Bullpen struggles haunt Sox in extras defeat

Robertson can't hold lead after Anderson's go-ahead single in 11th

Bullpen struggles haunt Sox in extras defeat

KANSAS CITY -- White Sox closer David Robertson spoke of his individual struggles following a 3-2 loss to the Royals in 14 innings on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

But in addressing his sixth blown save of the season and fourth since returning from a high left leg strain on July 18, Robertson could have been speaking for the entire team after yet another tough loss.

"It's frustrating," Robertson said. "Guys did a great job of coming back there in the [11th] inning, and then I came in and just screwed it all up. I really needed to get it done right there.

"I didn't make enough good pitches. I left balls over the plate. You walk the leadoff guy, he's going to score. I'm frustrated with myself, more frustrated that I let the team down. We all needed this one. I have to be better."

"We have to be better" could be the entire 2016 mantra, with the White Sox just good enough to not be good enough. In Game 2 of this three-game series, Jose Quintana once again pitched well enough to win by throwing 7 1/3 strong innings in 102-degree heat.

Quintana was in line to pick up his 10th victory for the first time in his career if the White Sox held on. But the offense couldn't build the left-hander any sort of cushion, with Quintana clinging to a 1-0 lead after Paulo Orlando's one-out double in the eighth knocked him from the game after 97 pitches.

Cheslor Cuthbert doubled on Nate Jones' first pitch, and Quintana was left with his Major League-high 58th no-decision since 2012. Through the lack of run support and the lost victories, Quintana maintains his All-Star focus and demeanor.

"I've never got to 10, but I have my focus on more than that," said Quintana, whose ERA dropped to 2.85. "I think more than 10. I just try to get the win for my team."

"The way you always look at it is, you want your starters to get the bulk of it and when they do, you want him to get the win," manager Robin Ventura said. "I root for him. It's hard not to."

Robertson's blown save on Monday cost Chris Sale a victory, but was a little easier to take when the White Sox rallied to win. The frustration crept higher with Wednesday's setback, culminating with Lorenzo Cain's two-out, walk-off single off Matt Albers.

Kansas City's offense finished 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13. The White Sox went 2-for-9 with RISP and stranded 12, although Tim Anderson's two-out single scoring Todd Frazier in the 11th presented Robertson with a lead he couldn't hold.

"Both teams had a lot of opportunities," Ventura said. "It's a tough one when you go 14 and know you had a chance to put it away a couple different times and couldn't do it."

"Tonight everyone played their butts off and I wasn't able to get it done," Robertson said. "I've got to be better and be able to pick these guys up. It's what we need."

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.