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Bummer of a summer for White Sox as losses continue

Dunn, Gillaspie each hit HRs in 9th, but White Sox fall 5-2 to Twins
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Updated: August 11, 2013 9:22PM

August can be the most difficult month of a baseball season — weeks away from a playoff push for contenders and weeks away from the finish for also-rans.

‘‘August is a transition month,’’ White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘It’s a long season, and I think everybody realizes it. But August is when it hits everybody.

‘‘You don’t get that extra adrenaline boost that you have in September because you can see kind of the end. So August has always been a very difficult month for a baseball team. It’s tricky to get through it just by how many games you play.’’

These are less ‘‘dog days’’ than frustrating days for the Sox, who can muster enough energy to sweep a team such as the high-
profile New York Yankees but fall back into their seasonlong woes against a division rival such as the Minnesota Twins.

‘‘It started off with that doubleheader [Friday],’’ Ventura said. ‘‘We had opportunities in those games [but lost both]. We come back Saturday [to win], but we didn’t swing the bats well at all [Sunday]. We didn’t get it done Friday, and it carries over to

The Sox didn’t score until the ninth inning, when solo home runs by Adam Dunn (27th) and Conor Gillaspie (10th) against reliever Casey Fien prevented a shutout but not a 5-2 loss. That gave the Twins a 3-1 series victory and dropped the Sox’ record since the All-Star break to 7-17. The 17 losses during that span are second only to the Houston Astros’ 18.

August also finds the Sox a very different team than they were only a few weeks ago. Veterans Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Alex Rios are gone, and more changes might happen before the month ends if there are other
waiver deals.

‘‘You sign up for 162 [games],’’ Dunn said of continuing to compete. ‘‘If you’re going good or going bad, I hope everyone plays hard. Whether you’re 25 games up or 25 games down, it doesn’t change

‘‘Nobody comes here and expects to lose. When things don’t work out, you try to put it away and come back tomorrow.’’

One bad inning was the difference for Sox starter Jose Quintana. The Twins scored all five of their runs in the fifth, courtesy of a three-run homer by Brian Dozier and a two run homer by Joe Mauer. Both homers came after walks, the only two Quintana (6-4) gave up.

‘‘I felt I did OK, but I was behind in the count and I shouldn’t have walked guys,’’ said Quintana, who has a 9.15 ERA in four career starts against the Twins. ‘‘It shouldn’t have happened.’’

‘‘Again, it’s the same old story for him,’’ Dunn said. ‘‘He keeps us in every single ballgame, and then one bad inning.’’

The five runs were the most Quintana has allowed in his last nine starts. But he also received no runs from the Sox’ offense while he was in the game for the fifth time this season.

A piece of good news for the Sox was Dylan Axelrod’s four innings of scoreless relief, the most by a Sox pitcher since Quintana’s 52/3
innings May 7, 2012, at Cleveland.

Twins starter Kevin Correia (8-8) shut out the Sox on five hits through seven innings, striking out a season-high seven.


Twitter: @toniginnetti

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