For second day, White Sox’ bats are silent against Padres
BY TONI GINNETTI For Sun-Times Media May 31, 2014 10:46PM
Chicago White Sox' Paul Konerko flips his bat after being called out on strikes in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton) ORG XMIT: ILMM112
Updated: July 2, 2014 3:00PM
Are these the same White Sox who just swept the Cleveland Indians?
The Sox had only five hits Saturday in a 4-2 loss to the San Diego Padres to fall below .500 again (28-29). This after a one-run, four-hit night Friday.
‘‘The offense is sputtering right now,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘We’re not getting the big hit to get us over the hump.’’
The Sox are hitting just .215 (41-for-191) with two homers and 15 runs over the last six games. They were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position Saturday. They have struck out 23 times in their two games against the Padres.
‘‘The last few games they ran out some good arms early, and you know what they’ve got in the eighth and ninth,’’ Adam Dunn said. ‘‘We’re not swinging the bats like we’re capable of the last few games.’’
Padres starter Tyson Ross (6-4) worked six innings before closer Huston Street earned his second save (17th overall) against the Sox.
Sox starter Andre Rienzo had his shortest outing of the season (31/3 innings) and shortest as a starter since Sept. 1, when he worked three innings at Boston.
Rienzo (4-2) gave up three runs and seven hits and walked two in his second straight loss.
‘‘My command was bad. My ball was up,’’ he said. ‘‘The walks were back and I don’t really like that. It was the same as last year. If I walk a bunch of guys and my balls are up, guys will crush them, so that happened today.’’
Waiting for Jose
Jose Abreu is expected back from the disabled list this week. The Sox are 7-6 without him.
‘‘I hope they’re not waiting around for [him],’’ Ventura said. ‘‘He is coming back but you still have to play the game. They’ve been good so far staying focused in the moment. You get a couple days where it just doesn’t look good.’’
Long time, no see
The Sox and Padres have met just two other times in interleague play and not since 2005, when they played at Petco Park. The eight games the Sox have played against the Padres are their second-fewest against a National League team.
They have played only six against the San Francisco Giants, who come to U.S. Cellular Field for a two-game series June 17-18.
The Sox are 2-3 against the Padres at home and 2-1 in San Diego.
Back to bat
Paul Konerko singled in his first at-bat Saturday, ending an 0-for-12 stretch. He is 4-for-43 in his last 15 games.
Konerko continues to deal with recurring back tightness
‘‘I think you go through periods where it’s bound up,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘It’s happening the last couple years where it gets a little bound up and it doesn’t feel good.’’
Conor Gillaspie’s six-game hitting streak ended Saturday, but shortstop Alexei Ramirez extended his streak to six with two hits. He is hitting .435 (10-for-23) during the streak and .329 overall.