CHICAGO – From the moment general manager Ken Williams announced he was unable to make a blockbuster acquisition at the non-waiver trade deadline, something seemed off Saturday.
It continued into Saturday night’s game when John Danks was roughed up, the offense was held down by Oakland’s Dallas Braden and the White Sox saw their 12-game home win streak come to an end in a 6-2 defeat.
The White Sox’s last home defeat before Saturday came June 27 against the Chicago Cubs. It was the first time they were defeated by an American League team in their own ballpark since the Cleveland Indians got them on June 8.
“I didn’t expect to come here and win every game from now on,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We’re going to be up and down and hopefully we erased that (Saturday) and we can come back and hopefully we can put together another winning streak at home. We have a lot of baseball left, and we have to take it one day at a time.”
Closing in on back-to-back perfect homestands, it was perfection of a different kind that came out ahead Saturday. Braden, the author of a May 9 perfecto against the Tampa Bay Rays, has now defeated the White Sox in consecutive outings. They are his only two victories since the perfect game.
The White Sox finished July with 18 victories and were 12-1 at home during the month. And what is the common denominator among the team’s 11-game win streak from June 15-26, their nine-game win streak from July 4-15 and their 12-game home win streak this month? Danks took the loss to end all three of them.
“I've been pretty good at that,” Danks said with a shrug.
The White Sox are still feeling pretty good about themselves, but the Minnesota Twins are doing their best to make things uncomfortable. Minnesota won its seventh consecutive game Saturday to cut the White Sox’s division lead to a half game. The Twins also have won nine of their past 10.
Guillen admitted to doing a little scoreboard watching.
“I’ll be honest with you guys, I watch the scoreboard because how big that thing is here,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. [Am] I’m worried? I’m not worried, because I think it’s still too early. I don’t worry because it’s not a surprise those guys are right behind us.
“I don’t worry about the scoreboard. I look up there to see how’s the game, who’s pitching. When you’re sitting where I sit, sometimes the game gets boring and you have to look up there. I have too much time to kill.”
The White Sox will find out soon enough if there is something to be worried about. After a road trip to Detroit and Baltimore, the Twins come to U.S. Cellular Field on Aug. 10 to start a three-game series.
“We know who we are,” Danks said. “We're playing good right now; we're playing to our capabilities. It's fun and even [Saturday] we didn't feel like we were out of the game. It makes a lot of fun always feeling you know you're going to win every game. Unfortunately, I dug us too deep of a hole.”
Danks not only saw his four-game win streak come to an end, he gave up his first home run since June 27 when Kevin Kouzmanoff went deep in the third inning. His homerless streak spanned 41 1/3 innings.
As for that left-handed bat that Williams couldn’t get at the trade deadline, get ready for the club to claim it could be on the way. Mark Teahen had three hits and two RBIs in his first minor-league rehab game Saturday and could be back in the major leagues by next week.
BY THE NUMBERS
2: Extra days of rest for Freddy Garcia before he makes his next start Thursday at Detroit. Garcia, whose 110 1/3 innings already are his most since 2006, last pitched Thursday at home. Mark Buehrle will pitch in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Detroit, with a Game 2 starter not yet decided. Edwin Jackson will make his White Sox debut Wednesday. Danks will pitch against the Tigers on Thursday.
“If we traded for Manny, I don’t know what we are going to do with [his long] hair. That Mannywood doesn’t [expletive] go here. Sorry. … I don’t know if he would tuck it in his hat or tuck it under his uniform, but that hair is not going to go with the White Sox. The only hair here is mine. And I’m ready to cut it.” -- Guillen, on the rumors that Manny Ramirez was a trade target of Williams’.
Gavin Floyd (6-8, 3.66) will head to the mound in Sunday’s afternoon finale of a three-game series against the A’s as one of baseball’s hottest pitchers since the start of June. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.04 ERA since June 8. The ERA is the lowest in baseball over that stretch. He is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA lifetime against the A’s, and a .216 batting average against.
Floyd will be opposed by former White Sox prospect Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 3.64), who has never pitched at U.S. Cellular Field. The left-hander is 5-0 in day games this season with a 1.99 ERA, the second lowest day ERA of any starter in baseball. He has a 14.05 ERA in two previous starts against the White Sox.