Pitching woes once again plague White Sox

Pitching woes once again plague White Sox

CHICAGO -- The good news for the White Sox coming off an 11-8 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field is that the offense scored eight times to give the hosts 18 runs over the first two games of this series.

Then, there's the bad news. For the second straight night, the White Sox received subpar starting pitching, and for the second straight night, they had to fight their way out from a steep deficit.

Those sorts of comebacks make for exciting baseball at times, but it's certainly not a recipe for long-term or short-term success.

"It's tough when early on it goes that way," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "At least our guys came out swinging, that's a good sign. That's a rough start, two days in a row. It kind of wears on your bullpen -- multiple-inning guys and being able to survive that."

"They're never giving up. That's what we're all about," said starter Miguel Gonzalez, who took the loss. "It's frustrating. We put up eight runs and don't get the win. I have to do a better job keeping the team in the game and minimizing damage."

After James Shields allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits over five innings in Monday's 10-9 extra-innings victory, with the Tigers racing to a 7-0 lead, Gonzalez yielded seven runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings Tuesday. The two have combined to work 8 1/3 innings, while allowing 13 earned runs on 17 hits, and walking eight and striking out four.

Tuesday's deficit was 10-2, and when Tyler Saladino homered in the ninth to give him a career-high four RBIs, the White Sox had trimmed the margin to three. They would get no closer, with Matt Purke and Michael Ynoa basically bailing out the bullpen via 4 2/3 innings of relief.

"We were trying to squeeze a little bit out of [Gonzalez] there in the end," Ventura said. "With Michael coming up today, you don't know how many you're going to get out of him. Matt did what he could, so he at least we got through it."

"You've got to embrace that, you gotta enjoy that kind of stuff. We do," said Saladino of the offense fighting its way back. "That's part of competition. If you are on top, you keep trying to bury them. If you're down, you get back on top. It's just competition. Get after it every day."

Detroit's three-run third was aided by an Avisail Garcia misplay in right, leading to a Miguel Cabrera ground-rule double. If Garcia makes the catch, Gonzalez could have escaped that frame scoreless. Ventura acknowledged that J.B. Shuck could be in right for Wednesday's series finale.

Chris Sale starts Wednesday, with the White Sox hoping to claim a series win. The 10-game winner seems unlikely to have an abbreviated start, based on his overall body of work, but getting the combination of pitching and hitting has eluded the White Sox for most of the last 33 games.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.