Mark Parent on White Sox struggles: ‘Do something to help team win a game’

SHARE Mark Parent on White Sox struggles: ‘Do something to help team win a game’
SHARE Mark Parent on White Sox struggles: ‘Do something to help team win a game’

MINNEAPOLIS – May couldn’t come quickly enough for the White Sox, who clumsily went about putting together an April record of 8-11.

May began with a whimper Friday night, as Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson held the Sox to no runs on four hits through eight innings, spoiling a good outing for left-hander Jose Quintana and sending the Sox to a 1-0 defeat Friday. The Sox have lost three in a row.

Kennys Vargas scored the only run on a Quintana wild pitch in the fifth inning. Glen Perkins struck out Tyler Flowers looking with runners at second and third in the ninth to lock down the victory for Gibson (2-2).

The Sox were outscored by 25 runs in the first month, so the record could have looked even worse. Bench coach Mark Parent says it can look better from here on out if the Sox keep it simple: Do something to help the team win a game.

“We have to get out of our own way,’’ Parent said before Friday’s game. “As players, you start looking at your own numbers, but if you just think about winning the game everything takes care of itself. You want to make things happen? Take what the game gives you. If you’re behind and we need baserunners, try to work the count. If I need a home run and I get ahead in the count, don’t foul a ball off in the other team’s dugout. Know how to do things.’’

Parent knows that when the Sox look bad defensively, run into an out on the bases or swing at the first pitch when the bases are loaded and a pitcher is struggling reflects unfavorably on the coaching staff. The voices asking about Sox leadership are getting louder.

“The best thing a manager can do for a player is put his name in the lineup card,’’ Parent said. “That says ‘I believe in you and you’re going to play the game right and help me win a game.’ We’re not going to go around with every play that happens every day and re-teach that. This is the big leagues. You have to be accountable for that.

“What more can a player ask for? You want me to carry your bat to the plate? You try to stay consistent. One thing Robin is, he’s consistent with what he is whether you, I or whoever agrees with it, that’s the way he is. And the players have to take care of their stuff because he takes care of things the way he does.’’

Parent, who played 13 years as a catcher in the majors, said players who are struggling need to stop the “woe is me” feelings and forget about whether they’re liked or disliked by teammates, fans and media.

“People are going to like you or dislike you no matter what,’’ he said. “So you might as well take care of winning the game and do the little things to help your team win. Then you’ll be accepted in [the clubhouse].

“Make the plays, get a bunt down, get the guy over. Get a pitch to handle on a sacrifice situation or a fly ball. Little stuff.’’

The Sox had a spark when they beat they played well and beat the Royals Sunday after winning a suspended game. Then they sat in a Baltimore hotel for more than two days when two games were postponed. When play resumed, their top two starting pitchers were routed.

Friday’s game was the first of May.

“Hopefully turning the calendar is a good thing,’’ Ventura said.

Suffice it to say that Ventura shares Parent’s sentiments. As manager, though, it’s not his style to verbalize it publicly as Parent did before the Sox played the Twins on Friday night.

“[We’re] a good team and we’re talented and we have all that but we haven’t played all that well. So you stick together. That’s the biggest thing is the way these guys stick together. They realize they’re better than what they’ve shown and we sense it’s going to get better.’’

The good news? It’s still early, although the Royals and Tigers are already opening a sizable gap.

“If you remember, when the Giants came to our place they were the worst team we had seen all year,’’ Parent said. “Where did they end up?’’

They won the World Series.

“I have that in the back of my head.’’

NOTE: Center fielder Adam Eaton was ill with fever and a virus and was unavailable Friday night.

*The Sox’ Hector Noesi will oppose the Twins’ Ricky Nolasco Saturday. John Danks will pitch Sunday against Mike Pelfrey.

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