It looks like the dog days of summer have officially arrived.
After suffering the worst loss of the 2014 season on Tuesday night, the White Sox followed it up with an equally listless perfromance this afternoon. The only difference was that Chris Sale pitched instead of John Danks, but that swap could not bridge the gap.
In fact, two mistakes in the second inning sunk proved too costly for his teammates. He started the inning by clipping J.P. Arencibia with a 2-2 slider, then grooved a 2-2 fastball to Adam Rosales, who got enough of it to drop it into the second row in right center for a two-run homer. Rosales entered the game 5-for-9 with two homers off Sale in his career; now he's 6-for-11 with three dingers.
Adding injury to injury, Adam Eaton crashed into the fence at full speed, and had to leave the game with a bruised back -- even though it looked like his front took the brunt of it.
That was the only damage Sale allowed, but it was enough to lead to his second loss of the season. The only knock on his performance was that it was on the inefficient side. The Rangers made him throw 111 pitches over six innings, but he did come away with nine strikeouts to show for it.
The offense didn't have as much to brag about. Dayan Viciedo's seventh-inning solo shot spared the Sox their second shutout in as many games, but the performances were comparable. The Sox did collect eight hits and two walks, but three double plays (two GIDPs, one lineout) and a pickoff erased four of those baserunners. As a result, the Sox only had three chances with runners in scoring position, and stranded just five on the day.
Oddly enough, Jose Abreu had two of those chances, as the Rangers pitched to him twice with runners on and a base open. They lived to tell about it, as Abreu grounded out in the sixth and lined out in the eighth to end both threats. And so the Sox head back on the road after a homestand in which they lost both series to last-place teams.
*Javy Guerra threw a scoreless eighth to end the bullpen's streak of seven innings with at least one run allowed. Daniel Webb extended it by allowing a solo shot to Rosales in the seventh.
*Tyler Flowers gunned down Elvis Andrus on two steal attempts.
*Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone called this game from the Condor's Nest. There really wasn't much of a difference.