NEW YORK – Jose Abreu says the White Sox have the right makeup to bounce back from losses.
We shall now see.
Sunday’s 7-5 defeat to the New York Yankees was a bad one, tainted by uncharacteristic shaky defense which saw a franchise record 12-game errorless streak come to and, an ineffective start from right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and a bullpen that allowed Yankees damage in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
“Not a good road trip for us,’’ Adam Eaton said. “We’ve been playing good baseball here and there and we have to put it behind us.’’
The loss was the Sox’ fourth in fifth games, a stretch that began when they blew a five-run lead against the Texas Rangers Tuesday.
“Not [an issue] at all,’’ Todd Frazier said. “We went 12 straight games without an error. It’s going to happen. We worry about the mental mistakes, not the mental ones because we know eventually it’s going to happen.
“What were we, 2-4 on the road trip with a couple tough losses and a couple tough wins. Bottom line is we get another off day [Monday] to regroup and get back to it in two days.’’
Pinch-hitter Chase Headley roped a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning against Matt Albers, after Albers walked Didi Gregorius with two outs.
Dellin Betances, who had struck out all four Sox he faced in Saturday’s 2-1 loss, took over but Abreu and Frazier singled to left to open the seventh and Melky Cabrera hit a tying double. But Lawrie grounded to shortstop against a pulled-in infield and Avisail Garcia (3-for-4) and Alex Avila (0-for-4, three strikeouts) struck out.
Andrew Miller pitched a perfect eighth and 100-mph lefty Aroldis Chapman, after winning a 12-pitch battle with Abreu to open the ninth, closed for the save.
Abreu said a questioner was “perfectly accurate” to suggest the new personalities on the roster afford a mentality that helps the Sox bounce back from losses.
“The most important thing for me this year is the energy that Todd, Brett [Lawrie], Jimmy [Rollins] bring every day,’’ Abreu said through translator Billy Russo. “They are very good players but their personalities are something that probably make a difference in this team.
“And that’s something that is very valuable for us. I like it. I think that there’s the biggest difference this year.’’
Even while the Sox were rolling, building an American League best record and leading the division by a handful of games last week, Abreu liked that his team was still pushing.
“We are good but we know that we can be better and that’s the motivation every day, no matter what happened last night,’’ he said. “Today is a new day and that’s something that brings us energy and invigorates you.’’
Abreu, who was 1-for-5, is hitting .248 and hasn’t even gone off yet, and the Sox are patiently waiting but thankful to be in the position they’re in with his good but not great(five homers, six doubles, 24 RBI) start. He’s showing signs.
Ask him, and he’ll tell you he might be close.
“Right now, I’m feeling very, very good,’’ Abreu said.
Manager Robin Ventura also expects the numbers to start popping soon.
“I’m very confident,’’ Abreu said. “That’s something that’s going to happen.’’
Ventura likes the way Abreu is swinging the bat. He pointed to an opposite field blast in Texas that Abreu thought was gone but was knocked down by high, stormy wind.
“Oh yeah, as far as swinging the bat, going the other way and making hard contact,’’ Ventura said.
“He just has to continue to stay with it. We know what he can do. We don’t look at it like a guy is getting older and losing pop. People are pitching him different, and I think once the lineup gets more consistent, it’s going to happen.’’
After an off day Monday, the Sox open a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros.