Too little, too late for White Sox’ James Shields in loss to Cubs

Moral victories aren’t quite cutting it for the White Sox.

They did scrap against the Cubs, getting the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning of a game that seemed lost in the first. And right-hander James Shields did retire 14 of the last 15 Cubs he faced.

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All well and good. All for naught.

White Sox starting pitcher James Shields throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 12, 2018, in Chicago. (AP)

“To settle in after that first inning is always good,” Shields said. “Save the bullpen. But I needed to do a better job in that first inning.”

Shields gave up a leadoff triple to Javy Baez and walked Kris Bryant before Anthony Rizzo’s opposite-field homer made it 3-0.

“Wasn’t hitting my spots, [although] honestly, the Rizzo home run was a really good pitch, down and away on the black,” Shields said. “Good piece of hitting right there. I just wasn’t hitting my spots in the first inning and had to settle in after that.”

Throw out the first inning, and Shields, who went six, has been good for three starts in a row. He has worked six or more innings in four straight starts for the first time since 2016.

Alas, another moral victory that couldn’t prevent the Sox from losing their seventh game in a row.

No relief

Right-hander Chris Beck gave up his second homer in two days to Willson Contreras and walked three Cubs in the seventh inning. Left-hander Aaron Bummer replaced him and walked two more — on eight pitches — as the Cubs built an 8-1 lead.

Davidson goes deep

Matt Davidson’s 10th homer against Carl Edwards Jr. was his first since April 27 in Kansas City, and it broke a streak of 14 consecutive hitless appearances against the Cubs.

“He continues to have really good at-bats,” manager Rick Renteria said. “That was a tough pitch he hit and where he hit it in this particular ballpark [with the wind blowing in] right now.

“We saw a lot of balls that were struck pretty well and knocked down by the wind.”

Setback for Gonzalez

Help will not be on the way soon from right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who had been progressing toward a minor-league rehab assignment Sunday.

“Miggy took a bit of a setback yesterday,” Renteria said, “so we’re going to continue to evaluate him and see where he’s at.”

Gonzalez went on the 10-day disabled list April 23 with inflammation of the right rotator cuff. Signed to a one-year deal during the offseason as a back-of-the-rotation starter, Gonzalez is 0-3 with a 12.41 ERA in 12 1/3 innings covering three starts.

Sox pick up Giavotella

The Sox signed free-agent second baseman Johnny Giavotella, 30, who will report to Class AA Birmingham.

Giavotella batted .214/.389/.250 for the Marlins’ Class AAA team before being released by the Marlins on May 3. He batted .306/.368/.441 for the Orioles’ AAA team last season. In seven seasons with the Royals, Angels and Orioles, Giavotella hit .255/.294/.359 in 1,344 plate appearances.

This and that

The Sox are 0-6 in interleague games.

*The Sox have allowed 36 runs in the first inning, the most of any inning.