HOUSTON — The last time Miguel Gonzalez took the mound, the White Sox hit a bazillion (seven) home runs, but Gonzalez took the loss anyway after giving up eight earned runs in 5.1 innings.
So, naturally, Friday night in Houston, Gonzalez managed to last seven innings, allowed just three runs (two earned) and he still came away a loser as the offense faltered in a 5-0 defeat.
Gonzalez was sharp, for the most part, getting ahead in the count and locating both his fastball and slider well. He was sharp through six frames, with the only run he allowed to that point coming on one of the weakest hit balls of the night. After plunking George Springer and walking Luis Valbuena to start the fourth inning, he got the speedy Jose Altuve to ground into a 1-6-3 double play on a broken-bat smash up the middle. But with Springer at third, Carlos Correa hit another broken bat shot, this time a goofy-looking flare that dropped in front of Tim Anderson at short to give Houston a 1-0 lead.
The other two runs, were, well, not weak. With one out in the seventh Carlos Gomez unloaded on a 1-2 fastball for a two-run shot, as if the offense wasn’t going to already have trouble digging out of the one-run deficit.
Gonzalez completed seven innings for the first time all season, finishing with a line of 7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
The effort proved fruitless, however. The Sox squandered a number of opportunities early against Mike Fiers. They had runners on second and third with two outs in the second inning when Tyler Saladino flied out to center to end the threat. In the fourth, Jose Abreu led off with a double down the left field line, only to see the BABIP Gods strike down Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie and Garcia to strand him at second. A Saladino leadoff walk in the fifth and a two-out double by Lawrie in the sixth also went for naught, and now I’ve rattled off basically every baserunner the White Sox had on the evening at this point.
Fiers finished with six shutout innings, two walks and four strikeouts, and the combination of Ken Giles, Luke Gregerson and Chris Devenski finished off the Sox with three scoreless frames.
Despite Gonzalez’s solid effort coming in a loss, the bullpen was not particularly taxed, an important note for the injury-hampered and overworked unit. Only Chris Beck saw action in relief, and he gave up the final two tallies of the evening on an RBI double by Luis Valbuena and RBI single by Colby Rasmus. With Chris Sale and Jose Quintana set to go the next two days, more rest is hopefully on the horizon.
Team Record: 40-40
Next game is at 3:10 p.m. CT Saturday at Houston on CSN
Lead Image Credit: Rick Osentoski // USA Today Sports Images