Shields takes blame for loss, vows to be better

White Sox starter allows eight runs on four homers over 1 1/3 innings

Shields takes blame for loss, vows to be better

CHICAGO -- There doesn't need to be a great deal of deep analysis placed behind the White Sox 10-2 loss to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

Starter James Shields summed up the shellacking very succinctly and honestly after the South Siders lost the series.

"Today, I was pretty much bad all-around," said Shields, who lasted 1 1/3 innings and took the loss. "I wasn't hitting my spots, I was leaving the ball out over the plate and they were capitalizing.

"You can't do that to this team -- they're too good of a team and I've got to do a better job today overall. There's no excuse, no excuse whatsoever for that today."

Shields' rough afternoon, featuring eight runs allowed on six hits, two walks and two hit batters, contributed to Manny Machado's historic performance. The Orioles' third baseman and American League Most Valuable Player Award candidate homered in the first inning to drive in two and then followed in the second with a three-run line drive into the left-field stands.

Machado added a third home run off of reliever Matt Albers in the third, making him the second player in Major League history to homer in each of the first three innings, per STATS. But Shields, who also allowed jacks to Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy, knew he was in for a long afternoon after Machado's first-pitch long ball in the first.

"I tried to go in off the plate to be honest with you, and [I] left it right over the middle," Shields said. "You can't do that to a hitter like that. Machado's a good hitter -- he's one of the best in the game and he's going to put a swing on it."

"You've got a guy that was extremely hot today and is one of the best players in the game," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You can't make mistakes like that. He just single-handedly put us in a hole, and I'm talking about Machado."

Ventura could have been talking about Shields, in regard to the 8-0 deficit dug after two innings.

The White Sox jumped the starting pitcher's market by acquiring Shields from San Diego on June 4. Shields had three miserable starts to open his Chicago career, but prior to a misstep this past Tuesday in Detroit, he had put together six straight quality starts.

That streak featured 21 strikeouts and 12 walks over 42 innings, so Shields wasn't exactly overpowering or fooling opposing hitters. As a veteran, he has learned to put good or bad starts behind him quickly and focus on his next trip to the mound.

But Shields readily admits that Sunday's effort can't be representative of future outings.

"One through nine, they're a good-hitting ballclub. But on any given day, I feel like I can beat them and today, I didn't," said Shields, who threw 35 pitches in the first inning and has allowed 14 runs over his past 6 1/3 innings. "I didn't do my job."

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.