The White Sox still haven’t learned to get out of their own way.
A once-proud defense continued its porous ways on Friday night as the Los Angeles Angels took advantage of two more White Sox errors in a 7-5 contest in front of 22,638 at U.S. Cellular Field.
A Conor Gillaspie error and Tyler Flowers’ passed ball helped the struggling Angels pull ahead in the seventh inning after they blew an early four-run lead. The White Sox dropped back to a season-low five games below .500 with the loss.
“It’s almost like a broken record,” Ventura said. “Any time you’re giving a lineup like this extra chances it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work.”
Hank Conger opened the go-ahead rally in the seventh inning with a weak grounder Gillaspie couldn’t glove, the team’s 24th error of the season.
Matt Lindstrom took over for White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod (0-3) and struck out his first batter but yielded consecutive singles to J.B. Shuck and Mike Trout, the latter giving the Angels a 6-5 advantage. Then in the process of walking Albert Pujols, Lindstrom unleashed a low pitch Flowers couldn’t handle, which allowed Shuck to score as Lindstrom didn’t cover the plate.
Earlier in the game, Alejandro De Aza couldn’t corral Pujols’ RBI double to left-center and that error also allowed Trout to score an extra run.
Last season, the White Sox 70 errors committed were the fewest errors in the majors. After 33 games this season, the team is on pace for 118 errors.
“Hopefully over the course of the year it’ll even out,” Flowers said. “It sticks out a little more when it seems to all happen together. Hopefully that’s the case where a number of them are happening right now and we’re going to shore it up over the course of the year.”
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Axelrod has to hope his wins and losses begin to even out.
The right-hander was hit hard in the early innings but settled down.
Prior to Gillaspie’s error in the seventh, Axelrod had retired seven straight, allowing the White Sox to rally from a 5-1 deficit.
The middle of the order keyed a four-run fourth inning as Alex Rios doubled and Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko walked. With Dayan Viciedo at bat, Rios scored on a Barry Enright wild pitch to make it 5-2. Viciedo then doubled in two runs and he scored on Flowers’ two-out RBI single to tie the game.
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De Aza put the White Sox ahead 1-0 with a solo homer in the first, his seventh.
The Angels scored four runs off Axelrod -- who has quality starts in five of seven games -- in the third to grab a 4-1 lead.
Conger doubled and Brendan Harris singled. Shuck’s sacrifice fly tied the score at 1 and Trout singled. Pujols then doubled in one run and Trout scored from first when De Aza dropped the ball at the track as the Angels grabbed a 3-1 lead. Trumbo followed with an RBI single for a 4-1 lead.
An inning later, Harris made it 5-1 with a solo homer.
Axelrod allowed six runs (five earned) and seven hits over six innings and finished with six strikeouts.
“We just need to keep working on (defense) and it will turn around,” Axelrod said. “I think we got guys that make spectacular plays and it just seems like it’s just one of those things where it’s hard to explain.”