TORONTO -- Adam Dunn had it nailed 48 hours ago: this truly was the road trip from hell for the White Sox.
Not only did the South Siders drop their seventh game in 10 days on Thursday night, a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, but they also lost another player to injury.
Outfielder Dayan Viciedo is out indefinitely with a left oblique strain he sustained when he swung and missed at a pitch in the eighth inning. Viciedo said he felt less pain after Thursday’s contest but he will be re-evaluated Friday and is likely to miss at least one game, if not more.
During the team’s three-city tour the White Sox also lost second baseman Gordon Beckham for at least six weeks with a hamate bone injury and were without the services of pitching coach Don Cooper. Cooper is expected to return to the team Friday, but missed the entire trip after he was hospitalized in Washington, D.C. with diverticulitis.
“You just want to go home,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I don’t care what the weather’s like or anything. It has been a long, rough road trip. We’re ready to go home and hopefully turn it around.”
The finale of the team’s first business trip ended the same way as several other games -- with a lack of fundamental play leading to a loss.
Chris Sale (1-2) didn’t pitch poorly, but he had trouble controlling the running game.
The left-hander only allowed seven runners to reach bases in seven innings, but most of them happened to possess a great baserunning tool.
Rajai Davis singled in the first inning and stole second and third base as Sale didn’t pay close enough attention to the runner. Sale struck out the next two batters, but Edwin Encarnacion’s two-out single gave Toronto a 1-0 lead.
Sale then started the fifth inning by hitting Emilio Bonifacio.
He thought he had the speedy center fielder picked off, but Sale made an errant throw and Bonifacio raced over to third. He then scored to put Toronto up 2-0 when Dunn booted a grounder off the bat of the similarly speedy Munenori Kawasaki. Davis followed with a two-out RBI double to center.
“I have to pay closer attention to runners,” Sale said. “They had free reign out there it seemed like, especially in the first. … You have to know what’s going on. (Davis is) probably the fastest guy in the league or up there, anyways. You just got to focus a little more and realize what’s going on and do a better job staying on top of things.”
R.A. Dickey made it almost certain the White Sox settled for a split instead of taking three of four games.
The knuckleballer and reigning National League Cy Young award winner retired the first 11 hitters he faced and had the White Sox stymied until leaving with an injury after six innings. Dickey threw strikes on 47 of 64 pitches and only allowed a pair of hits and a walk while striking out seven.
The White Sox had a chance in the fourth to tie the score at 1.
Alex Rios singled with two outs and Paul Konerko drew a walk. But Dickey struck out Dunn, who went 0-for-3 and finished the road trip 1-for-33.
The White Sox scored in the eighth inning on Tyler Flowers’ RBI double but finished with four hits. Although the White Sox finished the trip 3-7, Flowers likes some of the signs he saw from his team.
“It was a tough road trip for us, but again we didn’t quit,” Flowers said. “We’re still competing. It was still a ballgame there and I think that will go a long way over the course of a long season.”