White Sox

White Sox road woes continue in loss to Brewers


White Sox road woes continue in loss to Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- It’s impossible to mask how awful the White Sox have been on the road this season.

The woes that have plagued them resurfaced early Monday evening and were costly enough for a valiant White Sox comeback to come up short in a 10-7 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park in front of 29,886. Elian Herrera’s two-run homer and a Khris Davis solo shot off Zach Duke in the eighth inning undid all the good after the White Sox rallied from deficits of six and five runs.

The White Sox -- who have played .667 ball at home -- dropped to 2-12 away from U.S. Cellular Field, including seven straight losses, and have been outscored 89-44.

A combination of a porous defense and Jeff Samardzija mistakes added up to a 6-0 deficit by the fourth inning.

“We played poorly at the beginning of the game to get us into that situation,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We've got to catch the ball. We have to do a better job of doing that, and pitching, doing better than that.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Despite their poor start, the White Sox impossibly found themselves with a chance to pull ahead in the top of the eighth inning. After Adam Eaton’s two-out, RBI single tied it at 7, Melky Cabrera ripped a ball to center field only to have Carlos Gomez rob him of a pair of RBIs to end the inning.

Herrera then completed the swing of momentum in the bottom of the eighth with a long, two-run blast into the left-field bleachers to put Milwaukee ahead 9-7. One out later, Davis’ drive made it a three-run game.

“It doesn’t feel good to give up the lead right after we battled so hard to get back into the game,” Duke said. “Unfortunately my location was off today. I left a couple of pitches up and they hammered them.”

The White Sox were in a big hole before the offense found its rhythm.

Conor Gillaspie singled in the fifth inning and Geovany Soto homered with one out off Wily Peralta to get the White Sox within four. The White Sox actually brought the tying run to the plate in the fifth but Jose Abreu grounded out with the bases loaded to keep the score 6-2.

Eaton -- who reached base all five times and finished with four hits -- singled in a run and Abreu drove in two more with one of his three hits to make it 7-5. Gillaspie doubled to start the eighth and Alexei Ramirez and pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche both singled to make it a one-run game. Eaton’s single with two outs off Jonathan Broxton tied it but Gomez ensured that was all the Sox would get.

Monday’s game seemed to be over before most viewers had time to flip the channel.

In the first inning, Micah Johnson couldn’t glove a hot shot from leadoff man Gerardo Parra. Soto had a chance to nab Parra stealing second, but threw wide of the base. Ramirez botched a routine Ryan Braun grounder to put on the corners. And Johnson and Ramirez couldn’t convert a potential double play. Gomez followed that magic with a two-run homer to left-center field.

“It’s the way the game goes sometimes,” Samardzija said. “You have to bear down and pick your teammates up. You can’t hang a slider to Gomez, regardless of how they got on base. You still have to make your pitches and make good pitches.

“Gomez took advantage of that pitch and put us in the three-run deficit, which hurt.”

[MORE: White Sox offense continues to show signs of life]

Parra doubled in a run in the second inning with two outs to make it 4-0. Ramirez then slid on Ryan Braun’s grounder and didn’t knock it down, which allowed another run to score.

In the fifth inning, Gomez tripled and scored -- barely ahead of Soto’s tag -- when Avisail Garcia’s relay throw from the right-field corner ended up in shallow left field and Cabrera fired home.

The White Sox have been outscored 58-18 during their seven-game, road-losing streak.

“When you start out that way and you can't catch it, it just makes it tougher on the pitching and I think then the pitcher's trying to make up for it by doing a little bit too much,” Ventura said. “We obviously have to be better than that.”

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

The White Sox rebuilding puzzle is getting closer to completion.

Zack Collins is reportedly en route to the major leagues, according to a report from Miami talk-show host Andy Slater. That adds another one of the White Sox highly rated prospects to the growing list of them at the big league level as the franchise’s contention window looks set to open relatively soon.

