White Sox

White Sox can't finish off late rally, allow 16 hits in loss to Orioles

White Sox can't finish off late rally, allow 16 hits in loss to Orioles

Even after allowing seven runs and 16 hits, it looked as if the White Sox would have an opportunity to make a stunning comeback against the American League’s best bullpen.

But some questionable base running made sure the comeback wouldn’t get completed.

Carlos Sanchez and Dioner Navarro got mixed up in the midst of an eighth-inning rally, resulting in a double play that halted the White Sox comeback in a 7-5 loss to the Orioles on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

After the game seemed to slip away from the White Sox when reliever Tommy Kahnle allowed a 4-2 deficit to grow to 7-2 in the top of the eighth, the White Sox offense struck against Baltimore relief man Darren O’Day in the bottom of the inning. The Orioles entered with a 3.05 bullpen ERA, best in the AL, but the first three batters reached against O’Day, allowing two runs to score when Avisail Garcia grounded into a fielder’s choice and Baltimore second baseman Jonathan Schoop made a throwing error. Another run came home on Sanchez’s double two batters later, erasing the damage done in the top of the inning and restoring that two-run margin.

The rally, though, was halted in its tracks when Adam Eaton grounded out to first. Chris Davis made the play at first and then fired to third when base runners Sanchez and Navarro got mixed up, Sanchez having to hustle back to second after sprinting toward third and Navarro called out at third when he slowly retreated back to the bag.

After a review, the call was upheld: inning- and rally-ending double play.

Sanchez took the blame after the game, though it seemed there was enough blame to go around.

“It was my mistake,” Sanchez said through a translator. “That's something that is unacceptable. That can't happen again. It's my fault. … You have to keep your focus, and you have to know the game situation, the moment. Like I said, it's my mistake. It can't happen again, and it's not going to happen again.”

“They had the infield back in the middle, and Sanchy came down too far and it started pushing Dio out there. Sanchy has to know not to come down there on that,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It has to be up the middle for him to go.”

Of course — if you’re into playing the “what if” game — it was possible those runs could’ve given the White Sox a late lead if not for Kahnle’s woes in the top of the inning. He gave up a monster solo home run to Pedro Alvarez — his second of the night — and an RBI single to J.J. Hardy before exiting, after which Adam Jones tacked on another run with a sac fly.

Regardless, White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez admitted he had a little extra adrenaline flowing while facing his former team, and he surrendered four runs on 10 hits in his six innings of work. He gave up Alvarez’s first long ball of the evening and a two-run double to Manny Machado, and he was also present when Machado scored on a Tyler Saladino throwing error.

It was Gonzalez’s seventh straight quality start — at least six innings and three or fewer earned runs allowed — but he’s won just once during that stretch.

“It really meant a lot to me. And we came up short,” Gonzalez said of facing his former squad. “A lot of things went their way. It’s part of the game, a game of inches. Can’t do anything about it.

“I know what they are capable of doing. They have a great lineup. You can’t give in. You’re behind in the count, bad things are going to happen. They’re going to capitalize. That’s why they have a good team out there. Manny Machado, he’s been hitting the ball really good. I was behind in the count both times, and he was able to capitalize. You tip your hat to them, you move on.”

All in all, it was a night with some positives — Gonzalez with another quality start, Jose Abreu homering for the second time in as many days and Garcia driving in two runs to continue a recent hot stretch — but it didn’t result in a win, and the White Sox couldn’t build on Thursday’s victory in Detroit that snapped a three-game winning streak.

And so the White Sox have dropped six of their last eight games and have a 7-15 record since July 10.

Who knew? Stat nuggets from the White Sox pre-All-Star break season

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USA TODAY

Who knew? Stat nuggets from the White Sox pre-All-Star break season

It’s the All-Star Break, so why not take a look back at the first 58.6% of the White Sox season.

 

They may not be contending quite yet, but there have been several interesting moments. 

 

Focusing on the hitters, let’s take a look at ten amazing achievements this season.  And while there may be several to list for some players, I’m going to limit it to one fact per player.  Let’s go.

