Good things go to waste for Sox thanks to bullpen
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter June 25, 2014 10:45PM
Updated: July 27, 2014 8:27AM
BALTIMORE — Hector Noesi’s best start, Jose Abreu’s 23rd home run and Adam Eaton’s four-hit night all went down the drain Wednesday because of yet another bullpen implosion.
Nelson Cruz’s grand slam against Javy Guerra in the eighth inning tied it, and Daniel Webb’s wild pitch lost it in the 12th as the White Sox lost for the sixth time in seven games on this 11-game road trip — a 5-4 defeat in 12 innings.
In the first game of this series, closer Ronald Belisario served up a walk-off homer to Chris Davis.
Two nights later, lefty specialist Scott Downs had Davis 0-2 in the count but walked him to load the bases for Cruz.
“Every night is different; you never know exactly what you’re going to get,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “But you tip your cap to them. They hit it. It’s not a good way to lose it.’’
The Sox left town feeling like three wins were in reach.
“The baseball gods must be upset with us in some way, shape or form,’’ Eaton said. “They’ve kind of had it out for us this last week. But like Robin said before, we’re not going to have a pity party.’’
Guerra wasn’t feeling sorry for himself.
“I’ve got to be better,’’ he said.
“You’ve got to understand the situation, the people behind him and understand where the lineup’s at. I solely blame that on myself and feel bad for the team in general because I know I let everyone down.’’
Carroll back in the rotation
Dropped from the rotation and put in the bullpen, Scott Carroll polished up his cutter, and when he returns to the rotation Thursday night to open a four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto, he won’t have to live or die with his sinker.
“With my stuff now, I’ve been able to get righties and lefties out consistently,’’ said Carroll, who was 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 29 relief innings after going 1-3 with a 6.15 ERA in five starts.
Carroll said he wants to maintain the same mindset he had in the bullpen of not trying to do too much, “taking it a hitter and an inning at a time” and attacking the strike zone.
Eaton has reached base in 20 consecutive games, the longest streak by a left-handed-hitting Sox player since Juan Pierre (29 games) in 2010. Eaton also has a 12-game hitting streak, a career high and the second-longest active streak in the American League.
Sox visit Walter Reed hospital
A contingent of Sox made what has become an annual visit to nearby Walter Reed Medical Center on Tuesday, visiting with war veterans, many of whom have lost limbs in conflicts overseas.
John Danks, who was on the inaugural trip that was organized by Scott Linebrink in 2008, was joined by Webb and Carroll on this one.
“It was a great experience for me,’’ Webb said.
“I met guys in their 70s and a 20-year-old guy who lost his arm. It puts a lot in perspective. You can have a bad day at the yard, and that’s nothing compared to a bad day they had, fighting for our freedom and the freedom we have to play this game.’’