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Ivan Nova roughed up in White Sox’ loss to Jays

He allowed nine runs (eight earned) and eight hits, walked four and struck out one in three-plus innings. His ERA ballooned from 6.29 to 7.42.

Sox starter Ivan Nova was pounded for nine runs (eight earned) and eight hits in three-plus innings.
Sox starter Ivan Nova was pounded for nine runs (eight earned) and eight hits, including three home runs, in three-plus innings Friday against the Blue Jays.
Matt Marton/AP

Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched a fly ball into the rain in the fourth inning Friday and waited for it to land.

White Sox center fielder Leury Garcia tracked the flight of the ball and timed his steps. He leaped at the warning track, extended his arm over the top of the wall and felt the ball hit his glove.

One problem: The ball skipped off Garcia’s glove and carried over the wall for a home run.

It was that kind of night for the Sox, who gave up the first seven runs to the Blue Jays and lost 10-2. The Sox entered the game having won four of their last five games, but their pregame optimism quickly was subdued on a damp night with the temperature at 46 degrees for the first pitch.

Garcia slammed the wall in frustration after missing what would have been a highlight-reel catch. Meanwhile, Guerrero circled the bases in the same park where his Hall of Fame father cracked eight homers in 34 career games.

‘‘I thought I caught the ball, but it hit the tip of my glove,’’ Garcia said through an interpreter. ‘‘I was disappointed. I was just frustrated because it was a big play and the inning was a big inning for them. I just was trying to help the team try to hold on.’’

By the time Guerrero crossed the plate, a steady rain had intensified into a brief downpour.

The sequence was the most exciting bit of misfortune for the Sox on a night filled with failures.

Veteran right-hander Ivan Nova struggled with command in a grueling performance that lasted 88 pitches and only three-plus innings. Nova allowed nine runs (eight earned) and eight hits, walked four and struck out one. His ERA ballooned from 6.29 to 7.42.

The outing was a far cry from Nova’s last two starts, in which he allowed one run apiece against the Indians and Blue Jays.

What was missing this time around?

‘‘Everything,’’ Nova said.

He then elaborated.

‘‘I didn’t have command of my pitches,’’ Nova said. ‘‘Didn’t throw my curveball for a strike. Threw a slider that didn’t do nothing. Didn’t command the changeup. I missed my command today. I was walking people, falling behind guys, and I paid the price.’’

As Nova struggled, manager Rick Renteria chatted with pitching coach Don Cooper in the dugout. Cooper told him that Nova was throwing strikes, but the quality of his strikes was the issue. Too often, the pitches were left out over the plate, allowing hitters to feast.

‘‘His outings that have been good, he’s obviously executed very well,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘He’s hit his spots. The pitch sequence has been good. I think today, as Coop was saying, his pitches were strikes, but they just weren’t quality strikes.’’

Not everything was a loss.

Juan Minaya, Josh Osich, Aaron Bummer and Ryan Burr helped to steady the game out of the bullpen after Nova’s departure. Garcia and Yoan Moncada each drove in a run during a lively third inning. And shortstop Tim Anderson provided a defensive gem in the first, going to his right to grab a ball in the hole and firing a jump throw across the diamond to nab Guerrero.

Nova said Garcia had no reason to feel upset about the homer by Guerrero.

‘‘He’s a good hitter,’’ Nova said. ‘‘I try not to let him extend. I went in, in, in with my best pitch. It was my sinker. That pitch that he hit was not way in, like I wanted it to [be]. He put a good swing on it.

‘‘Leury is trying to do his best out there, and it jumps out of his glove. What can you do? He was trying.’’