Sox can't salvage second game of doubleheader

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Sox can't salvage second game of doubleheader

CLEVELAND (AP) Shelley Duncan's RBI double in the eighth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a soggy 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night and a sweep of their day-night doubleheader.Duncan ripped a pitch from left-hander Matt Thornton (1-2) into the left-field corner, scoring Asdrubal Cabrera.The first-place Indians won the opener 8-6.The White Sox have lost six of seven.Cleveland's Josh Tomlin allowed five hits in 7-1 3 innings - most of the final three in a steady downpour. He struck out a career-high eight, allowed two walks and maintained his control despite slick, slippery conditions on the mound.Joe Smith (2-1) gave up a game-tying single after a lengthy rain delay, but got two outs and was credited with the win after Duncan's single.Tony Sipp worked the ninth for his first save.The Indians are 8-3 in their past 11.Sipp gave up a two-out walk to pinch-hitter Paul Konerko before striking out Tyler Flowers for his second career save - first since July 23, 2010.Cleveland's Travis Hafner homered and tripled in the opener. He struck out twice in the second game but was hit by a pitch for the 79th time in his career, tying him with Nap Lajoie for the team record.Cabrera opened the eighth with a bloop single off Thornton, and Carlos Santana followed with a flair to almost the exact spot in shallow right-center. After Hafner popped out, Duncan pulled Thornton's pitch down the line to make it 3-2 and give the few hundred fans who stuck around after a lengthy rain delay something to cheer.The White Sox tied it 2-all in the eighth, moments after a 1-hour, 25-minute rain delay, on Alex Rios' RBI single.With the sky darkening and radar showing heavy rain approaching, the Indians scored twice in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead and put Tomlin in position for the win.Tomlin retired the White Sox in order in the sixth and seventh before running into trouble in the eighth as the rain intensified. With one out, he walked Alejandro De Aza and gave up a single to Gordon Beckham before manager Manny Acta decided to pull his right-hander and bring in reliever Dan Wheeler.But as Wheeler neared the mound, crew chief Larry Vanover ordered the groundscrew to cover the infield at 9:09 p.m. The rain delay lasted 85 minutes, and when play resumed, Acta put in side-armer Smith to face Rios, who promptly hit an RBI single to tie it 2-2.The Indians hit some solid line drives off Chicago starter Eric Stults in the first three innings, but had nothing to show for it.They had a scoring chance in the fourth after Stults issued consecutive one-out walks. But he recovered by striking out Hafner and getting Duncan to pop out.Stults wasn't so lucky in the fifth, when a two-out walk to catcher Lou Marson, Cleveland's No. 9 hitter batting just .059, came back to haunt him.Marson then got a great jump and stole second on the next pitch before scoring on Michael Brantley's single. Brantley took second on the throw home and scored on Jason Kipnis' RBI single.The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on Brent Morel's RBI groundout.Stults' debut with the White Sox was also his first major league start since Aug. 9, 2009, when he pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent 2010 pitching in Japan and made six relief appearances for Colorado last season before signing with Chicago as a free agent.The left-hander was recalled before the game from Triple-A Charlotte, where he went 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA in five starts.NOTES: Per the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to carry 26 players on their roster for unique doubleheaders. ... The day-night twinbill drew just 19,679 total fans. Despite being in first place, the Indians have the lowest average attendance in the majors. ... Tomlin has given up only 47 walks in 273 career innings. ... Hafner's triple in the opener for Cleveland was his first since 2007, prompting a few good-natured jokes about his blazing speed. "I'd say I could beat 75 to 80 percent of the guys on the team in a race, if it came down to it," he quipped.

Preview: Chris Sale, White Sox close out series with Tigers on CSN

Preview: Chris Sale, White Sox close out series with Tigers on CSN

The White Sox close out their series against the Detroit Tigers Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 11:30 a.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Chris Sale (15-7, 3.14 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.33 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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White Sox bullpen falters in loss to Tigers

White Sox bullpen falters in loss to Tigers

DETROIT — The 2016 White Sox expected an improved offense when they addressed two of last season’s biggest needs with trades for Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie.

While scoring is up a hair over the 2015 club, it hasn’t nearly been enough.

As they have for much of the season, the White Sox jumped out to an early three-run lead on Tuesday night but failed to put their opponents away. Their dormancy allowed the Detroit Tigers to rally back to send the White Sox to an 8-4 loss in front of 27,121 at Comerica Park. Frazier homered early before Detroit scored eight runs between the fifth and seventh innings. The Tigers look to complete a three-game sweep of the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon on CSN.

