White Sox

White Sox lose fourth straight, drop series opener to Twins

White Sox lose fourth straight, drop series opener to Twins

Tuesday night’s contest is one of those painful times general manager Rick Hahn promised would come.

A rebuild often includes some ugly moments that drive fans mad. Normally, they come in bunches, too.

What can make it even more frustrating is when a familiar face comes back to do some damage. Hector Santiago played that role yet again on Tuesday as he shut down his old teammates, who were looking to bounce back from their worst series of the season after a surprising start.

Santiago and the Minnesota Twins were too much as the White Sox dropped their fourth straight with a 7-2 loss in front of 14,498 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mike Pelfrey took the loss for the White Sox, who dropped to 15-16.

“We’ve got to put everything together,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “We’ve got the energy, but it seems like right now we’re not clicking on all cylinders.”

Pelfrey looked good early against the Twins, the team he pitched for from 2013-15. Making his fourth start of the season for the White Sox, Pelfrey retired the first eight batters he faced and nine of the first 10.

The White Sox took advantage and spotted Pelfrey a 2-0 lead with a pair of RBI singles in the bottom of the third inning. But the lead was gone in an instant as Minnesota rallied for three quick runs in the fourth.

Jorge Polanco led off with a single, stole second and scored on a Max Kepler RBI single. Kennys Vargas then turned around a 92-mph sinker from Pelfrey and deposited it into the right-field bleachers, the two-run shot exiting his bat at 115 mph to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead.

“It’s never good to give up three, but especially after we score two,” Pelfrey said. “I’m pretty disappointed in myself for that. That kills the team. That’s not good.”

“I don’t think we ever gave up in Baltimore and kept fighting and had some close games. That’s a good team, a really good team.

“Tonight, I’ll take the blame for that. These guys gave me a lead and I gave it right back. That can be demoralizing and that’s my fault.”

A replacement for the injured James Shields, Pelfrey’s output began to rapidly slow down. While he recorded two more outs, the right-hander exited with two runners aboard after he walked Kepler in the fifth inning.

Dan Jennings retired Vargas to end the threat.

But it was the third time in four starts that Pelfrey hasn’t completed five innings.

The outing left too much work for a banged up bullpen, which is missing Nate Jones, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka. Jennings, who appeared for the 15th time in 31 games, allowed three earned runs and three hits in 2/3 of an inning as the Twins began to pull away. Minnesota had six hits in seven at-bats to start the top of the sixth against Jennings and Chris Beck, scoring four times to make it 7-2.

That was more than the White Sox offense could match.

For the sixth time in nine games, the White Sox scored fewer than three runs. An offense that appears to be woefully short on on-base percentage has scored three or fewer runs in 17 of its 31 games.

The White Sox appeared to have found the elixir to solve Santiago’s dominance against them. Omar Narvaez walked with one out in the third inning and singles by Willy Garcia and Tyler Saladino made it a 1-0 game. Jose Abreu then continued his hot streak with an RBI single to right to make it 2-0.

But Santiago, who entered 4-1 with a 1.40 ERA against his former team, settled down. He worked around three hits and five walks to limit the White Sox to two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Were that not enough, the White Sox threw in a pair of outfield errors for good measure on consecutive plays. Avisail Garcia overran the two-run single of Ehire Adrianza in the sixth inning, which allowed the batter to reach second base. Adrianza then scored on Byron Buxton’s RBI single that made it 6-2. Willy Garcia made an error on that one, which allowed Buxton to move into scoring position. He then scored easily on Joe Mauer’s RBI single.

“We couldn’t minimize their damage as they continued to tack on runs and we weren’t able to respond,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s that simple.

“When you’re trying to establish a way of playing the game of baseball, of which they’ve kind of taken hold of it -- we’ll move forward and we can’t get too high or too low. You’re right, this is four in a row. As far as this one, it’s done.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 1

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 1

We asked you to ask us anything about the White Sox and you delivered in a big way. We got so many questions, we had to do two different podcasts! Among the questions here in Part 1: should the White Sox send Yoan Moncada to Triple-A? What players will be traded before the deadline? Who are some sleeper prospects in the minors? Will Jordan Stephens be called up before Michael Kopech? Should Juan Uribe be a team ambassador? What's our all-time White Sox team from 2000 to the present and many more.

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

Rick Hahn says 'there will be many' promotions for White Sox prospects this week

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USA TODAY

Rick Hahn says 'there will be many' promotions for White Sox prospects this week

The White Sox have a number of highly-rated prospects performing well in the minors and some of them will be on the move within the system in a matter of days.

General manager Rick Hahn talked to reporters ahead of Monday night's White Sox game in Cleveland, a 6-2 loss, and gave the news. Well, sort of.

He didn't include names, but he did say that "there will be many" promotions after the minor league all-star games for Double-A and both Single-A teams take place on Tuesday.

Hahn added that Chris Getz, the White Sox player development director, will address the media before the White Sox host Oakland on Thursday about the moves.

If the all-star games are a reason to wait, it's safe to think some of the players involved will be playing in those games. So who could be on the move?

Double-A Birmingham has six all-stars: Eloy Jimenez, Zack Collins, Seby Zavala, Danny Mendick, Dane Dunning and Ian Hamilton. Jimenez is the name everyone wants to see on the move. He has torched the Southern League since getting off to a late start to the season due to injury. Hahn was asked about Jimenez, but didn't tip his hand as to whether he would be one of the promotions.

Dunning has been good in Double-A (2.78 ERA, 65 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings), but was already promoted this season so he may not be on the move again.

Single-A Winston-Salem has five all-stars: Dylan Cease, Luis Alexander Basabe, Joel Booker, Bernardo Flores and Matt Foster. Cease, 22, could be due for a promotion with a 2.89 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. There's also that outfield logjam the Dash, which won the first-half division title, have had all season.

Other than Basabe and Booker, Blake Rutherford and Alex Call are also noteworthy prospects being forced to split time in the Dash's outfield. If Jimenez is moving up to Triple-A, one or two names from this group could be on the move to take his spot in Birmingham.

This would especially make sense if highly-touted outfield prospect Luis Robert, who was supposed to be in Single-A Kannapolis for a short period before joining the Dash, is ready to move up as planned. Robert is hitting .289/.360/.400 in 13 games with the Intimidators.

Birmingham, Winston-Salem and Kannapolis were all off Monday. The various all-star games will take place Tuesday and the three teams will be off again Wednesday. The promotions could be announced Thursday ahead of Getz's scheduled media availability.