White Sox’ porous pen blows its 13th save
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter July 13, 2014 10:52PM
CLEVELAND — The White Sox rang in the All-Star break with a familiar ring Sunday. The bullpen blew a save opportunity for the 13th time in a 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
After John Danks lowered his ERA to 3.99 with seven innings of one-run ball, the Sox scored two runs in the eighth to take a 2-1 lead. But Javy Guerra (0-2) served up an opposite-field, two-run homer to Yan Gomes in the bottom of the inning.
“It’s tough because you’d like to be happy more than a half-inning,’’ Sox bench coach Mark Parent said.
Except for Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez and Chris Sale, who will participate in the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Minneapolis, the Sox scattered to various places for four days of rest with a 45-51 record to ponder. The bullpen is a big reason that getting to .500 seems improbable. The pen is 0-8 with a 4.56 ERA over the last 20 road games.
Guerra also blew a save chance Wednesday, when he gave up two runs in the ninth against the Red Sox, wasting Sale’s gem.
“I need to learn from it and get better from it right away,’’ said Guerra, a former closer for the Dodgers. “These little things can’t happen. We have to win this game.’’
More good stuff from Danks
Danks, who struck out four and walked two, has a 2.69 ERA over his last 10 starts. Sunday’s was the 200th start of his career.
At 23 months removed from shoulder surgery, Danks feels like he’s all the way back.
“I feel as good as I ever have right now, and I feel like I’m a lot more consistent in the strike zone with better stuff,’’ he said. “I like my chances every time out.’’
Danks, still 8-6 after the no-decision, also found a way to stand up for the bullpen.
“I’m very comfortable speaking for other guys in that turning the ball over to the bullpen, we feel confident in those guys,’’ he said.
Sanchez’s rocky debut
The Sox got a first-hand look at one of their top prospects Sunday. They recalled switch-hitting infielder Carlos Sanchez from Class AAA Charlotte and started him at shortstop for Alexei Ramirez, who sat out with a sore back.
Sanchez took the roster spot of right-hander Andre Rienzo, who was optioned to Charlotte on Saturday. He could be returned to Class AAA after the break, but not because he went 0-for-5 with an error.
Sanchez was hitting .291 with 13 doubles, six triples, five homers, 42 RBI, 48 runs scored and 12 stolen bases in 89 games with Charlotte.
“They only told me that I’m coming, just have fun, and we’ll go from there,’’ Sanchez, 22, said before the game.
This and that
Ramirez is good to go for the All-Star Game. He missed his first game of the season Sunday.
◆ Indians starter Trevor Bauer struck out a career-high 10 batters.
◆ Conor Gillaspie was doubled off first base on Mike Aviles’ long throw from the left-field line after Gordon Beckham’s fly out in the second inning. Gillaspie was 2-for-3, raising his average to .326.
◆ Adam Eaton sat out a second consecutive game with a sore left wrist and jammed fingers on his right hand.