October 20, 2014
BALTIMORE — It has come to this for the White Sox: Doing all they can to avoid dubious distinctions in club history.
With their 4-2 victory over the Orioles on Sunday, the Sox went home with a 1-9 road trip in tow instead of 0-10, avoiding the unwanted feat of becoming the first team in club history to endure two 10-game losing streaks. The Sox already are one of 12 teams in history to lose 10 straight or more. One 10-game nightmare is enough.
“We’re playing terrible, but it’s good going home having salvaged at least one,’’ said Adam Dunn, whose 421-foot homer in the fifth inning against Bud Norris (10-11) with Alexei Ramirez on base, his 31st of the season and the second of his career to land on Eutaw Street, gave the Sox a 4-1 lead.
The Sox’ road record is 25-51, the worst mark in the majors and one shaped by three nine-game losing streaks away from U.S. Cellular Field. An 0-10 trip would have given them the ninth winless road trip in baseball history of 10 losses or more.
“Nobody likes losing, so I don’t know if it takes any monkey off your back,’’ manager Robin Ventura said after the win, “because the record [57-85] still stinks.’’
After winning 85 games last season and expecting to compete for a division title, all sorts of emotions have permeated the Sox’ clubhouse: Frustration. Embarrassment. Snakebit. Get it over with and move on to 2014.
“A little bit of everything,’’ said Sox ace Chris Sale, who opens a home-stand against the first-place Tigers on Monday night. “We’re frustrated, but at the same time you have to keep your head up. If you get down, you bring negativity to the table. You know you’re not going anywhere with that, so you move on to the next game. Stuff like this happens in sports. It’s tough to go through. You have to see it as a learning experience, and move forward.’’
“There is never a point where you feel good about it or accept it,’’ Ventura said. “[Losses] hurt. Whenever you lose late it hurts worse, but there’s always another game the next day, so you have to put it behind you and be able to go with effort and optimism and all that kind of stuff to play today. That’s what makes baseball hard. It’s every day and it can be gut-wrenching and hurt and all that stuff, but you have to put it behind you and play today.’’
Andre Rienzo (2-1, 4.50) was ready after two bad recent starts. The Brazilian right-hander gave up one run on four hits over 62/3 innings. Addison Reed, who blew a save the day before, walked two and loaded the bases in the ninth with no outs but gave up only one run thanks to a game-ending foul pop-up that turned into a double play because pinch runner Chris Dickerson, sliding into second, didn’t know where the ball was.
“The one thing on my mind was to make the losing streak over,’’ Rienzo said, music finally blaring in the background. “The clubhouse is more happy when the team wins.’’
Dayan Viciedo stayed hot with two hits, including an RBI double. Dunn, who said he never sees the ball well at Camden Yards, was happy to leave with a homer to go with three strikeouts. And a win.
“You cant pack your bags up early,’’ he said. “You sign up for 162-plus and treat every single game like you’re in it. For the most part, we’ve done a pretty good job of that.
“[But the] expectations we had were so high, and for us to do what we’ve done, it’s tough anyway, but the expectations make it tougher.’’