From the “it comes with the territory” department, Robin Ventura had to answer more questions about his status as the White Sox manager before the team’s game Monday against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. Ventura’s contract is up after the season.
“We’ll talk about that at the end of the year,” he said. “I’m not going to talk about it because I don’t feel it’s important to do that right now with you guys. At the end of the year, I’ll do it with them.”
The Sox (69-74), who clobbered the AL Central leading Cleveland Indians 11-4 Monday before a paid crowd of 12,588 at U.S. Cellular Field, need to finish 12-7 over their last 19 games to avoid a fourth straight losing season under Ventura. Therein lies the reason why he might not return, but it does reflect well on the manager that his players haven’t checked out and are playing hard to the finish line.
The Sox pulled off a rare feat, becoming the 20th team in the modern era to score in every inning, and Miguel Gonzalez pitched 6 2/3 quality innings to improve to 3-3 with a 2.56 ERA over his last 10 starts. Gonzalez (4-6, 3.82) allowed all three runs in the second when the Indians (83-60) capitalized on two bloop doubles and a soft single. Avisail Garcia had four hits for the third time in his career, including his 11th homer against Carlos Carrasco in the fourth.
Todd Frazier (career-high 36th) and Adam Eaton (13th) also homered and Anderson (3-for-5 had his 28th multihit game.
“You just continue to try to win the games you’re managing and playing,” Ventura said. “That doesn’t change. It never has.
“These guys play hard. They come in and prepare and all that stuff.
“That’s what you ask for. Prepare and play hard.”
Frazier and Eaton were not aware the Sox scored in every at-bat.
“That’s pretty cool,’’ Frazier said. “Only 20 times, wow. You would think it would be more than that, but we’re in the record books.’’
The Sox scored in every at-bat one other time in their history, in 1949 against the Red Sox.
Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall made errors on two Sox singles and the Sox scored a run on a dropped third strike by catcher Roberto Perez, who miscommunicated with reliever Kyle Crockett and was charged with a passed ball.
This was the first game in a four-game series.
“That’s as bad a game as we’ve played in a while,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Hopefully we get it out of our system and come back and play like we can.”
Abreu chasing 30/100
Jose Abreu (2-for-4), who drove in runs with a groundout and double against Carlos Carrasco, needs seven home runs and eight RBI to join Albert Pujols as the only players with 30 and 100 in each of their first three seasons.
The first baseman made two errors and was shaken up when Jason Kipnis’ left hand accidently struck him in the face with his left hand running out a ground ball and on a late slide returning to first on a fly out.
Saladino’s versatility still the thing
Tyler Saladino, who became an everyday player at second base when Brett Lawrie went down with an injury, hiked his average to .283 with two hits. He is 11-for-18 with three doubles in his last five games.
Ventura said Saladino, who has played all four infield positions, left field and designated hitter, could be an everyday player but “the value in him is that he is versatile.
“I don’t know if you get the best out of him if you don’t move him around all over the place. That has just as much value as a guy playing just one position.’’