Johnny Cueto has rare rough outing in Sox’ loss to Diamondbacks

He was tagged for a season-high seven runs through the first three innings of a 7-2 loss to the Diamondbacks on Friday that fueled postgame boos.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago White Sox

Johnny Cueto wipes sweat from his forehead in the dugout after allowing six runs in the second inning Friday.

Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images

The White Sox face the untimely but too frequent prospect of losing center fielder Luis Robert for an extended period because of a bone bruise on his right hand.

But they couldn’t foresee nor afford a rare rough outing from pitching savior Johnny Cueto.

But that was the case Friday as Cueto was tagged for a season-high seven runs through the first three innings of a 7-2 loss to the Diamondbacks that fueled postgame boos.

“They came to see us win a ballgame, and we got beat,” manager Tony La Russa said. “Most of the game, it was lopsided, right? They have every right to be upset — at the team, management, whatever — they’ve got every right to do it.

“But I’m just saying, the fact that they were here and they did say, ‘Let’s go, White Sox,’ is amazing. It’s amazing fan support here, and I’ve got plenty of experience. But there ain’t no free lunch. It’s a two-way relationship. They support you, and you’ve got to give back. So we’ve got to do more about giving back.”

The loss, the Sox’ seventh in their last nine games, dropped them to the .500 mark (63-63) for the first time since Aug. 11 after a loss to the Royals.

The biggest blow was a three-run double by Josh Rojas with two outs in the second inning, and Emmanuel Rivera capped the six-run rally with a home run.

The blast ended Cueto’s streak of not allowing a homer at 35‰ innings, and Cueto’s streak of quality starts ended at 10.

Daulton Varsho smacked a homer with one out in the third to increase the Diamondbacks’ lead to 7-0.

“It was just a bad outing,” Cueto said. “I’m a human being, too. And it happens.”

Meanwhile, La Russa admitted Robert would need a few days of rest after tests revealed inflammation as well as a bruise.

“When he takes a normal swing, it’s OK,” La Russa said before the game. “But if he takes a funky swing, it seems like it irritates it.”

La Russa, however, all but ruled out Robert heading to the 10-day injured list.

“If he gets the weekend off and [with] the day off Monday and all of a sudden he’s ready Tuesday, he’s definitely worth it,” La Russa said.

Left fielder Eloy Jimenez left the game in the ninth, three innings after appearing to limp while running out an infield hit.

Anderson to play for Team USA

Shortstop Tim Anderson will play for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, MLB announced on its Twitter account.

“He’ll put on a show because he rises to the occasion,” La Russa said. “For all of us that get to see him, let the world see him, see how special he is. I’m very pleased.”

Anderson continued his recovery from surgery by performing drills with a bandage around his left hand before the game.

“He’s doing all the stuff to keep himself in shape, and pretty soon he’ll start swinging and doing other things,” La Russa said. “Every report is he’s working really well. It’s all positive.”

Moncada sits out

Third baseman Yoan Moncada didn’t play because of tightness in his left hamstring but could return Saturday, La Russa said.

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