Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010
Updated: 11:10 PM
By Brett Ballantini
DETROIT- The wildness that had haunted Chicago White Sox rookie Carlos Torres in prior major league efforts reared up again on Tuesday night. By the time Torres was pitching his best, it was too late.
The Detroit Tigers cruised after pounding out five runs in the first two innings against Torres, setting back the Sox, 7-1, to salvage a split of their doubleheader.
"Everybody is stepping up on the mound for us right now, so the expectation is to win games," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, nonetheless seeing a silver lining in Torres' performance. "The worst scenario almost came true in the first two innings, Torres had 60-something pitches, and I was worried because I didnt want to bring my bullpen in so early."
While just one of Torres' five free passes in the game came around to score, his initial wildness-walking the first two Tiger batters in the first-forced him to play catch-up and work from a disadvantage.
"I know how to give the team innings, but no matter how you look at it, I needed to get deeper in the ballgame than the second inning because that can actually cash out a bullpen quite a bit," Torres said.
Torres barely did escape the second, which was the scene of the major damage, to the tune of four runs. Ryan Raburn led off with a single and with two outs was doubled home by Alex Avila. The string kept going from there, as Will Rhymes singled home Avila, Johnny Damon doubled home Rhymes and Brennan Boesch doubled home Damon.
"I've never seen that before, in the first inning three walks and next inning five hits, no unintentional walks," Guillen said. "It was kind of a weird combination. In the first inning he looked like a minor league pitcher but after that he threw the ball well and gave us what we needed. He turned it around."
The sole Chisox score came on a Paul Konerko bomb in the seventh, breaking up Jeremy Bonderman's shutout. The Tigers veteran was terrific, pitching 6.2 innings and surrendering just five hits, mitigated by five strikeouts.
"To come in here and sweep is not easy," Guillen said. "Bonderman was one pitch away from us getting to him. He threw a couple of good pitches and got two double-play balls that killed rallies."
Detroit picked up two more insurance runs in the eighth, when Ramon Santiago led off with a single and Austin Jackson's sacrifice bunt that turned into a hit and run-scoring play when White Sox reliever Tony Pena fielded the bunt and threw the ball far past Chicago first sacker Mark Kotsay. A Rhymes groundout pushed Jackson to third, where he scored on a Damon groundout.
The fact that Chicago's game two effort was so flat yet the White Sox remained in first place and could ponder ephemera the possibility of lefty phenom Chris Sale being called up for his possible major league debut Wednesday says it all about the state of Guillen's team.
"Right now all my players only have to worry about winning games, not anything else," he said. "Thats easy: Every time we go to the field, we expect to win these must-win games, no matter who we play, when we play, where we play. Just win games, and dont worry about the people behind us. Thats the easy part of being in first place: You dont have to worry about scoreboard watching."
For those White Sox not watching the scoreboard, their split coupled with Minnesota's loss dropped the Twins 1.5 games behind Chicago.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.