A fan shouted, “Urgent!” after Amed Rosario beat Chicago White Sox third baseman Yoan Mancada by throwing to first in the first inning on Wednesday.
The Cleveland Guardians put him out.
The Sox fell short and found themselves in dire straits after an 8-2 loss in front of 22,606 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“We didn’t play well,” said acting manager Miguel Cairo. “They played better than us. Everything is simple. They came to play. We didn’t do that.”
It was a rough night for Mankada’s defense, which was blamed for an error on the Guardians’ first two-run drive. And it was an uninspiring performance for the Sox, who trail the Guardians by 6 games in the American League Central with 13 games to play.
“Nothing surprises me, especially when you play like a (bleep) all year,” Sox starter Lance Lynn said when asked about the standings deficit. “It seems like we’ve played six games all year. We still have time, but we put ourselves in a hole, that’s for sure.”
Cleveland’s magic number to win the division is seven.
“We’ve got to put that behind us,” Cairo said of Wednesday’s game. “We have to go back. I don’t give up. They don’t give up. We are going to go back and play it again.
“The season is not over. We still have to come and play hard, the way it’s supposed to be.”
The Sox lost the first two important three-game series.
Tuesday’s game was stubborn Lost 10-7 in 11 innings. The Sox got blown out of the gate on Wednesday and never recovered.
Mancada said through an interpreter about Rosario’s infield hit: “I didn’t want to go into a difficult bounce. That was my ground ball read, just get ready to back off and then try to throw at the end.”
The Sox nearly got out of a bases-loaded situation in the first when Oscar Gonzalez grounded to third. Mancada stepped on the bag but didn’t make a clean throw to first while attempting a double play. Stephen Kwan scored on the play and Josh Naylor advanced to third on a throwing error.
Naylor scored after Andres Gimenez hit a ground ball that Moncada couldn’t field.
Mancada narrowly avoided hitting left fielder Andrew Vaughn on Naylor’s pop-up to start the third. Vaughan missed the catch and was charged with an error.
“I was running after the ball, trying to catch him, but as soon as I heard him call for the ball, I just tried to get out of his way,” Mancada said.
Naylor scored on Gimenez’s single, the first of the Guardians’ three runs in the inning.
Kwan hit a solo homer in the fourth against Lynn to make it 6-0.
“I should be better,” Lynn said. “I gave up runs early, put us in the hole. (Guardians starter Tristan McKenzie) got into a groove. We played from the back, trying to make things happen in attack. His scraps were on. I just have to be better at the beginning of the game.
“I was behind in numbers and didn’t have my best stuff and gave up a bunch of hits and it just didn’t work.”
Lynn (7-6) allowed six runs, three earned, on nine hits with three strikeouts and a walk in six innings.
“He battled and gave us six innings,” Cairo said. “It’s hard to pitch when you’re pitching and we’re not making plays. But he fought there.”
Naylor added Jose Ruiz’s two-run homer in the seventh.
Moncada scored in the fourth and Gavin Sheets had an RBI single in the seventh for the Sox. McKenzie was otherwise in control, allowing two runs on six hits with 13 strikeouts and no walks over eight innings.
“He’s a tough pitcher,” Cairo said. “He throws very well. When you lose a score and you have to counter him, he was brutal. One of the best pitchers they have.”
The Sox have another game against the Guardians on Thursday, with Johnny Cueto starting against Shane Bieber.
“When it’s all said and done, you’ve got to save the streak, get a win (Thursday), make sure you don’t get swept,” Lynn said, “and then we’ve got to rely on help from the other team and play well down the stretch.”