For a change, the Chicago White Sox fought back hard in the face of a significant deficit, but ultimately fell short, losing 12-6 to the Houston Astros in a slow-developing runaway at Minute Maid Park.
James Shields was his usual mediocre self on Saturday, throwing 5 2⁄3 innings with his usual results: 10 hits, eight earned, two walks and a game score of 23 made downright preposterous by the fact that the righthander whiffed nine Astros.
The White Sox crept back to within 6-5 on the strength of Omar Narváez’s 3-2, two-out, bases-clearing double to left field, which knocked Houston starter Charlie Morton out of the box. But with with Narváez on third base after a wild pitch, Will Harris whiffed Tim Anderson.
Chicago would get no closer.
Houston scored eight runs over their last four frames — including three in the now routinely-murderous eighth — to arrive at the final, blowout tally.
Shields, who had a nice run of starts in June that is getting smaller and smaller in the rearview, did the opposite of his claim to fame this season by necessitating early bullpen help.
The bullpen did not respond by bowing its neck.
Bruce Rondón gave up an earned run in his work stretching sixth to seventh, and then Jace Fry was battered for four hits and three earned runs in the process of getting just two outs.
In all, White Sox pitching surrendered 17 hits and 12 earned runs in just eight innings.
At 30-59, Chicago falls to a season-high 29 games under .500.