White Sox

White Sox lose fifth straight, make four errors in loss to Twins

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White Sox lose fifth straight, make four errors in loss to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- At least the White Sox can’t lose on Monday.

But they more than made up for it with a comedy of errors at Target Field on Sunday afternoon. Blown out for the third time in five days, the White Sox couldn’t pitch, hit or catch the ball in a 13-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

John Danks became the latest starting pitcher to get hit around on the road trip. He gave up seven runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings and had two of his team’s season-high four errors as Minnesota completed a four-game sweep. Winless on their five-game road trip and outscored 39-10, the White Sox are now 8-14.

“It’s a bad week, “White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.  “There’s no way around it. We played bad baseball. They were swinging it, they were doing everything. I don’t think there was anything we were really good at. We have just to check ourselves and get back after it. A lot of these guys, I know they’re battling through stuff. But you have to be better. You can’t go out there and lay and egg like that.”

The starting pitching has to improve first.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Not that the offense or defense offered much support, but the team’s starting rotation put them in an early hole for much of the road trip.

Danks (1-3) was no different, though he struck out the side in the first and pitched out of a jam in the second. The third inning wasn’t as kind as the Twins scored seven times with the aid of two Danks errors that helped knock him out.

After Danks allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning, he loaded the bases by dropping a throw from Adam LaRoche, who made a diving stop behind first base. Trevor Plouffe followed with his first career grand slam and Minnesota’s offense was off and running. Danks reloaded the bases with a second error as he fielded a comebacker and skipped a throw to second base. Danny Santana followed with a two-run single under the glove of LaRoche to make it 6-0 and Danks was done.

Brian Dozier singled in Danks’ last run off Scott Carroll to put the Twins ahead by seven.

Danks’ effort wasn’t the worst of the trip in which White Sox starting pitchers went 0-5 with a 10.39 ERA. The group gave up 30 runs (25 earned) and 38 hits in 21 2/3 innings.

[MORE: Sox release first-round pick Jared Mitchell]

“It was pretty awful,” Danks said. “I set the tone. … We need to play better. The pitchers talked and we haven’t given our team too much of a chance to win a lot of our games.”

Though it may be hard to imagine, an already awful week only got worse.

“We didn’t see this coming,” Danks said.

The White Sox scored twice in the top of the fourth as Minnesota starter Mike Pelfrey hit three batters, including two to force in runs, and walked another.

But the Twins kept hitting and the White Sox continued to kick the ball around. Plouffe singled in a run to make it 8-2. Micah Johnson then made a nice diving stop of Kennys Vargas -- who later homered -- but threw the ball into left field instead of starting a double play.

Minnesota, which finished with 19 hits, singled in two more runs to go ahead 10-2 and move Vargas to third.

[RELATED: Abreu says blame should be on players, not Ventura]

Geovany Soto committed the team’s fourth error as Dan Jennings’ pitch bounced to his right and the catcher, believing Vargas was coming home, flipped the ball over the pitcher’s head, which then allowed the runner to easily score.

“They came out swinging and beat us,” Soto said.

The offense matched its best output of the trip but was no match for the Twins.

A group that is last in the American League in a number of offensive categories couldn’t break through against Pelfrey early. Alexei Ramirez grounded into a double play in the second inning after consecutive hits by LaRoche and Avisail Garcia to start. Then in the third, J.B. Shuck popped out with a man at second and Jose Abreu stranded a pair with a fielder’s choice.

The Sox scored two courtesy of Pelfrey’s wild streak in the fourth. But reliever Ryan Pressly took over and got Shuck to fly out to left and struck out Melky Cabrera to strand the bases loaded.

“You sit there and scratch your head looking at it because you go through spring training and do everything we do for a month and a half and it looks like this,” Ventura said. “You want to play better baseball. You want to remember it and forget it all at the same time. Again, it has to improve.”

Chris Sale labors in World Series opener for Red Sox

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USA TODAY

Chris Sale labors in World Series opener for Red Sox

When Chris Sale was with the White Sox, fans dreamed of seeing him headline a postseason playoff rotation.

That never materialized in his time with the White Sox, but Sale is headlining a World Series rotation for the Red Sox. The 29-year-old pitched Game 1 for the Red Sox against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Sale didn't last long, making it into the fifth and getting pulled before recording an out. In those 4+ innings, Sale gave up three runs while striking out seven.

One of the key plays of the game featured Manny Machado getting an RBI single against Sale in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2. Machado later had an RBI groundout to again tie the game in the fifth before Boston regained the lead in the bottom half of that inning.

Was that a meeting of the White Sox past (Sale) against the White Sox future (Machado)? Machado will be a highly sought after free agent this winter and the White Sox have been connected to the former Orioles infielder since last offseason.

Game 1 featured a stellar pitching matchup of Sale against Clayton Kershaw, but it didn't materialize as it looked on paper. Sale labored while Kershaw gave up five runs in 4+ innings.

This postseason hasn't been a standout one for Sale. The lefty has a 4.40 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over four appearances (three starts and a relief appearance).

The longer Chris Sale is with the Red Sox, the less this will feel relevant to the White Sox, but it is still something to see the longtime White Sox ace on the mound starting a World Series opener.

White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado

Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski comes on the podcast and tells Chuck Garfien why he’d sign Nolan Arenado over Manny Machado (6:15).

Pierzynski criticizes Machado for saying that he doesn’t play hard everyday (7:08). Would he make Machado the face of the White Sox franchise? (12:30)

He also talks about how bullpenning cost the Milwaukee Brewers a spot in the World Series (14:45).

He reveals the former White Sox player who had a gift for recognizing players who tipped their pitches (21:00).  Pierzynski tells behind the scenes stories about former teammates Nick Swisher, Bartolo Colon, Gavin Floyd and more (28:00).

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

White Sox Talk Podcast

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