White Sox road trip ends with a walk-filled thud

White Sox road trip ends with a walk-filled thud
May 19, 2013, 7:00 pm
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jake Peavy felt like he a good gameplan and as if he had his A-stuff with him on Sunday afternoon.

But much like his fellow White Sox pitchers a day earlier, Peavy was hurt by a lack of command. In an atypically wild effort, Peavy followed Saturday’s 10-walk performance with five free passes of his own, including two with the bases loaded, in a 6-2 loss to the Angels in front of 38,190 at Angel Stadium.

[From Saturday: White Sox pitchers struggle with throwing strikes in loss to Angels]

Four of Peavy’s season-high five walks came in a two-run fourth inning that gave Angels starter Jason Vargas plenty of support. Although they won four of seven games on the trip, the White Sox felt as if they left an extra victory or two behind in Anaheim.

“That’s the most frustrating part for me: I felt good,” Peavy said. “We just didn’t quite execute well enough. Obviously walks are gonna kill ya, especially leading off innings.”

Headed into Sunday, Peavy boasted a ridiculous 51:8 strikeout to walk ratio in 45 2/3 innings this season. He had also had a 4-0 record with a 2.10 ERA in his last five starts.

But his excellent command deserted him in the third and fourth innings -- perhaps with a little help from plate umpire John Hirschbeck.

Angels No. 8 hitter Chris Ianetta, who walked four times on Saturday, took a close 3-2 pitch to draw a leadoff walk in the third inning.

“I felt like I made a pretty good 3-2 pitch to Ianetta,” Peavy said. “Johnny was calling some, wasn’t calling others. It was just the way it went. … (Ianetta has) got a great eye. No doubt about it. But good eye or not, I have to throw the ball where he has to swing the bat.”

J.B. Shuck followed the close call with a single and then Erick Aybar doubled both in to give the Angels a 2-0 advantage.

An inning later, Peavy (5-2) issued a leadoff walk to Mark Trumbo. He followed Howie Kendrick’s one-out single with two more walks, the second belonging to Ianetta and forcing in a run to make it 3-0. Aybar also walked on another close 3-2 count with the bases-loaded to make it 4-0.

[White Sox notes: Ventura doesn't see age catching up with Konerko]

Of the 16 walks issued by White Sox pitchers on the weekend -- reliever Brian Omogrosso issued the team’s sixth in the ninth Sunday -- seven scored.

“It wasn’t like velocity was down or anything like that,” manager Robin Ventura said. “(Peavy) looked strong. He might have had some stuff flatten out that normally has a little sink to it. And it is uncharacteristic. It’s one of those days.”

Peavy settled down to retire the last seven batters he faced, but the damage was done. He allowed four earned runs, four hits and struck out seven over six innings.

“You know, just missing on a lot of pitches and you gotta throw strikes,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “Sometimes we were and sometimes we weren’t and when we were they were putting them in play in the big situations.”

The White Sox put a bunch of Vargas’ early pitches in play with hard contact, but found an equal number of Angels gloves in position to make the play.

The White Sox only had two men on base in one inning -- the fifth -- against Vargas. But Vargas got out of trouble with a strikeout of Alejandro De Aza, the pitcher’s third of the inning. He finished with six strikeouts and allowed four hits and walked three.

[Big Hurt TV: Riding the (re-routed) Red Line to U.S. Cellular Field]

The White Sox finally broke through for two runs against the Angels bullpen.

Alex Rios doubled in a run in the eighth inning against Dane De La Rosa to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.

Although they were disappointed by their output Sunday, White Sox hitters are understandably upbeat as they head to Chicago to begin an eight-game homestand.

The team hit .299 and scored 35 runs on the trip, including nine runs twice. They also raised their team on-base percentage from .280 to .293. Much of that was thanks to the resurgence of slugger Adam Dunn, who went 0-for-4 on Sunday, but regained his stroke.

Even Peavy thinks he made some strides on Sunday, in particular with his slider. But the right-hander isn’t ready to be overly enthusiastic just yet.

“I got some positives to take out of it,” Peavy said. “It’s just hard to be positive right now.”