White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel says some teammates ‘going through motions’

The left-hander gave his team a chance to win for the fourth time in as many starts but saw a group looking “flat.”

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White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel throws against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning Monday.

White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel throws against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning Monday.

Paul Sancya/AP

Left-hander Dallas Keuchel is “frustrated,” and it’s understandable.

He gave the White Sox a chance to win for the fourth time in as many starts but saw a team around him looking “flat” Monday in a 5-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park.

“We came out flat,” Keuchel said. “We have some guys taking professional at-bats, being professional on the mound and doing what it takes to win, and we’ve got some guys going through the motions. So we need to clean a lot of things up.

“It seemed like we were taking the night off ... very subpar play from everybody.”

Opening a three-game road series against a team they thought they would be better than but aren’t, the Sox (8-9) scraped together one run against six Tigers pitchers and lost for the fifth time in six games. The Tigers, expected to be a bottom feeder in the American League Central, are 9-5.

Already banged up with injuries, the Sox saw Leury Garcia leave the game after jamming his left thumb on a slide into first base to beat out an infield single and Jose Abreu come away hobbling after landing awkwardly on first base. Abreu has a sore right hip and will be re-evaluated along with Garcia on Tuesday.

The Sox have scored 14 runs in their last seven games and are 4-for-47 with runners in scoring position over the last eight games. The only run came on Adam Engel’s groundout that scored Danny Mendick (3-for-4), who had tripled in the seventh.

Engel, playing center field in place of Luis Robert, charged Jacoby Jones’ liner in the seventh against Codi Heuer and missed it, allowing the ball to skip to the wall. Jones circled the bases for the second inside-the-park homer against the Sox this season.

Keuchel (2-2, 3.04 ERA) allowed three runs in six innings.

“We have some pretty talented players,” manager Rick Renteria said. “There is no magic bullet, no secret.

“I can’t even consider thinking that there is anything wrong with the talent that we have. We’re not executing. We’re not getting it done.”

As Keuchel knows from playing for a World Series champion in Houston with the Astros in 2017, it takes more than talent. Keuchel was signed to a three-year, $55 million deal as a free agent in the offseason to bring veteran leadership to the Sox’ pitching staff.

“The first thing is that if you love baseball, show up to the park every day and make sure that you’re ready to go,” Keuchel said. “You’re not going to show up to the ballpark feeling fresh every day. That’s the beauty of baseball is that when you show up to the park at 2 p.m., you don’t always have to feel your greatest, but at 7 o’clock when the lights come on and even though there’s no fans, you’re playing competitive baseball, and if you don’t want to dominate the guy who’s throwing to you or if you don’t want to compete against a whole lineup that you’re facing, you’re in the wrong sport.

“There’s going to be a lot of learning curves for this team, just because of the process that this team has been under the last two, three years. This is one of them. We faced a challenge tonight, and hopefully we can come out tomorrow and strap it up and play some White Sox baseball.”

This and that

Shortstop Tim Anderson (groin) is expected to come off the injured list Tuesday. Edwin Encarnacion (left shoulder), who did not start for a sixth consecutive game, might return Tuesday.

† The start time for Saturday’s game between the Sox and Cardinals has been changed to 6:10 p.m. It had been scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

† Right-hander Brady Lail, who was designated for assignment by the Sox on Saturday, was claimed by the Mariners. Lail pitched in one game, working 1⅓ innings.

† Former Sox prospects Fernando Tatis Jr. and Frankie Montas were named National League and American League players of the week. Tatis, the Padres shortstop who has emerged as one of baseball’s great young stars, batted .435 with six homers over six games. Montas, a right-hander, went 2-0 with an ERA of 0.64 and 14 strikeouts over two starts and 14 innings for the Athletics.

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