MINNEAPOLIS --- The White Sox managed to overcome several key mistakes to snap their three-game losing streak on Saturday night.
Dioner Navarro’s RBI double in the 10th helped erase a three-error inning and a blown save as well as another near-miss by the team’s bullpen in a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins in front of 27,914 at Target Field. Navarro, who finished with three hits, doubled in Garcia with one out after the outfielder started the 10th inning with his second double in five trips. David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth to convert his 25th save.
Justin Morneau doubled, homered and drove in two as the White Sox improved to 51-53.
Melky Cabrera’s game-tying RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning let Matt Albers off the hook after he yielded a go-ahead, three-run homer to Eduardo Escobar in the bottom of the eight. Cabrera’s hit scored Tim Anderson, who went 3-for-5.
Miguel Gonzalez earned a no decision despite a strong finish to a fantastic month as he allowed two runs (one earned) in seven innings. Gonzalez had a 2.50 ERA in July.
MINNEAPOLIS — If the White Sox trade away assets over the next two days, Adam Eaton said the blame is all on the players.
The right fielder, who was held out of Saturday’s game to rest bumps and bruises, said the White Sox have enough talent to be successful in spite of their injuries. Even with an improved roster, the White Sox entered Saturday with 50-53 mark as they’ve been inconsistent all season. While Eaton doesn’t want to see any of his teammates dealt before Monday’s 3 p.m. CST nonwaiver trade deadline, he could understand if they are.
“Oh yeah, and it’s our own fault,” Eaton said. “It’s the players’ fault. We play up to what we’re capable of playing, and it’s not even a discussion. Rick has gotta do what he’s gotta do to put us in the best position to be good now and later. Whatever he has to do, we’ve got to accept it as players because we put ourselves in this position.”
Eaton admitted he wasn’t in a very good mood before Saturday’s contest. He said the team’s losing ways haven’t been enjoyable — “losing sucks, man.” Disappointed with the team’s play since their 23-10 start, Eaton pointed at consistency as the club’s biggest issue. He didn’t cite injuries to a number of key players, including center fielder Austin Jackson and relievers Jake Petricka and Zach Putnam.
“(Injuries are) part of the game,” Eaton said. “It’s no excuse on our end. When one guy goes down the next guy’s gotta pick it up, gotta fall in the line and find a way to get it done in some way, shape or form. I don’t think we lean on that at all as a crutch. We’ve got the talent here in to win, and at the end of the day it’s being consistent and finding a way to get it done day in and day out. Anybody can do it for a month. You’ve got to be consistent. You can’t be too high or be too low or the game will find you and show those inconsistencies.”
The Kennedy Igboananike trade shifted focus a bit towards next year for the Chicago Fire, but on Sunday the focus returns to the field.
The Fire host the New York Red Bulls and the game will be televised live on CSN. Coverage starts at 5:30 p.m. with Fire Pregame Live. The game willl also be simulcast with a Spanish language broadcast on CSN+.
Since going 1-5 to start the season, the Red Bulls (9-9-4, 31 points) have looked like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and sit second in the standings. The team’s recent run has caught the attention Fire coach Veljko Paunovic.
“We are looking at the next game against one of the best teams in the league, in my opinion,” Paunovic said. “I would say performance wise the best team because in the style they play, it’s fantastic. I think they have very, very good players.”
The Red Bulls are playing better of late, but have not succeeded much on the road. New York is 1-7-3 on the road and 8-2-1 at home.
The Fire (4-10-5, 17 points) remain in last in the conference, but have an eight-match unbeaten streak at Toyota Park.
“It’s important to stay strong at home and it’s important for our fans to see that we can compete against one of the best teams in the league here at our field with all our field,” Paunovic said.
Fire midfielder Razvan Cocis will miss his second straight match due to injury and Joey Calistri was still listed as questionable. With Igboananike gone, forward depth for the Fire is very thin, especially if Calistri is unavailable.
Brandon Vincent’s availability is also in question after playing in the MLS All-Star Game on Thursday. He only logged 33 minutes, but factoring in cross-country travel and just two days rest, Vincent may not play.
The Red Bulls have the same situation with Sacha Kljestan, who played 41 minutes in the All-Star Game. Kljestan leads the league with 12 assists and also has five goals. Bradley Wright-Phillips has also been hot of late. The English forward has 11 goals after not scoring in the first seven matches of the season.
“Sacha Kljestan is playing at an MVP-caliber level and Wright-Phillips has seemed to find the scoring touch again,” Fire defender Eric Gehrig said. “They had a great year last and they’re starting to turn it on now, but we’re at home. We know that if we bring our best game that we can compete with anyone at home. It’s an important three points, especially with our road form we know that we have to snatch these points up and we’re looking forward to it.”
Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls
When: 6 p.m. Sunday (coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Fire Pregame Live)
TV: Comcast SportsNet (simulcast in Spanish on CSN+)
Where: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.