White Sox suffer tough loss against A’s ace Tyson Ross
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com May 14, 2011 8:44PM
Chicago White Sox's Alex Rios throws his helmet after striking out in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics during a baseball game, Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)
Updated: August 27, 2011 12:33AM
OAKLAND, Calif. — The White Sox ran into another tough pitcher who made them look flat.
And then they ran into a double play that flattened them just when they showed their only sign of life during a 6-2 loss Saturday to the Oakland Athletics.
Give A’s 24-year-old right-hander Tyson Ross (3-2, 2.50) credit. He dazzled the Sox with three good pitches through his career-high 71/3 innings, striking out eight and scattering six hits.
“I didn’t realize how good his stuff was until I stood in the box,’’ said Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn, who had two doubles. “He had one of those sliders you don’t see every day. He has a good one. He had three fastballs — one that sank, one that cut and one that was straight.’’
When the Sox, trailing 2-0 in the fourth, had their chance to get Ross out of his comfort zone with a Dunn double that advanced Alexei Ramirez to third, Ramirez made a baserunning mistake — a Sox flashback to their woes of April — and the air abruptly came out of the visitors. So much for a sixth win in seven games.
The killer was Paul Konerko’s soft liner to first baseman Daric Barton, who gloved it near his shoe tops and threw across the infield to double off Ramirez.
“We had an opportunity . . . and the Missile got picked off on the double play, and we got a little down,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said. “It was bad baserunning. We had a little potential to do some damage.’’
Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd (4-3) was no match on this day for Ross, falling behind 5-0 and getting removed in the fifth inning after allowing nine hits and walking two. Floyd struck out four in his shortest outing of the season.
“Gavin struggled from the beginning,’’ Guillen said. “He was driving the wrong way the whole game against traffic. First couple of innings, he had 50-something pitches. They fouled off a few balls, and he had a tough time finding the plate and being consistent in the strike zone.’’
Floyd said his right foot, which had been bruised by a batted ball in his last start in Seattle, wasn’t a factor.
“It’s a long season,’’ he said. “There will be times when you’re at your high and others when you’re not at your best. Today I didn’t pitch very well. I felt I got in a groove a little bit, but then they hit me. Just accept it and move on.
Konerko’s two-run homer to left in the sixth inning against Ross provided the only scoring for the Sox (16-24). Konerko has 10 homers and a seven-game hitting streak. After that, an infield hit by Brent Morel and Dunn’s second double, against Grant Balfour in the ninth, was all the Sox could muster.
“I don’t know how they do it; they find pitchers everywhere,’’ Guillen said. “You come to this town, and you think you’ll get away with stuff, but it’s one after another after another. It’s always been like that. Every time you go to Oakland, you’re going to face a good pitching staff.’’
It doesn’t get any better today, that’s for sure. Mark Buehrle will oppose A’s ace Trevor Cahill in the conclusion of the series and nine-game road trip that will determine whether the Sox go 6-3 or 5-4.
“It’s one game,’’ Dunn said. “We’re playing a lot better baseball. This is one game where we ran into a guy who threw the ball very well against us and has all year. It doesn’t get easier for us [against Cahill today]. We still have a chance to win the series.”