Rough fourth inning dooms Carroll, Sox to defeat

Five-run frame fueled by errors; righty gives up seven, three earned

Rough fourth inning dooms Carroll, Sox to defeat

CHICAGO -- A slew of defensive blunders led to five runs in the fourth inning as the White Sox endured their ninth loss in 10 games with a 7-1 defeat to the Tigers on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

Jose Abreu accounted for two errors that led to a pair of runs, and a ground-rule double that was touched by a fan led to another. Of the five runs in the inning, four went unearned against rookie starter Scott Carroll.

This on a day where pregame chatter surrounded how well the infield had played defensively.

"It was a jinx," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It was just an off night."

Said Carroll: "For me especially, I'm a sinkerball guy. I'm going to rely on my defense, make them put the ball in play. The more times they're seeing pitches and able to see some pitches up, it makes it tougher."

The White Sox also struggled to round the bases.

They had 10 hits and two walks and the bases loaded once, but went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Chicago left runners on second and third in the first frame for the second straight day.

The White Sox notched a single, a double, two walks, a two-base error and loaded the bases against Justin Verlander -- yet only mustered one run, on an Adam Dunn sacrifice fly.

"We had a chance and you don't take advantage of it," Ventura said. "He usually gets stronger as he goes along. You see him in the middle there, all of the sudden he can get it up there at 95. He gets stronger as he goes along and you have to take advantage of it early and we just missed our shot."

Tyler Flowers was called out on strikes to end the inning. Alejandro De Aza then opened the second inning with a double into the right-field corner, but he was tagged out trying stretch it into a triple. De Aza finished 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Carroll left after giving up a second single to nine-hole batter Ezequiel Carrera. Carroll finished with seven runs (three earned) on 10 hits with no walks and two strikeouts in five-plus frames.

"I feel like I'm so close, but I have to keep working and keep improving," Carroll said.

Added Verlander: "[Carroll] saved the bullpen, and I thought he did a really good job settling down after that. Obviously a tough situation to be in, but he grinded it and was able to eat up some innings for those guys.

The bullpen allowed no runs and three hits in four innings, including two hitless frames from Ronald Belisario. Matt Lindstrom and Maikel Cleto tossed a combined two innings, with three hits and a strikeout.

Verlander tossed six scoreless innings after the first. The former Cy Young winner threw 116 pitches (77 strikes) over seven innings, with nine hits, eight strikeouts and two walks.

"I was throwing a lot of balls that were extremely hittable early in the game, just not hitting my spots, kind of a carryover from last game, having to knock off some rust. But it got better as the game went on, which I expected would happen, and I was able to make better pitches later in the game and at least keep my pitch count down a little bit."

Abreu went 3-for-3 with a double and walk, elevating his average to .316 -- fifth in the Majors. He was replaced at first base by Dayan Viciedo in the eighth, and was seen limping rounding second base in the first.

"He's fine. I think he's just tired," Ventura said. "That's a part of it when you do things like that. He's been on base a lot. Just trying to give him a breather so you get him out of there."

Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.