On Sunday, the White Sox played the type of sparkling defense that defined them throughout the 2012 season.
But it was obviously a one-and-done effort, and the Sox committed 3 errors that led to 5 unearned runs in Monday night's 7-3 loss to the Tigers.
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The bad defensive play that has been a staple of the White Sox' bad season was back Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. In a 6-2 loss to Detroit, the Sox made a season-high 4 errors that allowed 3 unearned runs to score.
"I don't think anybody saw this coming this year with the way we played last year and we pretty much have the same pieces," said Paul Konerko, who was the Sox' designated hitter Tuesday. "The ball just got rolling down the hill the wrong way and we haven't stopped it. If we knew the answer, if we knew how to stop it ... we've tried all different kinds of approaches.
"I know as a team it's a shame because the staff works hard. We're on top of things, we really are. Everybody addresses the things as they happen, we just haven't been able to stop the bleeding when it comes to that stuff. It's definitely a good lesson in showing what defense can do to keep you in games and this year has been the reverse. It's tough."
The night's worst display of fielding came from left fielder Dayan Viciedo in the sixth inning, when Tigers second baseman Hernan Perez lined into the left-center gap.
Viciedo beat center fielder Alejandro De Aza to the ball, but he bobbled it four times and Perez circled the bases. He was credit with a triple and came home on the error, but Viciedo could have been charged with 2 miscues on the play.
"It's part of the game; it gets away from them," said Sox starter Hector Santiago, who allowed 6 runs (3 earned) in 6 innings. "They're trying to make a play and it just falls out of their glove or something."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who was ejected by first-base umpire Gary Darling in the first inning, said he'll continue to stress good defense.
"I don't think there's any point you just give up on it," Ventura said. "It's an important part of the game and you've got to just keep harping on it. There's nothing else you can do but keep getting after it."
Crain cranks it up:
Out since June 29 with a strained right shoulder, White Sox reliever Jesse Crain threw his first bullpen on Tuesday since landing on the disabled list.
"He felt good," Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said after Crain threw 33 pitches. "The juggling act for us today was it was his first time on the mound. We want to do enough work without doing too much. We want to do it to the point where he's maybe a tad fatigued, making sure you've got that good workout in and feel good before, during and after."
Crain said he felt fine after throwing off the mound, and his next bullpen should be Thursday.
If he continues to make progress, Crain is likely to skip a minor-league rehab and rejoin the Sox on Sunday or Monday. The nonwaiver trade deadline is next Wednesday, so the right-hander should be able to pitch in at least one game in front of interested scouts.
Boston and Atlanta are rumored to have the most interest in Crain, who has a 0.74 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 362⁄3 innings.
Chris Sale lost his temper during Monday night's start against the Tigers.
Sale wasn't happy about having to intentionally walk the dangerous Miguel Cabrera in the fifth inning, and he proceeded to walk Detroit's next hitter, Prince Fielder, and yield a 2-run single to Victor Martinez.
After the loss, Sale was asked if he was disappointed by manager Robin Ventura's decision to give Cabrera a free pass.
"A little bit," he said. "I don't like giving people stuff. I like people to earn getting on base. But at the end of the day that's his (Ventura's) call."
Before Tuesday's game, Sale apologized to Ventura.
"I was pretty embarrassed with how I reacted to that last night," Sale said. "I went in there and apologized to him for acting like that. No matter how confident I am in myself for what I think might be right, at the end of the day, it's his call. I have to respect that and learn from my experiences -- good, bad or indifferent. Learn from it and move forward."