Sox can't get control against Indians

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Jesse Crain delivered three consecutive balls to Cleveland Indians No. 9 hitter Ezequiel Carrera in the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday.

On the next pitch, Crain threw a fastball right down the middle which Carrera laid off. The pitch was called for a strike, and White Sox’s fans cheered loudly.

It wasn’t even that Crain was struggling; he was throwing to his first batter. He was just paying the price for all of his teammates’ struggles. It was just one of those nights for the team’s staff.

The White Sox’s pitchers combined to walk a season-high 12 hitters in a 6-4 loss to the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. The previous high this season was nine.

“Just too many walks,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “You can’t walk that many guys and continue to give them base runners. Eventually they will cash some in. It’s not frustrating. It’s just the way it was.”

White Sox pitcher Hector Santiago, who was making a spot start, endured the control problems first, walking four hitters in 3 1/3 innings.

“I felt like I was around the zone,” Santiago said. “I didn’t get a few to go my way early, that kind of changed the mentality of how to attack guys and nibble, nibble, nibble and get people to chase instead of going after them.”

Brian Omogrosso pitched next and walked two in 1 1/3 innings. Donnie Veal walked one in a 1/3 inning. Nate Jones added two walks in 1/3 inning. Matt Thornton walked two more in 1 1/3 innings. Finally, Brett Myers walked one in 1 1/3 innings. Crain was the sole White Sox’s pitcher not to walk anyone.

“There was some of (them being too careful),” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, whose pitchers threw 217 pitches. “You get in situations where you’re trying for a little more than you need to do. There was a lot of tough situations tonight, and they were either looking for a strikeout or trying to make the perfect pitch and you get behind.”

The White Sox are hopeful starter Jake Peavy can straighten them out against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

“He’s the guy you want going,” White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. “Jake throws strikes. He’s been our horse all year, him and Chris (Sale). He doesn’t have to do any more than he’s been doing. Just go out and throw a solid game.”