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The White Sox have now lost 10 of their last 11, and if you’re struggling to differentiate games at this point, this one had the ninth-inning uprising that prompted Joe Maddon to call on his closer for the fourth time in five games with a four-run lead.
The Sox trailed 5-1 entering the ninth, but Mike Mayers gave up a one-out single to Tim Anderson, then plunked Andrew Vaughn. That was enough for Maddon, who called for Raisel Iglesias. Iglesias didn’t have his best stuff, issuing his first walk of the season to José Abreu that loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Luis Robert.
Robert, playing for the first time in eight days after dealing with a strained groin, flied out to right to end the game, so it’s a loss like the rest.
Other hallmarks of recent White Sox play remained, including:
A starting pitching performance that should’ve been adequate: The Angels blitzed Lucas Giolito with a pair of first-inning solo shots — Taylor Ward on an elevated curveball, Shohei Ohtani on a fastball — but he settled down to notch a quality start on 99 pitches. In fact, he should’ve been able to get out with just two runs allowed, but …
A key error: … José Abreu couldn’t scoop Josh Harrison’s cross-body throw on Mike Trout’s grounder leading off the sixth inning, and that run eventually came around to score.
A non-existent offense against a non-descript righty: The White Sox were held to three hits in a game opened by emergency starter Jimmy Herges, who stepped in after Noah Syndergaard was scratched with an illness. Tim Anderson led off with a double and scored on a pair of soft grounders — the second of which was a weird Yasmani Grandal spinner that slipped through Matt Duffy’s wickets — but José Abreu grounded into a double play, and the White Sox didn’t have another baserunner until the seventh inning.
Fruitless hard contact: The White Sox scored the four hardest-hit balls of the game and had seven with triple-digit exit velocity, but only Abreu’s 110.2 mph grounder through the middle in the seventh inning counted as a hit. Drives by Abreu and Luis Robert died on the warning track, and Andrew Vaughn had a rocket snared by a lunging Anthony Rendon behind third base.
Suboptimal weather: The game opened at 60 degrees, but then the rain came, accompanied by a firm wind. Nobody will miss this month.
*The White Sox were outhit 13-3, and only had four at-bats with a runner in scoring position (0-for-4).
*Giolito had to shift away from his breaking stuff, but he found safe harbor in his fastball-changeup combination, getting 14 of his 15 swinging strikes on those pitches.
*His start ended without throwing a pitch, as he picked off Rendon at second base, assisted by a terrific Josh Harrison tag.
*While Abreu wasn’t able to scoop Harrison’s throw, he did dig out Jake Burger’s long toss from well across the diamond to convert a sterling play.
*Ryan Burr made his first appearance of the season and gave up a run on two hits and a walk. He was supposed to pitch the final four outs, but Anderson Severino had to come in to face Ohtani.
*Grandal went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and committed a throwing error on a steal of second, which came around to score.