The good news on Saturday night was that the Chicago White Sox bullpen, all five members of it in this contest, ushered in just one earned run over 6 1⁄3 innings.
The bad? Well, starter Dylan Covey was tagged for seven earned runs in nary three innings of work in the 8-7 Angels win over the White Sox.
Covey again proved that he is at best an opener or six-out middle reliever at the major league level, swelling his ERA to 7.69 with the shelling, which dropped his won-loss to 1-8. His seven earned (the final two came in on reliever Carson Fulmer’s watch, but hey, five earned in 2 2⁄3 is nothing to write home to Charlotte about) came off of seven hits and two walks, with one homer.
The White Sox proved that no amount of adequate defense or strong offense can surmount a 7-2 hole through three innings, though they did try.
In the fifth, Tim Anderson doubled in Ryan Cordell, TA’s second double and second RBI of the game (Anderson went 2-for-5 in the leadoff spot ... whoa, McEwing! ... and continues to lead the American League in hitting, at .334), and Yoán Moncada singled in Anderson to snip the Angels lead to 7-4.
After Kevan Smith homered to stretch the lead to 8-4 in the top of the seventh, José Abreu punched back in the bottom half with a three-run homer, his 30th of the season. The three ribbies pushed Abreu’s season total to 111, which also leads the AL.
But Eloy Jiménez (0-for-4, two Ks) whiffed at three straight breaking pitches to end the seventh, and the White Sox exited meekly, without a hit, in the eighth and ninth.
The top three of Anderson-Moncada-Abreu accounted for six of the Chisox’s eight hits (Moncada went 3-for-4, pushing his average to .298), so a triumph of lineup construction is again overshadowed by an utter lack of consistent major league hitters in the bottom two-thirds.
And while the White Sox reliever corps managed to keep points off the board, they were quite wild about it, combining for seven walks, a wild pitch and a balk.
The White Sox attempt to avert a home sweep and stop a free-fall from any hopes of 70 wins (current pace with 20 games left: 71-91) behind the arm of Dylan Cease on Sunday. He and opponent righty Jaime Barria are evenly matched, with equal losses (seven) and Ks (64) on the season. Gametime 1:10, WGN all around.