White Sox

White Sox put themselves in 'tough spot' in loss to Twins

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White Sox put themselves in 'tough spot' in loss to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- This isn’t where the White Sox envisioned themselves come September 1.

Instead of competing for a postseason spot, the White Sox continue to harm themselves with poor play. Instead of beating up on Minnesota, the Twins have beat up on them.

Even though they rallied from four down on Tuesday night, the White Sox dropped another critical game, 8-6, as several late errors doomed them against the red-hot Twins at Target Field.

Zach Duke and Tyler Saladino each had errors in the eighth inning as Minnesota, which started the day one back of the second wild-card spot, scored four times against the White Sox bullpen. The White Sox have lost 10 of 14 meetings with the Twins this season.

“I literally did nothing to help us win a game today, and it’s borderline embarrassing,” Duke said. “If I give up one, OK, but I gave up three. It puts us in a really tough spot. It’s hard to swallow.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: White Sox could further explore Robertson trade in offseason]

Duke is hardly why the White Sox are 61-69 after 130 games.

Despite a large cash infusion of talent in the offseason, this team has failed to consistently put it all together for more than a few days at a time.

One day it’s the offense that struggles. Then the pitching staff, which has carried the most weight, falters for a day or two. Then the defense takes over.

On Tuesday it was the defense’s turn.

The White Sox had managed to work around a rough start by Chris Sale and found themselves ahead headed to the bottom of the seventh, 5-4. Sale retired Joe Mauer to start the inning but exited with 113 pitches.

Minnesota rookie Miguel Sano quickly tied the score with a 401-foot solo homer to left off Nate Jones.

[MORE WHITE SOX: Improved routine has Erik Johnson ready for second shot with White Sox]

An inning later, Eduardo Escobar doubled off Duke, who made an ill-advised throw to first on Kurt Suzuki’s bunt that got away, allowing Escobar to score the go-ahead run. Saladino then couldn’t handle Byron Buxton’s hot shot, which set up two more runs.

The White Sox scored once in the ninth and had the tying runs aboard for Jose Abreu flew out to center against Glen Perkins.

“Defensively, at the end, that’s what you are disappointed about,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You didn’t get it done that way. It’s tough. They’ve been battling. They’ve been tough on us all year. But the execution there at the end just didn’t get it done.”

Sale looked as if he was on his way to another rough start against the Twins, who had produced 17 of the 61 earned runs he has allowed this season in four starts before Tuesday. Whereas Sale has a 2.68 ERA against everyone else this season, he was 1-3 with a 6.46 ERA in four starts against Minnesota.

The Twins scored four times in the second to break open a scoreless game.

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But Sale kept the situation from snowballing and the White Sox rallied.

Sale struck out 10 -- his 13th start this season with at least 10 -- and allowed four earned runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked one.

“We came back and fought,” Sale said. “You just want to give your team a chance to win and not let it snowball and make things worse.”

The White Sox rally began in the fifth when Adam LaRoche singled and Twins starter Tyler Duffey walked the next three batters, including Tyler Flowers with the bases loaded. Adam Eaton, who went 4-for-5, singled in two more to cut the lead to 4-3.

An inning later, Avisail Garcia’s two-run homer off Casey Fien gave the White Sox a one-run lead.

But it wasn’t enough to overcome the late mistakes.

“We continue to put ourselves in situations to be one hit away, so as long as we’re in those situations, we still have a chance,” Duke said. “The team never backs down and never rolls over. It’s encouraging to watch us grind out and come back in games, and then to give it up like I did tonight, it hurts.”

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.