Mike Pelfrey walked into an apparent no-win situation Saturday in his White Sox debut.
He pitched for a team that can’t score and squared off against the defending American League champions.
And that neatly sums up the Sox’ 7-0 loss to the Indians. The Sox had three hits and never even put a runner on second base against Carlos Carrasco, who threw eight scoreless innings.
The Sox have gone 23 innings without a run.
The last time a Sox runner crossed the plate was during the fourth inning Wednesday against the Yankees.
“We know we have a good team,” said left fielder Melky Cabrera, one of eight Sox starters to go hitless.
“We’re confident in ourselves, and it’s only been two or three weeks. We know we’re going to be OK.”
The South Siders have only six hits through the first two games of the series, which concludes Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Manager Rick Renteria said he’s not ready to panic about the sluggish offense yet.
“It’s a little early in the season, a little premature,” he said. “If I thought our approaches and at-bats were really bad, I’d have a little more concern about it.”
The Sox entered the game with a .211 batting average that ranked third-to-last in the majors. They came in next-to-last in runs, 26th in home runs and last in hits.
They had four players in the starting lineup with batting averages below .200.
“I try to make sure the effort is there,” Renteria said, “that we’re executing certain things in the field, that we’re doing all the things we want a baseball team to do and see if the rest of it all falls into place.”
There were other things that went bad for the Sox. Zach Putnam exited the game with tenderness in his right elbow, and Cabrera (left wrist) was removed for precautionary reasons to get an X-ray, which came back negative. Both are day-to-day.
Pelfrey only went 4„ innings, allowing four runs, four hits and a walk.
He made a costly mistake in the first on an 0-2 pitch to Edwin Encarnacion, who parked it into the batter’s eye in center field. Pelfrey was steady the next three innings before an error by Tim Anderson opened the door for two runs in the fifth.
“Would have definitely liked to go a little deeper in the game,” Pelfrey said.
“I’d like to get that 0-2 pitch back in the first to Encarnacion. Unfortunately, that ended up being the game with as good as Carrasco was.”
The lone bright spot in all this? Rookie Jacob May broke his 0-for-26 skid to start the season and got his first major-league hit.
May, 25, poked a single to right-center field as a pinch hitter in the seventh. The Sox’ dugout celebrated and made sure to collect the ball for him.
“It was kind of like having Harambe on my back,” May said of his slump. “I was in a choke hold because I couldn’t breathe, as well. Now that he’s gone, hopefully I can have a lot of success and help this team win. That’s the ultimate goal, to help this team win. Anything I can do to help that out.”
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