White Sox focus on positives after tough series

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[April 18, 2016]  The Sports Xchange
 
 MLB Team Report - Chicago White Sox - INSIDE PITCH
 
 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Chicago White Sox left a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays with twice as many losses as they had three days earlier, but Chicago players said they won't take too much from a weekend slump in which their bats were consistently held in check.

"It's been a rough stretch, but if you told me we were going to be 8-4 right now, I'd say 'That's great, that's a good start,'" Chicago's Todd Frazier said. "You've got to work on the positives. We may be trying a little too much, but we'll take 8-4 any day of the week."

Chicago's pitching has been superb early -- they gave up 10 runs in two losses to the Rays, after allowing a total of five runs in the previous five games, all wins. But the White Sox struck out 28 times in three games, including 12 on Sunday, 10 in six-plus innings against Rays starter Matt Moore. In particular, the team's 4-5 hitters, Frazier and designated hitter Jerry Sands, had a rough day, going 0-for-7 with seven strikeouts.

"He was hitting his spots -- we missed a lot of pitches and he was dominant," said Frazier, who matched a career high with four strikeouts, the first Chicago player to do that since September of last season. "You tip your cap to him, but I'd like to face him again and see what happens."

 

Chicago returns home for seven straight home games without a day off, with four against the Angels and then three against Texas. After that, they're back up against the American League East on the road, with seven straight at Toronto and Baltimore.

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MLB Team Report - Chicago White Sox - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 8-4

STREAK: Lost two

NEXT: White Sox (RHP Carlos Rodon, 1-1, 1.38 ERA) vs. Angels (LHP Hector Santiago, 0-0, 3.95 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--2B Brett Lawrie, who had a two-run home run in Saturday's loss, hit the ball well again Sunday, with two hits and a run scored in a 3-2 loss to the Rays. Lawrie, familiar to Tampa Bay from his days in Toronto, is now hitting .304 on the season.

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--LHP Zach Duke had a seven-pitch inning of effective relief, striking out two batters and throwing nothing but strikes to lower his ERA to 3.38 on the season. The White Sox bullpen had struggled in Saturday's loss, but had two scoreless innings of relief in Sunday's loss.

--3B Todd Frazier matched a career high with four strikeouts in Sunday's loss to the Rays, struggling against starter Matt Moore. Frazier is now hitting just .163 on the season, with two home runs and six RBIs in 49 at-bats.

--DH Jerry Sands got a spot start Sunday but went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, dropping his season average to .200. He has only 10 at-bats on the season and has a home run, but needs to take better advantage of opportunities to play as a starter.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's been a rough stretch, but if you told me we were going to be 8-4 right now, I'd say 'That's great, that's a good start.'" -- Chicago's Todd Frazier after a loss to Tampa Bay.

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