The injuries and the errors continue to pile up for the White Sox.
So have the losses.
Outfielder Alex Rios dropped a bases-loaded fly ball in the eighth inning Sunday to help the Tampa Bay Rays pull away for an 8-3 victory over the White Sox in front of 22,677 at U.S. Cellular Field. Rios’ error led to two runs for the Rays, who scored five times against White Sox relievers in the final two innings.
Earlier in the day, the White Sox -- who blew an early 3-1 lead and dropped to 10-14 overall -- placed pitcher Gavin Floyd on the 15-day disabled list with a right arm flexor strain. Floyd is the team’s sixth player to go on the DL in 24 games.
“I don’t sense anybody looking around saying we can’t win with what we have,” designated hitter Paul Konerko said. “Every team is going to have that little span during the season where it seems like every day somebody’s going down. Hopefully this is ours right now.”
Floyd joins John Danks and regulars Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo on the DL.
Even with the injuries, the White Sox jumped out to a 3-1 lead against reigning American League Cy Young Award winner David Price and threatened to take three of four from Tampa Bay.
But the lead had evaporated and the Rays held a 4-3 advantage when Ryan Roberts batted against Jesse Crain with two outs in the eighth inning and the bases loaded. Roberts hit a 94-mph fastball from Crain to shallow right and Rios, who had initially broken back on the play, raced in but couldn’t grasp the ball.
The two-run error was the White Sox second of the day and 16th of the season, and gave Tampa Bay a 6-3 lead. White Sox pitchers have allowed 11 unearned runs this season after they surrendered 30 in 2012, when the club tied for the major league lead with a .988 fielding percentage and committed only 70 errors.
The team is 3-9 this season when it commits an error.
“If we’re going to get on an extended run of playing well you have to make those plays,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We’re looking at what you have here and what’s available and you go from there. You try to win games right now, not waiting and looking in the future. Guys are playing hard and this is one of those that is probably a work in progress of trying to figure that out and who’s playing and who’s doing what. But again, you try to make due and make sure everybody is giving a constant effort.”
The White Sox twice jumped in front of Price in the first three innings. Adam Dunn, who reached base three times in four trips, had an RBI single in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Konerko later helped the Sox regain a 3-1 advantage with a two-run home run in the third inning off Price, a 407-foot drive to left.
Price was otherwise superb.
He struck out nine and limited the White Sox to three runs and six hits in seven innings, retiring 12 of the last 14 he faced.
White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod matched Price (1-2) for six innings. He allowed three earned runs and four hits over six innings.
The Rays did hit two game-tying homers off Axelrod. Jose Lobaton had a solo homer to right in the third inning to tie the game at 1. Matt Joyce later hit a two-run homer to right field in the sixth inning to make it a 3-all game.
“It’s a little bit frustrating with the two-run homer to tie it,” Axelrod said. “We were in a good position to win the game. It was a tough pitch, he got to it and kept it fair. You gotta give him credit for that.”
The Rays added two more runs in the ninth against Deunte Heath on an RBI single by Ben Zobrist and an RBI double by Evan Longoria.
Heath and Nate Jones (0-2) combined to walk four batters in the final two innings.
“We feel like we’re fine with what we have,” Konerko said. “We just have to keep grinding.”