Individually, there was a lot to like about the White Sox in April.
Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers, Adam Eaton -- even Adam Dunn -- are off to promising starts at the plate.
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The Sox could have uncovered a gem in starting pitcher Scott Carroll, who looked like a seasoned vet in Sunday's major-league debut.
For the most part, the bullpen has settled down after a shaky first couple of weeks, and there's even been an air of excitement hovering over a team that lost 99 games in 2013.
But as Wednesday afternoon's 5-1 loss to the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field clearly showed, the White Sox (14-15) are far from a finished product.
"Well, you'd like it to be better, obviously," manager Robin Ventura said. "When you're dealing with injuries and stuff like that, at least you're still in the mix. Guys, offensively, had a good month and you just want to keep that up and play better. You want to win more games."
Injuries to ace Chris Sale and Felipe Paulino forced the Sox to use nine different starters in April.
It was Hector Noesi's turn Wednesday, even though he was released by the Rangers last Friday with a 14.21 ERA.
Opposing Detroit's Max Scherzer, who won the American League Cy Young Award last year, Noesi tried making the best of a very difficult matchup.
For three innings, it was an unexpected pitcher's duel, but the Tigers scored 4 runs on 4 hits in the fourth while chasing Noesi.
"I got tired," Noesi said. "I haven't thrown that many innings a lot."
Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, Maikel Cleto and Daniel Webb limited further damage in relief of Noesi, but the Sox' bats were silent against Scherzer and three relievers until Tyler Flowers ended the shutout bid with two outs in the ninth inning on an RBI single.
While they've looked much better than last season, the White Sox would really have to take it up another few notches to prevent the Tigers from finishing first in the AL Central for the fourth straight year.
The Sox were 2-4 against Detroit in the opening month.
"You've seen us compete in every game against them," Flowers said. "We just worry about our thing and let them worry about theirs. There is no doubt that's a very talented team, strong pitching staff, starting rotation. They have some good bullpen guys in there, a couple of new additions, and then their lineup.
"Even the backup catcher (Bryan Holaday) playing the past couple of days has swung the bat well and did a good job. There is definitely nothing easy about that team over there, but with that said, there is nothing easy about our team either. We just come out and play our game and I like our chances against them."
Scherzer won the Cy Young Award for a reason, and the right-hander was good again Wednesday while striking out seven over 6 scoreless innings.
"We don't really have any doubt in our offense," Flowers said. "Today, I really feel like Scherzer was on his game. He was able to hit spots and get the benefit of the doubt on some borderline calls and such. That made it a little more challenging, but we'll bounce back with the next game and continue. That's the good thing about this team.
"In the ninth inning, there's no doubt like, 'This game is over' or whatever. We're all in it for the entire game and we've seen that a number of times already this season where its seems like we'll lose this game, but those guys in the dugout, we don't believe it. We keep fighting to the end and today you just tip your hat."