Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale wasn’t his usual self this afternoon, as he allowed six runs (five earned) over 6.2 innings pitched. Sale was aiming for the record Wednesday of 12-plus strikeouts in six straight starts, however he came up short with 10.
That is not too shabby, as it gives Sale seven-straight starts with double-digit strikeouts. However, Sale was not the main issue which is not a surprise. Poor defense (three errors), and the bats not showing up is what hurt the White Sox in a big way this afternoon.
Here is the recap.
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Leading off the top of the second inning, Adam LaRoche hit a solo home run, giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead. LaRoche would also hit two more doubles, but his teammates weren’t able to bring him home either time.
For the most part, Sale cruised through the first three innings. He ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth. Brian Dozier led off with a double, who would be advanced to third by a groundout. Torii Hunter than hit a ground rule double to right, which scored Dozier.
After Sale walked Trevor Plouffe, Eduardo Nunez doubled, scoring Hunter and advancing Plouffe to third base. With Plouffe on 3rd, Kurt Suzuki brought Plouffe home with a sacrifice fly. Sale retired Kennys Vargas to end the inning.
There would be no more scoring until the bottom of the seventh inning.
Sox killer Kurt Suzuki led off the inning with a double, and Vargas followed him up with a single (Suzuki to third). Shane Robinson then singled to center, however, the ball got under Adam Eaton’s glove, scoring both runners.
Robinson ended up on third after all was said and done. Byron Buxton struck out, and then Dozier drove home the final run of the day with a single to left. Sale was left in the game to face Joe Mauer whom he retired. Daniel Webb relieved Sale who pitched the final out of the seventh and the entire eighth. Webb did not allow a run to score.
Jun 24, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes (45) pitches to the Chicago White Sox in the first inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Overall, the White Sox were held down again, this time by Phil Hughes. Hughes went eight innings, and only needed 95 pitches to do so. The Sox were not able to work a walk, which is not surprising considering it is not something the Sox do well.
Eaton was the only other Sox hitter outside of LaRoche to record multiple hits (two), as Abreu, Garcia, and Cabrera were held hitless.
It seems as though this offense isn’t a whole lot different from the 2013 offense, which is very concerning. With the trade deadline approaching at the end of next month, it will be interesting to see what the Sox to in order to improve the club heading into 2016.