The Chicago White Sox were one of the escapees from a base-loaded jam in the 10th inning against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.
A single passed ball and two runs later, the Sox were on their way to their ninth loss in 10 games.
The Royals scored three runs in the 10th match and defeated the Sox 5–2 in front of 11,242 at a guaranteed rate field.
“It’s brutal, I think,” said Sox manager Tony La Russa. “You have bases loaded, two outs, lefty against lefty and you think, ‘Wow, we get this out and we can score a run and win.’ Suddenly, there are three on the board.
“This game will drive you crazy.”
La Russa said that “a lot went into that game other than the 10th inning.”
It was another tough day at the plate for the Sox, ending with five hits and just one run. Royals starter Brad Keller allowed one run – a sixth-innings homer by Leuri Garcia – on three hits in seven innings.
“He pitched really well,” La Russa said. , he thought he was out of the park but the wind kept him in. But he hit a few balls too hard.
“Tough days to hit, good times to pitch.”
Sox starter Michael Kopech conceded two runs on three hits with three strikes and scored four runs in five innings. He threw a career-high 94 pitches.
“Just wasn’t my fastest stuff,” Kopech said. “I didn’t execute what I had quickly. I had to fight with what I had. I just have to be more prepared for the next one.”
The Sox tied the game for 2 in the eighth when pinch runner Josh Harrison scored on AJ Pollock’s sacrificial fly to the left.
Sox reliever Aaron Bummer got a double game to finish ninth. With Liam Hendrix recovering from a back spasm and Kendall Graveman unavailable after playing two innings on Wednesday, Boomer returned to 10th place.
A walk for Carlos Santana, second in the Royals’ innings, loaded the base with a dismissal. Bummer dismisses Bobby Witt Jr for the second out.
But McGuire couldn’t handle a 1-0 sinker high to Kyle Isbell, and Whit Merrifield scored to break the tie.
“The ball went over them. I’m not sure (what happened),” said La Russa. “You look at the game he caught today, that was one of the reasons we got the opportunity late in the 10th inning. He’s just done a great job. I don’t know what happened to him,” he said.
Isbell scored two insurance runs and scored one to the left on the next pitch.
“In the first two, three weeks of the season, I’ve put my team in some very crappy situations,” Bummer said. “Whether the players have to come after me or not make pitches when they need to, I just need to get better,” he said. The way I am throwing the ball is not the way I want to throw the ball. It’s not the way I know I can.
“I found some things that were a pitch away, but at the end of the day I’m not making those pitches. You can take it as it is, but it’s a win-and-lose game. It’s a game of no doing. Whether a pitch is away or not, I didn’t do my job. The balls put in the game were ground balls, so it’s positive. Walking and things, all those things have to go away.”
La Russa said Boomer, who has a 7.04 ERA in eight relief appearances, is applying the pressure.
“There’s a guy out there trying too hard,” said La Russa. “You put your hand around him and tell him, ‘We’re with you and things will get better.'”
The Sox have dropped three straight series, each against division enemies (Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins and Royals).
“We just have to play our game,” Bummer said. “We are clearly not playing the way we want to. Just keep grinding, keep going through this.
“We expected everyone to come for us. We’re hunting in this division now, and everyone in this division took some steps to be a step ahead and we did too. This is a long season. It is playing (18). We just have to keep going, keep moving forward.”