of being able to survive, but you survive. We’re still going to battle, but it’s a tough trip. We saw it coming up, especially when the doubleheader (in Baltimore) was put in there. But they battled. I’ll give them that. “