Collins was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016, selected with the No. 10 pick that year out of the University of Miami. Currently ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the farm system, he’s always been praised for his offensive abilities. Last season at Double-A Birmingham, he finished the year with a .382 on-base percentage and launched 15 homers, also winning the Home Run Derby at the Southern League All-Star Game.

In 48 games with Triple-A Charlotte this season, Collins owns a .258/.382/.497 slash line with nine homers, nine doubles, 38 RBIs and 35 walks.

Collins has been lauded as a big bat, but there have been questions about other parts of his game as he’s risen through the system. From the day he was drafted, there were questions about his defensive ability, leading to speculation that he might one day end up at a position besides catcher. He’s also racked up the strikeouts in the minors, with 396 of them in 322 games over his four minor league seasons.

But the White Sox haven’t wavered in their confidence that Collins can be a big league catcher, and it looks like that’s the position he’ll fill should the White Sox call him up before the start of next week’s Crosstown series with the Cubs. Welington Castillo was removed from Sunday’s loss to the New York Yankees with back tightness. The team said Castillo will be reevaluated on Monday. With this report of Collins’ promotion, it looks like Castillo could be headed to the injured list.

Another top prospect reaching the majors adds another tangible example of rebuilding progress. Fans have been clamoring for the promotions of Dylan Cease and Luis Robert all season long, and while Collins might be a little further down in the rankings than those two, this should still please fans who, even in a season filled with positives, want to see a more rapid advancement toward the rebuild’s ultimate goal.

Collins will perhaps benefit from a lack of pressure, what with James McCann in the midst of a potentially All-Star season as the White Sox primary catcher. The White Sox could perhaps continue to lean on McCann, allowing Collins to ease into the major leagues.

But just like Michael Kopech last August and Eloy Jimenez in March, Collins’ mere arrival is a step forward in this process, one that should please fans immensely.

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Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues


Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

Yoan Moncada's battle with his back issues might not be as over as we thought.

The third baseman made his return to the White Sox starting lineup Sunday following a four-game layoff due to a mild back strain. But his return didn't last long. After a fourth-inning strikeout in his second plate appearance of the 10-3 loss to the visiting New York Yankees, Moncada was removed from the game with what the team announced as upper back tightness.

Moncada is described as day to day. The White Sox have an off day Monday ahead of the start of a two-game Crosstown series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

"He's doing good. I think I'm not the only one who noticed his grimace in the swing. It made no sense to continue to expose him to that," manager Rick Renteria said after Sunday's game. "All indications are he should be ready to go on Tuesday.

"Didn't seem to put him in any predicament. Hopefully it didn't set him back. All indications are that hopefully he'll be back on Tuesday."

Moncada was removed from Monday's game against the Washington Nationals with what was initially described as back spasms. Renteria updated the verbiage to a back strain in the following days. Moncada missed Tuesday's game against the Nationals, went through a Wednesday off day and then missed the first three games of the four-game weekend set with the Yankees. His return lasted all of four innings Sunday before he was taken out again.

"Just watching the swing, watching the finish, which is what I was concerned with, getting through the ball. He's ready to get through the ball, it's just the finish. He's feeling a little something there," Renteria said. "You can't replicate it in any drill work. We've tried to do it. Everything he did was good. All the work he did was good.

"Everything we tried to do to replicate it, it wasn't existent until you get into the game, then you know. That's why I think it was a good — I don't know if you want to call it a test, but it was a test. We wanted to see where he was at. Didn't make any sense to continue to push him. Get him ready and calm it down and get him ready for the series against the North Siders."

Moncada wasn't the only White Sox hitter removed from Sunday's game. Welington Castillo, who was the designated hitter, was taken out with what the team announced as lower back tightness. Renteria confirmed after the game that Castillo's injury came on his swing in the second inning, a line drive off the center-field wall that ended up as only a single. Castillo will be reevaluated during the off day Monday.

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