Good pitching and defense win championships, the old saying goes.
The White Sox couldn’t do either during the first game of a doubleheader against the Reds on Saturday. The offense was equally unspectacular, just for good measure, in a 10-4 loss at U.S. Cellular Field.
Five White Sox pitchers combined to allow 13 hits and eight walks while hitting two batters and throwing three wild pitches. The defense committed a pair of errors, too.
Reds starter Johnny Cueto kept the White Sox off balance for eight innings and had allowed only one run to that point. He was charged with three more in the ninth, but the game was already lost for the Sox.
The top five hitters in the White Sox batting order – Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche and Avisail Garcia – went a combined 3 for 18 at the plate. Two of those hits – a solo home run from Abreu and a double from Garcia – came during the ninth inning.
Alexei Ramirez gave the White Sox their first run with his 100th career homer, a first-pitch, solo shot over the left-field wall in the seventh inning. He joins Jose Valentin as the only White Sox shortstops to hit 100 homers.
White Sox starter Hector Noesi left the game in the second inning with a lower back contusion after getting hit by a line drive.
Billy Hamilton lined a pitch that hit Noesi on his right hip and bounced toward Alexei Ramirez for an infield single. After meeting with team trainers on the mound, Noesi threw a few practice pitches and then gave way to reliever Scott Carroll.
Noesi is considered day to day.
Noesi hadn’t been particularly sharp in the game to that point. He needed 46 pitches to record five outs and left the bases loaded for Carroll. He walked two batters and struck out three.