Before tonight’s game, I highlighted Juan Minaya, Aaron Bummer and Jake Petricka as the three most curious cases remaining in the White Sox bullpen.
As luck would have it, they all pitched tonight. And they all factored into a five-run collapse in the eighth inning, even though they all started well enough.
Minaya started the eighth by allowing a single to Justin Turner, and since that baserunner ended up representing the go-ahead run that eventually came around, he was saddled with the loss. In his defense, he struck out two during a scoreless seventh, and Turner’s one of the league’s best hitters.
Then Bummer came in and got Cody Bellinger to bounce into a forceout at second, so he retired the lefty with no issue. But he fell behind switch-hitting Yasmani Grandal 2-0 and walked him, and then he fell behind Yasiel Puig 3-0 and walked him to load the bases.
And that’s when Rick Renteria called for Jake Petricka, who definitely has the longest track record, yet is probably the worst reliever on the team. Again, his outing started in an encouraging fashion, as he got Logan Forsythe to hit a chopper to third. Tyler Saladino rushed the throw home and got the forceout, but it was so low that Kevan Smith had no chance of throwing to first, keeping the inning alive.
Then Petricka plunked Joc Pederson to bring home the go-ahead run regardless, and then three ground-ball singles later, the Dodgers led 6-1. Petricka ended the inning by striking out Turner with a pity call.
So if that’s how the most interesting part of the White Sox bullpen fared, the last seven weeks are going to be a blast.
Then again, it is the Dodgers, a team that improved to 84-34 with the win. That alone suggested a loss, and when the Sox stopped scoring after the very first pitch of the game -- a Tim Anderson homer — it became more a matter of when than if.
Miguel Gonzalez did what he could, holding the Dodgers to a run over six innings. He survived some fly balls, but he ended up losing the shutout bid with an innocuous infield single by Bellinger, which turned into a run after a single, walk and sacrifice fly.
The Sox had a chance to regain the lead in the top of the seventh when Leury Garcia led off with a double. Yoan Moncada advanced him to third with a groundout to the right side, but Adam Engel’s grounder to the left side was right at Turner, who kept Garcia at third before throwing to first for the second out. Alen Hanson came to the plate, and Alex Wood caught him looking to end a very fine seven innings.
Record: 45-71 | Box score