White Sox both provide and miss opportunities in loss
By August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- In many ways, the White Sox were their own worst enemy in a 4-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Wednesday afternoon.
There were two errors committed in the field, one of which led to a run. Another play -- a dribbler to third base by Jerry Sands that Conor Gillaspie couldn't field cleanly -- was originally ruled an error but changed to an infield hit. That led to a run, too.
There was a strikeout on a bunt foul in the ninth inning with two runners on, down two runs. There were 10 runners left on base. There were only two hits in 10 opportunities with runners in scoring position. The list goes on.
"I think [John Danks] actually pitched all right," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We didn't do him any favors behind him. Lot of miscues that lead to runs, and they end up biting you at the end. We had a lot of opportunities."
Danks only lasted 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and two walks. He struck out three.
"That's baseball," Danks said. "It happens. Plenty of balls that get hit on the nose end up being caught, so I try not to worry about it too much. But it's certainly frustrating."
The first error came in the third inning. Indians catcher Roberto Perez laid down a sacrifice bunt with a runner on first, and White Sox catcher Geovany Soto threw it into right field. Two batters later, that runner came around to score.
Another mistake came in the seventh, when right fielder J.B. Shuck misplayed a line drive and let it get past him, allowing Bourn to reach second with a double.
Around the miscues were three infield hits, and a grounder by Carlos Santana that went right through a hole vacated by the shortstop, who had moved from his normal post as part of an infield shift.
"Infield hits are infield hits," second baseman Micah Johnson said. "You can't really do anything about that. ... Guys are going to hit the ball off the end of the bat and get a hit. That's the nature of the game."
When the White Sox needed to work some infield magic of their own in the ninth inning, it backfired against them, just like the shift. Trailing, 4-2, heading into the ninth, the White Sox got their first two batters on base with a walk and a hit by pitch.
Adam Eaton represented the winning run, but had three consecutive bunt attempts go foul, and was called out on strikes. The next two batters made outs, and the game of missed opportunities was lost for the White Sox.
"You expect [Eaton] to be able to get that down," Ventura said. "Even in the past, he's done it with two strikes. He's comfortable doing that, you just have to be able to get it down and get it over to the third baseman. You've just got to do a better job.
"When you're playing good teams like that, you have to play better than we played today. And we know that."
August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.