White Sox fall to Athletics

“I’ve been outside my approach for the last week and a half or two weeks,” Burger said.

Jake Burger is 11-for-82 with five homers in his last 21 games. (AP)

Jake Burger strikes out with the bases loaded off a pitch from Texas Rangers relief pitcher Josh Suborz to end the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 19, 2023, in Chicago. (AP)

AP Photos

Third baseman Jake Burger had played in 21 consecutive games, so it was probably a good time for a night off.

Burger also wasn’t hitting a lick, so a rest made even more sense to him and manager Pedro Grifol as the 36-48 White Sox opened a three-game series against the lowly 22-62 Athletics with a 7-4 loss on Friday.

“Definitely feel like I needed it,” said Burger, who hit .102 in his last 13 games with one home run, one RBI and 19 strikeouts. “Not leg-wise, more mental than anything. I’ve been outside my approach for the last week and a half, two weeks. Talked to Pedro, had a good conversation about it.”

Burger was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in the Sox’ 9-7 win at the Angels on Thursday, leaving him with a .215/.264/.514 batting line and a .778 OPS that ranked third on the team behind Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jimenez.

But his pinch single to right in the eighth helped an offensively flat Sox team get a two-run inning going. Andrew Benintendi’s two-run double cut the A’s lead to 5-3. The rally stopped, however, when Trevor May entered in relief and struck out shortstop Tim Anderson, who fanned for the fourth time, leaving runners at second and third.

Anderson was 0-for-5, his average continuing to plummet at .226. Hitting coach Jose Castro was ejected trying to defend a called third strike on Anderson in the fourth, but there was no beef about the three straight pitches down the middle that Anderson looked at in the second.

The A’s tacked on two runs in the eighth against Jesse Scholtens. Robert hit his 24th homer leading off the ninth.

Coach Eddie Rodriguez reminded Burger that it’s about the body of work, not his current slump, reminding him of his 17 home runs. Twenty-nine of Burger’s 47 hits have gone for extra bases.

“That will keep me in the right mindset,” Burger said. “I know myself. I can get outside myself and try to overanalyze some stuff. That gets you in a deeper hole.

“What’s frustrating is I know it’s there.”

Grifol said he’s “not at all concerned” about Burger and has been satisfied with his defense as he mans third base in Yoan Moncada’s absence.

During the 21-game stretch, Burger was 11-for-82 (.134) with five homers and four doubles.

“One swing of the bat could change the game [for him],” Grifol said.

“It’s frustrating when I’m not hitting the ball like I’m used to and not hitting it over the fence,” Burger said. “It’s more about controlling the zone and not trying to do too much. I can’t let a stretch consume me.”

Banks and Scholtens

Left-hander Tanner Banks got the start in the spot manned by Mike Clevinger (biceps inflammation). Scholtens came on in relief.

Banks walked the leadoff batter, then gave up three hits, including a double to Aledmys Diaz and a triple to Tony Kemp, in a four-run A’s second.

Grifol said Michael Kopech not taking his turn and getting extra rest “is a good possibility” Sunday.

The Sox left the bases loaded in the first two innings after Jimenez singled home Benintendi (leadoff double) in the first.

Sox go to three catchers

Rookie Carlos Perez was activated and outfielder Adam Haseley optioned to Triple-A Charlotte, giving Grifol three catchers.

“We pinch-run for [Yasmani] Grandal; we pinch-hit for Seby [Zavala],” Grifol said. “I don’t want to get in a situation where we have to do both in the same game, and we can’t do it because we don’t have a third catcher.”

Having three “is really important for us,” but Grifol’s not sure how long he’ll have them all. If Perez isn’t used a lot, “we’ll make a move,” he said.

The Latest
Two years after Roe v. Wade was overturned, Illinois takes in more out-of-state abortion patients than any other state. Reproductive rights and abortion access remain constantly under threat.
Phil Grenchik landed a big walleye while trolling for steelhead last week.
She was shot in the leg while in a car in the 2500 block of West Divison Street about 11 p.m.
The Bears are rising, but they aren’t the only ones. There are still plenty of hurdles in their path to contending.
Foxx “was forced to step off of the road onto the parkway grass due to her fear of being struck,” according to court documents.