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.”
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.”