Ventura vents after White Sox’ sloppy loss
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org May 5, 2013 9:21PM
Updated: May 5, 2013 10:15PM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A dreadful start to the White Sox’ 2013 season took a turn for the worse with a 6-5 loss Sunday to the Kansas City Royals.
Already riddled with injuries, the Sox talked before the game about No. 2 starter Jake Peavy possibly joining Gavin Floyd on the disabled list, potentially leaving Dylan Axelrod as the only right-hander in the rotation.
Then they went out and continued — an encouraging 10-hit attack notwithstanding — to play poor baseball, committing their American League-worst 21st error when second baseman Jeff Keppinger misplayed a soft one-hopper in the Royals’ three-run fifth and botching a pop-up behind second that fell in front of diving center fielder Dewayne Wise.
It’s a scene manager Robin Ventura didn’t witness much during his first season but is already fed up with this year.
“It’s just sloppy,’’ Ventura said. “For me, it’s unacceptable stuff. It’s simple stuff we’ve worked on over and over again, so you stay on it.
“You can’t just turn over your roster and put new people in there. You gotta fix it, keep harping on it.’’
After coming from behind to take the lead and setting themselves up to win despite it all, the Sox walked off the Kauffman Stadium field with their heads down when Addison Reed blew his first save in the ninth and Brian Omogrosso, in his season debut, lost it in the 10th.
Reed set himself up for the fall by walking the first two batters in the ninth before giving up a two-run, two-out double to Billy Butler on a hanging slider.
In the 10th, Alex Gordon’s fly ball to deep right against Omogrosso with the bases loaded drifted over Rios’ head in right and landed at the warning track, setting off a Royals celebration scene and dropping the Sox to 12-17. Omogrosso also walked two, including Chris Getz’s somewhat-curious intentional pass.
“We play a good game, you do enough to fight your way back and get there, and that’s what makes these always tough,’’ Ventura said, displaying some emotion. “You don’t make them put it in play, and those are always what make it tougher. I mean, they’re always tough to lose, but you at least make them swing the bat and put it in play.’’
Reed had no handle on things for the first time this season.
“Just was wild, I couldn’t get comfortable out there,’’ he said. “I was missing spots big-time. It wasn’t even close. I couldn’t get in rhythm.
‘‘It sucks that everybody before me pitched their butts off and our offense was awesome, and I came in and let them down.’’
After the Sox fell behind 3-1, Alejandro De Aza doubled in two runs and scored a run on a wild pitch, and Rios homered in a four-run seventh inning to give the Sox a 5-3 lead.
“When it rains, it pours,’’ said captain Paul Konerko, who was 1-for-5. “It’s tough sometimes. I guarantee you nobody in here is having any fun.
“Listen, if we knew, ‘Let’s do X, Y and Z, and we’d win,’ we’d do it. The only answer is to keep grinding through it.’’
When the game-winner left Gordon’s bat toward Rios, it appeared for a moment that Rios might run it down to end the inning and give the Sox another chance.
“I didn’t think he hit the ball that well, but it kept going,’’ Rios said. “It’s one of those balls that you didn’t think he hit it that well, and it just carries.”