James Shields had his best start in August on Wednesday night, which isn’t saying much considering the former All-Star right-hander was 0-3 with a 17.43 ERA in his last four outings.
At least Shields kept the White Sox in it for a while in the White Sox’ 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies before 15,630 fans at soon to be renamed U.S. Cellular Field. He gave up two more homers – the 21st and 22nd in a Sox uniform over 75 innings and has been hit for multiple homers in four straight games for the first time in his career. But Shields was one out away from a quality start when Tommy Joseph launched his 17th of the season with two out in the sixth inning, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead.
Dioner Navarro hit his first homer since the Fourth of July with Avisail Garcia on base against Jerod Eickhoff (9-12, 3.87 ERA) in the sixth and came to bat as the winning run against Jeanmar Gomez after Avisail Garcia drove in a run with his second single, but Navarro grounded out to end the game.
Shields did strike out six, his high in 15 starts since coming over from the San Diego Padres with cash in a trade for prospects Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis. And the Phils’ first homer, by Cesar Hernandez in the third, just made it into the bullpen near the left field line.
“I thought it was a routine pop fly,’’ Shields said. “I think he thought it was a routine pop fly.
“Honestly I think the only pitch I made a mistake on was [to Joseph]. The ball kind of slipped out of my hand and I kind of left it over the plate. Other than that I felt good with my location tonight.
“The positives things are I didn’t walk anyone and I was getting some swings and misses.’’
The Sox had their three-game win streak snapped and fell to 60-65 while the Phillies improved to 59-68.
Brett Lawrie had an MRI on his knee and hip, Ventura said.
“He’s getting a full checkup to see what’s there and what can be done for him.’’
Lawrie went on the DL July 27 with a strained left hamstring. Since then Ventura said Lawrie had an issue in the knee, and then he left a minor league rehab game with a sore quad. Wednesday was the first mention of his hip.
“I don’t think it was that specific when he first felt it,’’ Ventura said. “Just trying to make sure we’re looking at everything and getting the diagnosis you need.’’
*Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (groin) threw a bullpen pain-free, “which is great,’’ he said. “I’m happy with the results today and come back (Thursday) and see how it feels.’’
A simulated game would likely precede a minor-league rehab outing, Ventura said.
*Catcher Alex Avila DH’d at AAA Charlotte in his minor league rehab and is expected to catch seven innings Thursday before a possible return this weekend.
This and that
The White Sox rank 21st among major league teams in run differential at minus-37. They were also 21st last season, at minus-79.
*Tim Anderson, a fast runner, grounded into his 10th double play in 63 games. Anderson is already third on the team behind Jose Abreu (17) and Melky Cabrera (15).