White Sox

White Sox fall behind early, but show fight in loss

White Sox fall behind early, but show fight in loss

The White Sox nearly climbed out of the massive cavern they created for themselves on Thursday night.

But in the end, a series of early mistakes was just too much to overcome. The White Sox gave away too many outs yet again and the Minnesota Twins didn’t let them get away with their mistakes. The Twins hit three home runs off Derek Holland and then held on to send the White Sox to a 7-6 loss in front of 16,084 at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was the fifth straight loss for the White Sox, who have fallen to 15-17.

“It was just not a good start to say the least,” manager Rick Renteria said. “But that being said, I thought for goodness sake, we got those guys out there continuing to battle, chip away.

“Guys don’t take it as a deflating moment. It’s not the best moment to have, but it’s not a deflating moment for them because as you can see they kept fighting.”

Holland said he felt good but found trouble early with a pair of first-inning walks. The left-hander still appeared to escape the jam when Jorge Polanco bounced into a potential inning-ending double play. But Jose Abreu dropped Tyler Saladino’s relay throw to keep the inning alive. Joe Mauer took advantage with a two-out RBI single and Eduardo Escobar followed with a three-run shot to put Minnesota ahead 4-0. All four runs were unearned.

The Twins continued to hit Holland hard in the second inning as Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano blasted solo homers to make it a 6-0 game.

“Those guys are going to make the plays,” Holland said. “I still have to make pitches after that no matter what happens. I know what the situation was, but overall I feel like it’s my fault more than anything. I didn’t execute the pitches after that, and that’s what put us in that bigger hole.

"I felt really good. I thought I had everything where it needed to be. I just didn’t miss some barrels sometimes, and they found the holes when they needed to and hit a few home runs as well. Like I said, it just comes back on me.”

Escobar later doubled in a run off Holland — who allowed seven runs (three earned) in five innings — to give Minnesota a 7-2 lead. The former White Sox infielder drove in four runs.

The three homers allowed by Holland matched his season total.

[MORE WHITE SOX: Tim Anderson to attend friend's funeral, rejoin White Sox on Monday]

In spite of a large deficit the White Sox managed to get the go-ahead run in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth inning.

They did so even though they ran themselves out of their first rally. Todd Frazier’s sac fly in the fourth — on Byron Buxton’s dropped fly ball — got the White Sox within 6-1 and Matt Davidson’s fielder’s choice RBI brought them within four runs. But Davidson tried to go from first to third on Tim Anderson’s single to left field and was thrown out by 20 feet to end the threat.

Melky Cabrera’s three-run homer off Twins starter Phil Hughes helped chase him from the game before he could qualify for the victory. Davidson got the White Sox within a run in the sixth inning with a solo homer off Tyler Duffey.

But the Twins bullpen held firm the rest of the way. Taylor Rogers and Ryan Pressly each provided a scoreless inning of relief.

Brandon Kintzler took over with two aboard in the eighth, a pair he moved up with a wild pitch. Kintzler got out of the jam with strikeouts of Omar Narvaez and Leury Garcia to preserve the one-run lead.

Kintzler returned to retire the top of the White Sox lineup in order in the ninth.

Despite the loss, the White Sox have been pleased with their late-game efforts.

“That’s kind of what you ask for from our team every night,” Davidson said. “We want to come out on top, but we want to give every team a fight every night and know we’re not backing down.”

“We ran into a Baltimore team that was playing well and coming off a series where they were pretty energetic. But we’re going to have these ups and downs through the season. We want to stop it and go another direction.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

machado-sox-pod.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

0521-welington-castillo.jpg
USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.