White Sox fall to Royals in 10 as trade deadline closes in
During the recent rebuild, this was the time of the season where an obvious distraction swept through the White Sox's clubhouse.
The trade deadline.
Starting in 2016, general manager Rick Hahn cleaned house and then some. In 2017, he traded nine veterans over a six-week span.
Times have changed for the Sox, in a big way.
Instead of selling off players, Hahn is looking to add talent before 3 p.m. on Friday.
That eases a lot of potential anxiety among the rank and file, but manager Tony La Russa said the mere thought of player movement can cause a playoff-bound team like the White Sox to lose focus.
"We're buyers and there's no doubt that our front office is trying to help, reasonably as I've said before, because that's the way it should be," La Russa said. "But we can't get distracted with the game that's being played that day. Just play today and sooner or later we'll find out if we get help or not. But don't get distracted and lose an edge.
"I'm excited enough we are in contention getting into the fifth month of the season. Don't need anymore excitement, it's plenty of excitement. If the front office decides there's something, then they will make a move and we'll embrace it. If they don't, we go with what we've got."
Holding a comfortable lead over the second-place Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, the Sox on Wednesday night were positioned to beat the Royals at Kauffman Stadium for the 12th time in 13 games.
They were up on Kansas City 2-1 in the ninth inning when Salvador Perez hit a one-out homer off closer Liam Hendriks to tie the game and force extra innings.
"I felt comfortable going up with a fastball," Hendriks said. "I didn't get it quite in enough, This is why he was the all-star starting catcher this year, the guy hits fastballs. I trust my fastball to anybody, today it didn't work out, unfortunately. It just (stinks) because those guys spent nine, 10 innings out there in this heat, grinding it out to get to a point where I couldn't get my job done. It's frustrating."
In the 10th inning, Michael Taylor's RBI single off reliever Ryan Burr lifted the Royals to a 3-2 win.
After going 0-for-3 in his third game back with the Sox, designated hitter Eloy Jimenez was lifted with right-groin tightness.
"He felt a little something running," La Russa said. "We didn't want to take any chances, we'll see how he's feeling tomorrow. I just hope it's some tightness we can treat and get rid of."
Lucas Giolito started for the Sox and pitched 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits to go with 7 strikeouts.