As they've tried scratching and clawing their way back into contention, the White Sox have been leaning heavily on the offense.
The bats have been holding up all the weight just fine, but there finally was a snapping point in Saturday night's 8-6 loss to the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field.
Some bad outfield defense by left fielder Alejandro De Aza, some bad baserunning by Adam Eaton and some really bad relief pitching from Ronald Belisario combined to doom the Sox.
"It's been great fight out of the team all year, I think we can all agree on that," Eaton said after going 4-for-5 (3 doubles) while raising his average to .306. "I definitely think we were in a good position to win this one, but sometimes that's baseball."
After falling behind 4-1 in the fourth inning, the offense went to work, and a 4-run seventh inning put the White Sox in front 6-4.
But the mistakes showed up in the eighth, with Belisario (4-8) allowing 3 runs on 2 hits and a hit batter.
With Jake Petricka on in relief of Belisario, De Aza could have stopped the bleeding by catching Oswaldo Arcia's drive to left field that went for a 2-run double. But he made a poor read and the liner glanced off his glove.
"I should make that play, yeah," De Aza said. "It was a line drive over my head and I just did two steps back and tried to jump and catch it. I think it hit the tip of my glove."
Trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Adrian Nieto drew a two-out walk and was lifted for pinch runner Moises Sierra.
Eaton followed with a single to left field that moved Sierra to third base, but the Sox' leadoff man tried stretching the hit into a double and was thrown out at second base.
"It was stupid," Eaton said. "Stupid. Stupid on my part. I need to pick up the ball better. I saw it go off his (Eduardo Nunez's) glove and kind of thought it bounced a different direction. I thought it went toward more the warning track.
"It's stupid, unbelievable how dumb that was. You put your team in that position to maybe have first and third."
Garcia gearing up:
Avisail Garcia missed almost four months with a left shoulder injury, but the White Sox' right fielder is showing very little rust on his rehab assignment with Class AAA Charlotte.
Garcia was 2-for-4 on Friday, and he followed up with a 3-for-5 showing Saturday.
He has been the designated hitter the first two games and still needs at least two more weeks of baseball before joining the White Sox, but Garcia is off to a promising start.
"You want him to be able to go through a stretch where he sees enough pitches that you feel comfortable bringing up here and he's going to hold his own," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's tough when you've been out that long to just get it back.
"Even though you're out here doing stuff all the time and you're around it, once you're in the game it's a lot different than just taking batting practice."