Bullpen ruins Clevinger’s fine outing

Sox blow 3-0 lead for their third consecutive loss

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Andrew Benintendi

Chicago White Sox’s Andrew Benintendi runs to home to score on a single by teammate Eloy Jimenez during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, April 14, 2023, in Chicago.

Erin Hooley/AP

Not even the all-around performance by Andrew Benintendi in the sixth inning Friday night was enough to offset the damage caused by the White Sox’ bullpen that led to a 6-3 loss to the Orioles.

Relievers Jake Diekman, Reynaldo Lopez and Jimmy Lambert allowed six runs and five hits, walked three and had a balk in the seventh and eighth innings to wipe out the Sox’ 3-0 lead. It was their third consecutive loss.

The biggest blow came in the seventh when Adley Rutschman hit a three-run double on an 0-2 pitch from Lopez to put the Orioles ahead for good.

“In those moments, you need to be good,” Lopez said. “That was just a bad pitch, bad location.”

Benintendi helped starter Mike Clevinger escape with six innings of one-hit ball by making a diving catch near the left-field line to rob Rutschman of an extra-base hit that would’ve given the Orioles the lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Benintendi hit an RBI single and scored on a hit by Eloy Jimenez that knocked out Orioles starter Tyler Wells.

Clevinger walked five, including the first two batters in the sixth that put him in a predicament until Benintendi’s catch.

“I don’t want to say we just beat ourselves, but it feels like every game we kind of feel like we beat ourselves,” Clevinger said.

“You only get a silver lining. We could have a lot of wins right now. So it’s finding our identity, which we’re in the process of, and trying to mold those pieces together.”

Hendriks heightens spirits

General manager Rick Hahn showed persistent restraint in revealing a schedule for Liam Hendriks’ recovery from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma but was delighted at the possibility his closer could return.

“He still has some medical hurdles to clear, and then we get to some baseball hurdles to clear,” Hahn said. “But the fact that we are even entertaining this conversation is remarkable and a great testament to him and the fine doctors who helped get him there.”

Hendriks wasn’t put on the 60-day injured list before the season, so that raises the possibility that he could return before June 1.

Left-hander Garrett Crochet (Tommy John surgery) has hit every “milestone” in his recovery, including pitching in two games in extended spring training. Shortstop Tim Anderson (sprained left knee) left for two days for a personal matter, but he and reliever Joe Kelly (strained groin) are making progress, Hahn said.

Reliever Matt Foster (strained right flexor) was transferred from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL.

Roster roundup

Left-handed reliever Tanner Banks was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte, and infielder Nick Zolak was claimed off waivers from Seattle and optioned to Charlotte.

Pitcher Jesse Scholtens was optioned to Charlotte.

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