 

  • On March 29 (Opening Day), Matt Davidson became the 1st player in MLB history to hit 3 Home Runs in a game in March.
  • On April 23, Yoán Moncada (22 years, 331 days) became the youngest player in White Sox history with a double, triple & HR in the same game, passing Tito Francona (24 years, 205 days) on 5/28/1958.
  • Daniel Palka recorded a triple on May 22nd, making him the first player in White Sox history with 3 triples & 3 HR within his first 20 career MLB games.
  • On July 3, Palka (LF) & Avisaíl García (RF) became the second pair of White Sox outfielders to each hit 2 HR in the same game; the other pair? Minnie Miñoso (LF) and Larry Doby (CF) on July 30, 1957.
  • On May 28, Matt Skole became the first player in White Sox history with a home run AND a walk in his MLB Debut.
  • The lone White Sox walkoff Home Run of 2018 was off the bat of a player who hit .116 for the Sox this season (Trayce Thompson on May 3 – he went 14 for 121 this season for the Southsiders).
  • The White Sox have started a game with backto-back home runs four times in franchise history. 9/2/1937, 7/4/2000, 9/2/2017 & 6/12/2018.  Each of the last 2 times, Yolmer Sánchez hit the second home run.
  • On June 23, Tim Anderson became the first White Sox shortstop ever to homer on his birthday.
  • On June 27, José Abreu hit his 136th career HR and passed Minnie Miñoso for most by a Cubanborn player in White Sox history.  He hit one more since.
  • Leury García managed to become the first White Sox player with at least 10 stolen bases (he has 10) without being caught before the AllStar Break since Mike Cameron (13 for 13) in 1997.

White Sox first-round pick Nick Madrigal was magical in his Kannapolis debut

White Sox first-round pick Nick Madrigal was magical in his Kannapolis debut

After getting just two hits with the Arizona League White Sox, a team for rookies, Nick Madrigal made a big splash in his Low-A debut with the Kannapolis Intimidators.

Madrigal went 3 for 4 with two singles, a double, a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored on Tuesday afternoon against the Hagerstown Suns.

It may only be one game, but the fourth overall pick by the White Sox in this year’s MLB draft looks ready to play. Madrigal was almost perfect on his first day, obtaining a .750 batting average with a 1.800 OPS. That’s a pretty promising performance for the infielder who can play shortstop and second base.

Even though the 21-year-old hasn’t even struck out in the minors yet, he wasn’t quite as successful in the Arizona League. In five games and 13 at-bats, Madrigal achieved only a .154 batting average with two runs scored and one RBI. But he’s making up for those numbers.

So far with the White Sox organization, the Oregon State product isn’t walking at a shocking rate. He’s not striking out at all, either. Madrigal proved he’s an efficient contact hitter in college where he only struck out seven times in 2018. At the same time, he only hit three home runs, but he can have sneaky power at times.

Standing at 5-foot-7, 161 pounds, Madrigal was a force to be reckoned throughout his time in the Pac-12 Conference. Last season in college, he impressed many major-league scouts with a .367/.428/.511 slash line and 34 RBIs. He missed time with a hairline fracture in his hand after sliding into home plate back in February, but his strong junior year comeback performance helped make him a 2018 first-round pick.

He was just as good in his first two seasons with OSU. As a freshman in 2016, Madrigal had a .333/.380/.456 slash line with 29 RBIs in 49 games played. In his 2017 sophomore season, the talented hitter played in 60 games, tallied 40 RBIs and attained a .380/.449/.532 slash line with four homers, making it his most powerful season.

In three seasons playing Division 1 baseball, Madrigal also stole a combined 37 bases. He capped off his NCAA career with a College World Series title back in late June. His past production influenced White Sox director of scouting Nick Hostetler in the draft.

“Nick is recognized as one of the best hitters in college baseball, and we’re excited to add him to the organization," Hostetler said. "He possesses tremendous baseball skills, character and makeup…”

Madrigal will try to prove his critics right. Oregon State head coach Pat Casey thinks the young infielder could quickly work his way up to the majors.

“He'll be in the big leagues in 1 1/2 or 2 years,” Casey said. “I get it, you've got to develop. But put him in a big league uniform, and he can play.”