White Sox Get Swept in Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS — Shades of 2007?
“Maybe more,” John Danks replied Thursday when asked to compare the White Sox’s current level of frustration with their 90-loss season six years ago.
With Rick Hahn in attendance, the only suspense left might be when the Sox general manager finally begins to revamp the 25-man roster after a sloppy 8-4 loss that completed the Twins’ three-game sweep and marked the Sox’s seventh loss in their last eight games.
The last time the Sox (29-41) were 12 games below .500 was at the end of 2007, when they finished 72-90 during Danks’ rookie season.
“We truly feel we’re way too good to be playing like this,” said Danks, who allowed a career-high four home runs. “We feel we’re just as talented as any team in the league.”
Jesse Crain took little satisfaction in setting franchise records with streaks of 28 scoreless appearances and 28 scoreless innings.
“It has been pretty frustrating, probably the toughest spurt I’ve been on,” said Crain, a 10-year veteran whose success is expected to attract much interest from playoff contenders.
Errors from second baseman Gordon Beckham (his third in three games) and shortstop Alexei Ramirez increased the Sox’s season total to 51. Ramirez’s error led to two runs that ended Matt Lindstrom’s streak of 14 scoreless appearances.
After being limited to four hits through the first five innings, the Sox finally broke through in the sixth for three runs on homers from Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn.
But the deficit was too great to overcome.
“When you’re not playing well, you can see all the warts and everything else, and you see how hard the game is,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You don’t take it for granted. You keep playing hard and eventually the sun comes out.”
But the Sox have plenty of clouds to clear before their first American League Central showdown with the Tigers on July 9 in Detroit. The series originally was supposed to serve as a gauge of what direction they would take before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.
“We all believe we can turn it around tomorrow,” Danks said. “We have to do it soon.”
Ventura said the poor defense has been most disappointing but didn’t hint at personnel changes.
“The solution is to keep working at it and put importance on it,” Ventura said. “The game has never changed in that way.”
The offense’s overall struggles have frustrated Alex Rios and he knows they have heaped pressure on the starting pitchers.
“But you know what?” Rios said. ‘”We just have to grind it out. We have to have even more intensity now that we’re struggling. But that’s what we have to do to get things going.”