SEATTLE – The White Sox have had their share of gut-punching losses in 2016, and the 4-3 defeat after Chris Sale pitched eight scoreless innings of one-hit ball Monday ranks near the top – or bottom depending on your point of view.
“Any time you lose that way it’s hard, it’s gut-wrenching, all that kind of stuff,’’ manager Robin Ventura said before the Sox tried to bounce back Tuesday night. “But when there is another game today, you come back and … we’ve had the lows of the low and found our way back and played pretty good baseball. You continue to grind, that’s the only thing you can do is come back here, get a good attitude and get after it.’’
This one was the Sox’ fifth in a row, dropping them two games below .500.
Closer David Robertson started the ninth inning protecting a 3-0 lead and blew it. Corey Seager’s RBI single and pinch-hitter Adam Lind’s three-run walk-off homer were the big blows.
Robertson hadn’t pitched since July 6, but didn’t use rust as an excuse, even though he misfired on the home run pitch to Lind by plenty. Catcher Dioner Navarro called for a cut fastball away and Robertson threw it up and in.
“You could look at it like that [the layoff hurt him],’’ Ventura said. “[But] he’s had games where he’s given up four runs before [when he wasn’t rusty]. We figured he was rested. I don’t think it was rust.”
Robertson, the fourth-highest paid Sox at $11 million, took the loss hard. His ERA climbed to 4.14 and he blew his third save. He had 23 saves, third in the American League behind Zach Britton and Francisco Rodriguez.
Rodon on mend
Left-hander Carlos Rodon played catch at about 60 feet and said his sprained left wrist feels much better.
“It feels good. I’m getting there,’’ he said.
At this point, Rodon, who is on the disabled list, is trying to regain mobility and looking forward to building his arm strength back with long toss and bullpen sessions soon. A minor league rehab outing is likely before he returns.
Rodon’s next step is catch Thursday at about 90 feet.
The Sox have not announced probable starters for the four-game series against the Tigers which begins Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field. Jacob Turner, who took Rodon’s spot in the rotation Sunday against the Angels, allowed eight runs in four innings. If it’s not Turner on Friday, the Sox would likely make a minor league call-up.
Carson Fulmer, a starter at AA Birmingham, was called up Friday to be used in relief, general manager Rick Hahn said.
Right-hander Zach Putnam (elbow) “ramped up the intensity a little bit” throwing 25-30 pitches off a mound and said it felt “marginally better” than the last time. The telling thing will be how it feels Wednesday.
“If I wake up and it’s super swollen up and super stiff, it’s going to be a problem,’’ Putnam said. “We’ll evaluate it then.’’
Putnam said he is “very hopeful” he can get through the season without surgery.
Twelve for Lawrie
Brett Lawrie hit his 12th homer against left-hander Wade Miley in the second inning, moving him past Jose Abreu for second on the team. It was Lawrie’s first homer since June 29.