White Sox

White Sox offense keeps sputtering in loss to Royals

White Sox offense keeps sputtering in loss to Royals

The White Sox were spotted a bases-loaded, nobody-out opportunity to break out of their collective slump. But even putting things on a figurative tee weren’t enough. 

All the White Sox got from that sparkling run-scoring chance in the seventh inning was one run, which was the team’s only tally in a 2-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals in front of 27,631 Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. 

It was the team’s eighth loss in its last 10 games and dealt the American League Central leaders their fourth consecutive series loss in a row. The White Sox aren’t hitting the panic button right now, but haven’t consistently put together both good pitching and good hitting since sweeping the Minnesota Twins two weeks ago. 

“We all have to come together as a unit, as hitters, and understand that we are good and when we get opportunities, we have to capitalize whether it’s a sac fly or ground out and do our job,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “That’s what we haven’t been doing as hitters.”

After being muted for six innings by the combination of Royals starter Danny Duffy — who was on a strict pitch count and only threw 4 1/3 innings — and reliever Peter Moylan, the White Sox offense seemed to wake up in the seventh against left-hander Brian Flynn. Dioner Navarro drew a leadoff walk, and Tyler Saladino followed with a single to left. 

Adam Eaton then laid down a bunt, which was uncharacteristically bobbled by sure-handed Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas to load the bases. Up stepped Jose Abreu — hitting second for the second consecutive game — to face Joakim Soria with the tying run on second. 

Abreu meekly grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, scoring Navarro but neutering the inning. Frazier struck out, stranding the tying run on third, to end the frame. 

Abreu entered Saturday with just a .646 OPS with runners in scoring position, the product of just one extra-base hit (a double). 

“You could see it as far as getting in those situations trying to probably hit a seven-run homer,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You can’t get out of it that way. You gotta be able to relax and get through it.

“… The tough part of baseball is they don’t just give you a week off where there aren’t going to be any games. So I don’t know if he gets a day off or not but we’ll be there for him.”

It hasn’t just been Abreu, though. Frazier pointed to his hitless showing this series, and Brett Lawrie’s sixth-inning single ended an 0-19 stretch. The confluence of middle-of-the-order slumps has been magnified against the defending World Series champs, who have played much better than their 22-20 record would suggest this weekend. 

Starter Miguel Gonzalez did his part by turning in his best start in a White Sox uniform. The 31-year-old right-hander scattered two runs over six innings on six hits with eight strikeouts and no walks — his first start since last July that he didn’t issue a free pass. 

Kansas City plated a run in the first inning on an Eric Hosmer sacrifice fly, and Lorenzo Cain swatted a solo home run in the sixth to notch the second tally. 

“There’s always slim margins that make it hurt,” Ventura said. “If you get blown out 10-1, you had no chance anyway. These are always the ones you look back at the opportunities you had and they’re harder to get over.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.

The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:

— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.

— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.

— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).

— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.

— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)

— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).

Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.