“That’s kind of been the story of our year,” leadoff man Adam Eaton said. “With runners in scoring position we haven’t been able to drive in and get the big hit. When we do that we win. When we get it done we win and when we don’t it bites us.”

The White Sox thought they added serious bite to an offense that finished at or near the bottom of the American League in 2015 in most of the major categories. Frazier was acquired in a three-team deal from the Cincinnati Reds and Lawrie came over from Oakland for two-minor leaguers. On top of the acquisitions of Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche a year earlier, Frazier and Lawrie were expected to bolster positions in which the White Sox finished last in OPS in the majors last season.

To an extent, the plan has worked. The White Sox entered Tuesday having increased their scoring average to 4.07 runs per game, up from 3.84. But even with that improvement, the White Sox started play 13th among 15 AL clubs in runs scored and 63 runs below the league average.

They also were 13th in home runs (131), slugging percentage (.402) and OPS (.717).

Part of their struggles can be attributed to injuries — Lawrie has been out since July 22 and Austin Jackson has been gone since early June. The unexpected retirement of LaRoche also left the White Sox short on left-handed power in the middle of the lineup and forced Cabrera from the second spot to fifth to provide balance. And some can be attributed to down years by several key veterans, including the performance with runners in scoring position by Jose Abreu and Frazier.

But even the White Sox thought they’d be a better run-scoring team than they have proven through 131 games.

“I think we did,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You lose Rochie at the beginning of the year, and that changed the left-handed dynamic of what our lineup would have been like. But you still expect guys to hit a little better and score more runs than we’ve done. We haven’t held up our end of the bargain.”

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Their end of the bargain left the White Sox vulnerable on Tuesday. Frazier’s two-run homer and an RBI groundout by Eaton in the second inning had the White Sox in command. But Daniel Norris struck out Tim Anderson to strand a runner at third.

Then in the fourth, Norris got Tyler Saladino to fly out to shallow right, which prevented the runner on third from tagging. After Eaton walked, Norris got Anderson to ground into a fielder’s choice.

Even though Norris’ pitch count was sky high, the White Sox failed to knock him out of the game. That allowed the Tigers to rally back against Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Albers and Jacob Turner.

“They seem to add on,” Ventura said. “They don’t stop adding on that extra run. A guy on third with less than two outs, they’re able to get it in. That’s been an Achilles heel for us.”

It’s also been a source of frustration, Eaton said. The White Sox look around the room and feel like they have a talented group, especially now with Justin Morneau solidifying the middle. But once again, that group didn’t keep their foot on the pedal and paid the price.

“They just continue to plug away,” Eaton said. “Their offense is good enough to come back from any deficit. Hats off to them, but we’ve got to keep adding on. We got on Norris early and got his pitch count up, but we’ve got to keep knocking on the door. We didn’t keep on it enough and knock him out real early.

“Top to bottom I think we have a pretty good lineup. It is frustrating when you don’t get that big hit and vice versa for the big pitch.”

White Sox closer David Robertson's foundation big part of MLB's Louisiana flood relief efforts

White Sox closer David Robertson's foundation big part of MLB's Louisiana flood relief efforts

DETROIT — David Robertson’s charitable foundation is at the head of Major League Baseball’s drive to help victims of this month’s Louisiana floods.

High Socks for Hope, which Robertson created with his wife, Erin, received a $62,500 donation on Tuesday from MLB and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, which made a joint $250,000 contribution.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which was established by former Louisiana State players, also received $62,500 and The American Red Cross got $125,000.

The Robertson’s foundation originally was formed to help victims of an April 27, 2011 tornado that rocked Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Birmingham, resulting in 64 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries.

“We’ve evolved over the years,” Robertson said. “Passing time we’ve worked toward helping a lot of the veterans and now MLB has been gracious enough to give us this donation and we’ve already got people on the ground there feeding thousands of people, both volunteers and those who are down there who have lost everything. We’re going to continue to help out as much as we can down there. We’re not a monster of an organization, but we do what we can, we stretch every dollar and with this generous donation we’re going to find a way to help those that have been affected by this terrible flood.”

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White Sox pitcher Anthony Ranaudo pitched at LSU and has been active in raising funds, too.

“It’s good to see young guys getting involved in stuff like this because the game doesn’t last forever,” Robertson said. “But these charities can keep going and there’s always a chance for us to give back and we’re given so much as baseball players that it’s only fitting that we return the favor.”