Even Chris Sale can’t stop the White Sox’ sadness train.
The Condor’s streak of six consecutive eight-inning starts ended with a thud — or maybe a plunk. His quest for a seventh ended halfway, as the Phillies rocked him for six runs over four innings to hand the White Sox their fifth consecutive loss. The Sox have been outscored 36-17 over this stretch.
Sale couldn’t find his down-and-in slider to right-handed hitters, resulting in three hit batters, two of which set up Philadelphia crooked numbers. Tommy Joseph landed two of the bigger blows, smacking an RBI double that set up Cameron Rupp’s two-run double during a three-run first. Two innings later, Joseph got down on a Sale slider and golfed it into the seats in left field for a two-run shot.
(It should’ve only been a solo shot, but Todd Frazier whiffed trying to tag Roman Quinn on his stolen base attempt. Alex Avila’s throw beat him by plenty, which was the reason he was originally called out. A challenge reversed it. Quinn reached via the second of Sale’s three HBPs, for what it's worth.)
Sale couldn’t stop the bleeding. The Phillies tacked on one more run when Adam Eaton couldn’t cut off Cesar Hernandez’s skimmer to right center. Thankfully, Frazier kept it from getting worse by snagging a liner for an unassisted double play to end the inning. The Sox ended Sale’s night with a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth. Some silver lining: He threw just 72 pitches after averaging 118 the six starts before.
Jerad Eickhoff had an easier time of it. He gave up three homers over his seven innings, including a game-starter to Eaton, but they were all solo shots. Two of them came in his final inning of work — Frazier and Avila back-to-back -- but those only answered for the two runs Philadelphia scored off a wild Chris Beck the inning before.
Beck finished with an unusual final line: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. After pitching a 1-2-3 fifth, he loaded the bases in the sixth by beaning Tyler Goeddel — he kept missing up in the right-handed batter’s box -- and issuing two two-out walks, after which Blake Smith entered and gave up a two-run single.