Sox looking to avoid winless trip, gain experience

Sox looking to avoid winless trip, gain experience
September 8, 2013, 11:00 am
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By Jake Rill

BALTIMORE — The White Sox have lost nine straight games for the second time this season. Today they’ll try to avoid tying their season-high losing streak.

They’ve lost nine straight road games for the third time this season. And if they drop the finale to the Baltimore Orioles, they’ll become just the ninth team ever to have a road trip of 0-10 or worse.

But White Sox manager Robin Ventura has continued to just push his team through it and look towards the future, and said these types of losing streaks are never fun.

“I don’t think there’s ever a point you feel good about it or accept it,” Ventura said. “They hurt. Anytime you lose late, it’s always worse. But there’s always another game the next day, so you’ve got to put it behind you and be able to go. 

“That’s what makes baseball hard, is everyday it can be gutwrenching and hurt and all that stuff, but you’ve got to put it behind you and play today.”

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It’s been a tough stretch away from U.S. Cellular Field, much like it has been most of the season for the White Sox. The Sox are 24-51 on the road this season, a .320 winning percentage that is the worst in the major leagues.

They also had a winless road trip earlier this season, when they went 0-7 at Cleveland and Detroit from July 29 to Aug. 4, which was the White Sox’s first winless trip of seven or more games in franchise history.

Now, they’re on the brink of a second.

“Anytime you go through something like this, whether you’re at home or on the road, it’s equally painful,” Ventura said.

The Sox have, however, used this stretch to give a lot of younger players some experience in the big leagues. But the inexperience of those youngsters have showed at times, including Saturday’s 4-3 loss in the 10th.

The White Sox had three errors, two by rookie catcher Josh Phegley. But Ventura said he understands that’s part of the learning curve these guys have to face.

“You’re going to have some of that,” Ventura said. “Them trying to make plays, I think that’s just part of them coming up. You have to learn, and they have to learn, sometimes that’s going to happen and you have to be able to kind of teach as you go along.”

The young players have showed some glimpses of success and what the future may hold for the Sox, however. 26-year-old Conor Gillaspie, who had played in just 29 games prior to this season, showed some of that Saturday when he hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th inning.

Gillaspie said the adjustment to the majors is a big one and that you have to give full effort every game at this level.

“Everybody is nasty up here,” Gillaspie said. “They are all legit. If you go up there 80 percent, you might as well sit down. You're out."