By Chris Vannini
Special to CSNChicago.com
DETROIT -- If there has been any one play to sum up the White Sox season to this point, it may have come in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Tigers.
With Jordan Danks on first base as a pinch-runner in the top of the eighth with no outs, the White Sox put on the hit-and-run. Gordon Beckham hit the ball hard off the mound and up the middle, where Tigers second baseman Ramon Santiago was covering and able to turn it into an easy double play.
The White Sox have lost eight games in a row and 14 of their last 16. Over the eight games, they’ve scored two runs or fewer six times.
“Everyone’s going out there and playing hard,” Adam Dunn said. “It really is amazing. The little stuff, it seems like every single game, it happens. [A 3-1 pitch], Gordon hits it right where he’s supposed to hit it. It just so happens ol’ boy is covering, and it’s a double play where it should have been first and third.
“It’s something that has been happening all year. It’s no excuse, but everyone’s going out there each game and playing hard. We’re just not winning.”
For his part, Dunn had two of the team’s seven hits. His single in the seventh was the 1,500th of his career, but it meant little to him in a loss.
“That’s about 100th or 200th on the list of things to worry about today,” he said. “It’ll be something cool later, but now, it means nothing.”
On the other side of things, lefty Hector Santiago continued to shine. He allowed two earned runs on six hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out seven. Five of his last six starts have been quality starts, but he has lost all six.
“For any young guy, this year for him, he’s got to build on that,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You put him in basically his first year of starting up here. Any hiccup is going to cost you. I thought tonight was a step in the right direction for him.”
The Tigers opened the scoring in the fourth inning. Prince Fielder led off with a double, advanced to third on a flyout and was scored on a single by Jose Iglesias. In the fifth, what seemed like a routine fly ball off the bat of the Austin Jackson caught some wind and was carried out of left center field for a solo home run, pushing the lead to 2-0.
The White Sox finally got on the board in the sixth, when Alex Rios hit a two-out single to center to score Alexei Ramirez, who had doubled in the prior at-bat. Rios went 2-for-3, while Ramirez was 1-for-4.
They were in a good position to tie the game in the eighth, but what looked to be a possible turning point just turned into another heartbreak with the double play.
“You get Jordan moving, Gordon’s a good contact guy, so you figure you have a good shot doing that,” Ventura said. “It’s just one of those right at him. The game’s cruel sometimes.”