Closer Matt Lindstrom latest Sox player to go on DL
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter May 21, 2014 12:28AM
Adam Dunn leads an entourage of Sox back to the dugout after his three-run home run in the eighth inning. | AP
Updated: June 24, 2014 6:40AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox have watched the following among their ranks go down to injury this season: their ace starting pitcher, the leading home-run hitter in the majors, their budding-star right fielder, one of their top relievers, their leadoff man, another starting pitcher and their starting second baseman.
For the South Siders, the hurts just keep on coming. On Tuesday, closer Matt Lindstrom went on the disabled list with a subluxed tendon in his left ankle, joining Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, Nate Jones, Adam Eaton, Felipe Paulino and Gordon Beckham as players who are or have been out of action.
‘‘As a team, we’re going to have to get through it,’’ veteran reliever Scott Downs said. ‘‘It’s a struggle, yes, but you can’t dwell on what has happened. You have to move on. We have to prepare without them for a bit, and we’ll be stronger when they get back.’’
Ronald Belisario stepped up and took the ball in the ninth inning, allowing a run but earning his first save of the season in a 7-6 victory against the Kansas City Royals. What looked like an easy victory after Adam Dunn’s three-run home run in the eighth inning gave the Sox a 7-2 lead became tense when Downs and Frank Francisco combined to yield three runs in the eighth.
The tally of games lost by players on the DL is 175, and that doesn’t include the 22 Beckham missed from the start of the season. That the Sox are 23-24 after going 63-99 in 2013 is worth noting, considering how injuries keep piling up.
‘‘They are, but that’s just part of the game,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘Weird things can happen if you’re out in the field.’’
A freaky thing happened to Lindstrom during the ninth inning of the Sox’ 7-6 victory against the Royals on Monday. While fielding a bunt, he felt something that made him and Ventura fear an Achilles tendon injury. He returned to Chicago for tests and is expected to be out for more than two weeks.
The bullpen had been the Sox’ only stable area in the last four weeks, staying relatively healthy and ranking first in the American League with a 2.07 ERA since April 26. Lindstrom (3.32 ERA) hadn’t exactly been lights-out, but the other relievers had settled into their roles.
Belisario got two quick outs in the ninth before Billy Butler doubled over defensive replacement Moises Sierra’s head in right field and Alex Gordon singled Butler in. After pinch runner Jarrod Dyson stole second, Belisario struck out Lorenzo Cain for his first save with the Sox. He hopes more will follow.
‘‘Oh, yeah,’’ Belisario said. ‘‘Setup guys are almost the same job. I just go in, do my job and make the outs. No [different]; it’s the same.’’
Zach Putnam cleaned up after Francisco in the eighth, getting two outs with runners at the corners. Ventura didn’t want to use Putnam (1.40 ERA), who has pitched at least two innings in six of his 12 appearances.
Tyler Flowers hit his third homer to go with a single, raising his average to .310. Conor Gillaspie and Beckham each had three hits and two runs scored. And right-hander Andre Rienzo (4-0, 4.00 ERA) allowed two runs in six innings as the Sox improved to 6-0 in his starts.
‘‘I’m just trying to stay here,’’ Rienzo said. ‘‘Nobody likes to go back to the minors.’’