White Sox find way to lose to lowly Athletics

Shortstop Tim Anderson goes 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in 7-4 loss dropping White Sox to 36-48

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Tim Anderson gets called out on strikes in the fourth inning at RingCentral Coliseum on June 30, 2023 in Oakland, California. (Getty Images)

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OAKLAND, Calif. — This is no place to come to get beat.

Not against the Athletics, the worst team in baseball with the worst pitching staff, with a starting pitcher bringing a six-something ERA to the ballpark. Not for the White Sox, who came to the Coliseum needing to carve into their painfully underachieving record, a mark that fell to 36-48 after 7-4 loss to the lowly 22-62 A’s.

It started just fine when Andrew Benintendi led off with a double and scored on a single by Eloy Jimenez. But the Sox left the bases loaded in each of the first two innings, then fell behind when lefty Tanner Banks allowed four runs in the A’s second.

“I got a little bit out of my attack plan and my approach and obviously it got to me,” Banks said. “I made some good pitches and they put good swings on some pitches.”

At 5-1, the Sox finally cranked it up, getting two runs on Benintendi’s two-run double off the right field wall in the eighth. But Tim Anderson struck out against reliever Trevor May with runners on second and third, slamming his bat to the ground in frustration.

Anderson was 0-for-5, his average free-falling at .226. Hitting coach Jose Castro was ejected trying to defend the shortstop on a called third strike in the fourth, but there was no beef about the three straight pitches Anderson took down the middle with two runners on in the second.

Manager Pedro Grifol has stuck with the former All-Star in the No. 2 spot after dropping him from his customary leadoff role. A drop to the bottom of the order seems necessary. Anderson is 4-for-58 in his last 14 games.

“I haven’t thought about that yet,” Grifol said after the game.

The A’s had 10 hits against Banks and Scholtens, the Sox’ make-do tandem holding down a rotation spot while Mike Clevinger heals from biceps inflammation, snapping a franchise-record 19 consecutive games with nine hits or fewer.

“Leadoff walk turned into a four run inning,” Grifol said. “The game was probably decided in the first couple innings.”

The A’s led 5-1 on a homer against Scholtens by catcher Carlos Perez, older brother by the same name of the Sox catcher called up from from Triple-A Charlotte before the game.

he two have an older brother also named Carlos, all three with different middle names. The first name is also shared by their father and grandfather.

Rookie right-hander Luis Medina walked five — three in the first inning — but escaped with a four-hit, one-run performance in a 101-pitch five inning outing.

“He had good stuff,” Benintendi said, “throwing in the upper 90s. He was a little wild but effectively wild. We couldn’t push a few through and they capitalized, so. ...”

So the Sox need to win Saturday with Dylan Cease pitching and Sunday with a TBA starter — perhaps Touki Toussaint — to win a series against the worst team in baseball.

Luis Robert Jr. led off the ninth with his 11th homer of June on the last day of the month, which saw the Sox go 13-13. Robert, who should be named to the AL All-Star team Sunday, has 24 home runs this season.

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