Chicago White Sox have to wait to win the AL Central after they don’t get the big hit: ‘Our execution is not what it has to be, in all phases’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Chicago White Sox will have to wait at least one more day to wrap up the American League Central.

The Sox had the tying run on base in the eighth and ninth innings Tuesday but came up empty in a 5-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers in front of 10,585 at Comerica Park.

The Sox came into the day with a chance of clinching the division title with a win and a Cleveland Indians loss. Instead their magic number remained two after the Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1.

“I think we need to concentrate more — I don’t think we’re playing tight,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “I just think that we’ve gotten off our game in places. We’re still making plays. We’re not making all the plays. We’re having at-bats but not enough at-bats. We’re making pitches but not enough pitches.

“The first place you check is, how are we competing? And then, how well are you competing? Because you’ve got to be close if you want to win.”

The Sox dropped their second straight in the series and have lost five of seven.

“Just looks like we aren’t catching breaks or putting ourselves in a lot of positions to be able to get wins,” Sox starter Dallas Keuchel said. “It’s not a good combo to have right now.

“The Tigers are playing really well and it’s not like we just had a walk in the park the last couple of days. We’ve been right in this game. We just found ways to lose them instead of the other way around.”

The Sox had 12 hits but went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

“You look at the run-scoring opportunities — and we had more than a handful — how the outs were made, how you could have changed the outcome,” La Russa said. “You learn more from getting beat than you learn from winning sometimes. We had a chance to blow that game open, score more runs than we did.

“And that’s actually happened quite a bit lately. We’re looking at it. (Hitting coach) Frank (Menechino) and (assistant hitting coach) Howie (Clark) don’t settle, and our guys don’t settle for it either.”

Luis Robert, who had two hits, drove in two with a double to give the Sox a 2-0 lead in the third. The Sox loaded the bases with one out, but Eloy Jiménez grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Tigers scored once in the third and fourth to tie the game. Keuchel allowed two runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and one walk in five innings.

“Three out of four times, which are really good odds, we are going to pull this game out,” Keuchel said. “Eight of 11 hits I gave up were 95 mph or less. That’s not very good luck. That’s just the way it goes.

“Until the playoffs start, I’m not going to say we are done for by any means. It’s just one of those things where one or two things aren’t going our way.”

The Tigers took the lead with three runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Niko Goodrum against reliever Jace Fry and a two-run single by Victor Reyes against Aaron Bummer.

Tim Anderson had an RBI single in the eighth to get the Sox within two runs. With two on and two outs, Robert grounded into a forceout.

Jiménez singled and Yoán Moncada walked with two outs in the ninth, but Michael Fulmer struck out Leury García to end the game.

“The wins and losses and results are a result of how well you play or didn’t play,” La Russa said. “We’ve been treading water for a while, we’ve been a .500 club. It’d be worse if we had nothing going for us. I think the right way to handle it is to figure out that we had to win at a higher percentage than we’ve been winning. Is it defense? Is it pitching at times? Is it the offense? It all starts with being ready to compete.

“Today in the dugout, it was alive the whole time. But then you’ve got to translate it. You play hard, then you’ve got to play well. If it was all about playing hard, then I’d have been a star. But you’ve got to be able to execute in this league. Our execution is not what it has to be, in all phases.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting