‘Fire Tony!’ White Sox fans vent during 10th-inning collapse against Rangers
Chants of “Fire Tony” resonated for 20 seconds after the Rangers’ Brad Miller drew a walk in the top of the 10th inning following a tie-breaking single by Ezequiel Duran and passed ball by Reese McGuire.
Watching the reigning American League Central champions blow a five-run lead before striking out 11 times in the last four innings of regulation Saturday was enough for a convincing contingent of White Sox fans.
Chants of ‘‘Fire Tony’’ resonated for 20 seconds after the Rangers’ Brad Miller drew a walk in the 10th inning. That followed a tiebreaking single by Ezequiel Duran and a passed ball by Reese McGuire.
The chants turned to boos shortly after Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa pulled reliever Matt Foster and before Marcus Semien hit a two-run single for the clinching blow in an 11-9 loss that dropped the Sox six games behind the division-leading Twins.
The loss was the third in the last four games for the Sox, whose fans have become more restless with their sub-.500 performance and with La Russa, who is aware of the discontent.
‘‘Well, I hear it with one ear and I see it with one eye,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘I appreciate [that] they want us to win, and when we don’t win, they’re unhappy. I’m pleased that they are, you know?
‘‘We have the team we have to win, and we’re losing games. Nobody in that clubhouse, including the manager and coaches, is happy. I like it when [the fans] care enough to be upset.’’
La Russa, whose decision Thursday to walk Trea Turner intentionally with a 1-2 count was foiled when Max Muncy hit a three-run home run in an 11-9 loss to the Dodgers, accepted being the target of the fans’ ire.
‘‘I’ve said before, I learned you’re accountable for everything, right?’’ La Russa said. ‘‘Anything that is happening with this team, in the end, I’m responsible for. . . . You figure that out.
‘‘If you don’t like the record [27-30], it’s my responsibility. If you don’t like the moves, whatever it is. I’ve never have dodged accountability, and I won’t start now.’’
Two days after Dylan Cease blew a 4-0 lead, Lucas Giolito accepted the blame for a fifth- inning meltdown in which the Rangers’ Adolis Garcia hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run rally.
‘‘I’m disgusted in myself,’’ said Giolito, who had retired eight consecutive batters before the debacle started. ‘‘That’s all I can really say. I go out and perform like I know I can, and we’re talking a lot differently right now.’’
To compound matters, catcher Yasmani Grandal left in the third with tightness in his left hamstring. He will be re-examined Sunday, but Carlos Perez is a leading candidate to be promoted from Triple-A Charlotte to provide insurance.
Another reliever might be promoted, too, in the wake of Giolito’s five-inning stint. Jimmy Lambert pitched 2‰ innings of one-hit relief after Davis Martin and Kendall Graveman weren’t available after pitching Friday, and Aaron Bummer hasn’t pitched since Tuesday.
The loss overshadowed a 2-for-5 performance by Jake Burger, who homered and is batting .346 in his last 14 games.
The Sox collected 12 hits in the first five innings against left-hander Martin Perez, who entered the game with a 1.56 ERA. But they couldn’t solve four Rangers relievers, led by left-hander Matt Moore, who struck out five in the eighth and ninth.
‘‘[The fans] have a right to voice their opinion,’’ Burger said. ‘‘They are coming to the game, and they can say whatever they want. I know this clubhouse is a family, and we are going to stick together, no matter what.
‘‘You can have outside opinions, but this clubhouse is tight, and it’s a family.’’