In his first 2 starts for the White Sox this season, Scott Carroll pitched like an established veteran, not a 29-year-old rookie.
The third time out was not a charm.
Carroll has been a great story since finally making it to the major leagues after overcoming hip and elbow surgeries.
In front of more of more than 30 family members and friends, the right-hander allowed 1 earned run in 7⅓ innings while beating Tampa Bay in his April 27 debut at U.S. Cellular Field. Carroll followed up with another solid start at Cleveland last weekend, where he pitched 6 innings and didn't allow an earned run.
Looking to extend the early run of success against the Cubs on Thursday night, Carroll veered the wrong way and was hit hard in a 12-5 loss in front of 26,332 at the Cell.
Carroll had little or no command of his best pitch, the sinker, while allowing 6 runs on 11 hits and 2 walks in 4 innings.
"It was just a situation where I didn't have my best stuff tonight," Carroll said. "I was kind of just fighting it the whole time, but you know what, I just have to tip my hat off to them, they made some good at-bats against me.
"I just have to get back to work and correct some things and get back to work tomorrow."
Carroll already has a good idea of what needs to be fixed.
"It was probably just getting too open with my front side as opposed to just staying back and letting my arm go through it's natural process," Carroll said. "We'll just correct it and go back to work."
It was a bad night all around for White Sox pitchers, who allowed the dozen runs on 15 hits and 6 walks while hitting four Cubs.
"Tonight, (Carroll) just didn't seem to have it, locating like he did in the last couple games," manager Robin Ventura said. "They swung it; it just wasn't our night. We just weren't pitching that great, you know, just a lot of guys on.
"It just seemed like every inning they had a lot of guys on, and they were knocking them in. They were swinging the bats tonight."
Coming into the game, Sox relievers hadn't allowed an earned run in 20⅓ innings, and their 1.46 ERA since April 20 was the lowest in baseball.
The streak ended at 23⅓ innings when Maikel Cleto loaded the bases in the eighth and hit Welington Castillo with a pitch. Mike Olt broke the game open with a grand slam off Cleto.
The White Sox were pounded in the marathon game, and they also failed to complete a four-game sweep over their North Side rivals.
"Obviously, no one's too happy with the game today, so kind of just wash that one and get ready again for tomorrow and Arizona," catcher Tyler Flowers said. "Before that we played good ball. Today we just kind of got our butts kicked."
Jose Abreu left the game late with what appeared to be a bad left ankle. Ventura said the injury is not considered serious.
"He just seemed like he was limping a little bit tonight, that's why in the end there I took him out," Ventura said. "He says he's fine. He's limping around a little bit, but he'll be fine."