White Sox lose second straight
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BALTIMORE — When it becomes an actual story that the White Sox played bad defense, that’s called improvement.
There’s one way of looking at a 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles Friday at cold and damp Camden Yards.
“We didn’t glove it very well which is uncharacteristic of us,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Bad night with the glove.”
The Sox had about three or four bad nights with the glove every week last season, when they finished 10 games below .500. They’re still eight games above .500 after this sluggish loss at 16-8, thanks in large part to a crisper defensive unit that has supported the American League’s best pitching staff.
Nolan Reimold’s three-run homer against left-hander Carlos Rodon broke a three-all tie after the Sox spotted the O’s, who are 9-1 at home, a 3-1 lead during an ugly fifth inning around the middle of the infield.
Rodon, who breezed through the first 11 batters he faced, allowed three runs in the fifth when second baseman Brett Lawrie and shortstop Jimmy Rollins both botched routine double plays, Lawrie appearing to make a throw to Rollins before he had possession of Matt Wieters’ grounder and Rollins stumbling and air-mailing a relay after taking a feed from Lawrie on Joey Rickard’s grounder.
The Orioles got their third run of the inning on the Rollins throw, which was too high for first baseman Jose Abreu to even reach for. The first two runs came on Jonathan Schoop’s two-run single.
Rodon (seven innings, eight hits, six runs, four earned runs, one walk, seven strikeouts) blamed himself for walking the leadoff man.
“That’s on me. It can’t happen,” Rodon said. “It’s a different inning if I don’t walk that leadoff guy [Adam Jones]. Say I get him out, and it’s a different, 1-2-3 inning. Those guys are trying as hard as they can. Those are the best players out there.”
Such has been the mood in the Sox clubhouse during mostly good times and bad. Nobody pointing fingers, everybody talking up the team game.
“If one guy makes an error, the other guy picks him up,” said third baseman Todd Frazier, who caught Jones in a rundown during for the first out of that inning to give Rodon a chance to escape. Adam Eaton threw out Joey Rickard at home during the fifth inning, his fifth assist of the season.
“It happens,” Frazier said. “Nothing you can do about it. We came back and tied it up. Rodon pitched a hell of a game, just that one inning. Things could have a different way here or there but those mistakes will happen. We’re still good defensively, no problems there. One bad break, what are you going to do?”
Trailing 3-1, the Sox picked up a run in the sixth on Jose Abreu’s jam-shot single to right against Orioles starter Mike Wright and then loaded the bases when Frazier walked, but Jones, the Orioles center fielder, gloved Melky Cabrera’s sinking liner and threw out Rollins at home for an inning-ending double play.
Lawrie made amends for his error by leading off the seventh with a home run to left, his second of the season, to tie the game at 3.
Rodon (1-3) gave up two quick singles to Wieters and Hardy in the seventh before Reimold connected.
“Fastball away was what we were going for,” Rodon said. “It was just a little up. Honestly, I thought he was going to bunt, but now that I think about it and remember going through the scouting report, he was a guy who had good power the other way, and sure enough, he showed it on that pitch.”