The Toronto Blue Jays and the visiting Chicago White Sox, both coming off losses they would like to forget, will try to get things right Monday night in the opener of a four-game series.
Each team lost the rubber match of a three-game series on Sunday.
The White Sox were drubbed 9-0 at St. Petersburg, Fla., by the Tampa Bay Rays with shortstop Tim Anderson sitting out his second straight game to rest sore legs.
“It was a game that got away from us,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “(It was) 3-0, and then it just blew up. Not very competitive of a game. … There were several things that we’ll look at — whether it was them doing it right or us not — and use it to improve.”
The Blue Jays continued to have trouble in extra innings and in close games. They lost 5-3 in 11 innings to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday and 4-1 in 10 innings on Friday in the series opener. Toronto is 2-9 in extra innings and 8-14 in games decided by one run.
The loss on Sunday was particularly hard to take for Toronto because the tying run in the ninth inning scored on second baseman Marcus Semien’s throwing error on a routine grounder that should have ended the game.
“That was the play, and Marcus would tell you the same thing,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He’s played Gold Glove-caliber second base, he just made an error on that one. We made all the right moves, we were in the game, but it’s obvious we’re not swinging the bats when our pitching is giving us a chance.”
The Blue Jays were 1-for-31 with runners in scoring position for the three-game series. Their only hit with a runner in scoring position came Sunday, an eighth-inning single by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. that gave them a 2-1 lead.
“It was the same thing for the three games,” Montoyo said. “Our offense is struggling right now.”
Chicago will start right-hander Lance Lynn (10-3, 2.26 ERA) on Monday. He is 3-0 with a 2.44 ERA over his past nine starts. In eight career games (seven starts) against Toronto, he is 1-3 with a 4.73 ERA.
Toronto will start rookie right-hander Alek Manoah (5-2, 3.34). He has faced the White Sox once this season, back on June 9 in Chicago, when he allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits over five innings.
Anderson played an important role in Chicago’s 7-5 win over Tampa Bay on Friday. He homered to tie the game in the ninth and drove in the go-ahead run with a single, He also scored from first on a double and sprinted home from third on two groundouts.
“His legs are still barking,” La Russa said. “We don’t want to push him. If it was October, he’d be in there. It’s more preventative, get rid of some of that fatigue and soreness. Hopefully, have him in there (Monday).”
La Russa said that Anderson is dealing with normal wear and tear. “He’s not hurt, he’s just sore,” he said.
Cesar Hernandez, taking Anderson’s leadoff spot, was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Sunday. Danny Mendick started at shortstop for the second straight game Sunday and was 2-for-4.
–Field Level Media