Late rally falls short in White Sox’ 6-5 loss to Angels
Dallas Keuchel walked five over five innings, and the Sox’ five-run ninth was the highlight of an otherwise frustrating day for the offense.
The White Sox were encouraged by their offensive outburst in the ninth inning. Even left-hander Dallas Keuchel took some pluses from his outing.
But the bottom line is: The Sox’ 6-5 loss to the Angels on Sunday was their 11th in 13 games. The lineup was silent for eight innings, and Keuchel’s command issues continued.
Needing six runs in the ninth, the Sox rallied for five but left the bases loaded on Gavin Sheets’ grounder to first to end the game against former teammate Ryan Tepera.
Still, the Sox hoped to build from the inning, which featured Leury Garcia’s two-run double, Josh Harrison’s RBI double, Tim Anderson’s run-scoring single and Jose Abreu’s hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded.
“We fought,’’ Luis Robert said. ‘‘We fought in the ninth. That’s a positive. We were able to come back in that ninth inning.
‘‘It was good for us. Even though we didn’t win the game, it was a good battle, and we know we’re going through a difficult stretch. But a game like today, the battle that we had in the ninth inning was good.”
For the first eight innings, it was another frustrating performance from an offense that entered the game with only 36 runs in the previous 15 games.
Having thrown 91 pitches through eight innings, Angels starter Michael Lorenzen, who had never gone longer than seven innings, was given a chance by manager Joe Maddon to go for the shutout.
Despite its futility for eight innings, manager Tony La Russa sounded a positive note about the offense’s overall performance.
“I was pleased with them, not only just in the ninth,” La Russa said. “We had a bunch of hits against a guy who really pitched well. Give him a lot of credit.
‘‘It’s just that what we did in the ninth inning was very special. Could have been real special. We took our shot.”
The Sox found themselves in that position -after another rocky start from Keuchel.
He went five innings, allowing four runs and six hits and walking five (one intentional). Over his last two outings, Keuchel has walked 10 batters.
Clearly his control hurt him again, as did Angels superstar Mike Trout with a no-doubt home run in the first inning and a double in the third inning.
But just a few minutes after the game, La Russa wasn’t quite ready to assess Keuchel, whose sterling track record is becoming somewhat of a distant memory.
“The wrong thing to do is try to evaluate in the heat of the moment,” La Russa said. “Trout hurt him twice, but the walks are not good. You evaluate later on when you calm down a little bit.”
Keuchel was disappointed by the walks and said he’s forcing things early instead of letting the game flow. But he said he likes how the ball is moving and thought he had good command except for the cutter that Trout hit for the home run.
Trout, who reached base five times, and -Lorenzen were too much for the Sox, even if they did rally.
‘‘We’re battling . . . we’re in these ballgames,’’ Keuchel said.
‘‘It’s nice to see smiles and hits, instead of sadness and slumber waiting for the next day. I’d like to smile a little bit more and get some more wins.”