DETROIT -– The end of a seven-game win streak shouldn’t feel like a crash landing.
This one did, though, as the White Sox’s winning ways came to a close, with a game lost in the standings to the Minnesota Twins.
As the White Sox were being crushed by the Tigers 9-1 on Tuesday, the Twins were putting a similar beating on the Kansas City Royals. By the time both games ended, the White Sox were facing a 4 1/2-game deficit in the American League Central standings.
The concept that perhaps the White Sox’s recent run could start affecting the Twins was destroyed. And despite losing just once so far on this 10-game road trip, the White Sox have nothing to show for their efforts.
While the White Sox have gone 7-1 so far on their trip, the Twins have done the same over their last eight games. Now it’s up to the White Sox to not become demoralized over spinning their wheels.
“We won seven games in a row and the only game we picked up was the day we didn’t play and they lost,” A.J. Pierzynski said. “What can you do? You go out and play as hard as we can. Nobody is giving up. Nobody is panicking.
“Everyone is busting their tail every day and we are trying to win every game. If it works out, it works out. There’s nothing you can do. When you are behind, you have to hope for help and win every game.”
Just when it looked like the White Sox were getting healthier, Freddy Garcia and Manny Ramirez left Tuesday’s game with injuries. Garcia was dealing with a tight lower back for the second consecutive start, while Ramirez left the game in the eighth inning when he was hit by a pitch on the left wrist.
Ramirez declined to comment after the game for the second consecutive day, but when asked if the pitch caught bone, he said it hit the “meat.”
Manager Ozzie Guillen didn’t sound too worried about his new designated hitter.
“I have to see tomorrow if he’s stiff or whatever,” Guillen said. “No, he was fine.’’
Garcia could be the bigger issue. The right-hander said he was feeling fine all week but as soon as he put in maximum effort in the first inning, the pain he felt last week returned. He said certain movements trigger the discomfort like raising his arms and putting his left leg forward like he does on his delivery.
“I should be [worried] I guess, but I don’t know,” Garcia said. “I was warming in the bullpen fine and the game is different. When you throw in the bullpen, you go 70 percent. But when you go in the game you want to go harder. Obviously, I wasn’t able to do it.’’
On top of all that, Gordon Beckham was a late scratch because of his injured right hand. Beckham was hurt Aug. 30 at Cleveland when he was hit by a pitch. He returned to the lineup Friday at Boston, but after playing four games, he could barely grip a bat before Tuesday’s contest.
Guillen was trying to remain upbeat.
“Well, I will take 7-1 again. I will do that,” Guillen said. “I will take 7-1 and see what happens. That’s part of the game. We all know that Minnesota is playing well now. They got a good ballclub, but like I said, I will take 7-1 and take a chance with that.’’
By the numbers
83: Plate appearances before Dayan Viciedo earned his first major-league walk. Recalled before Tuesday’s game, Viciedo entered in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter for Mark Kotsay and earned his first free pass, offering a modest fist pump while looking toward the White Sox dugout.
2: Number of White Sox players who were able to make their major-league debuts in Tuesday’s runaway game. Right-hander Gregory Infante gave up a hit and a walk in two-thirds of an inning but did not give up a run. Brent Morel came on as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning and struck out.
“It better be. It can’t be better than this. They better show up and support the club. They did it in the past. I think in the past when we had the last trip last year, we went in the tank quick. We’re done. It was over. I kept saying, ‘I hope, I hope, I hope.’ Deep inside it was hard when we play New York, Boston and Minnesota.” –- Guillen, when asked if he expects an electric atmosphere from White Sox fans when the team returns home this weekend to face the Royals and then the Twins.
White Sox left-hander John Danks (13-9, 3.56) will face the Tigers Wednesday night on just three days of rest. Danks won his last outing in Saturday's doubleheader at Boston by throwing 103 pitches over seven innings. He is 3-3 with a 3.58 ERA in nine career starts against the Tigers, losing his last outing at Comerica Park on Oct. 4 last season.
Danks will be opposed by Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman (7-9, 5.25), who returned from a rib injury and threw a season-high 7 1/3 innings against the Royals on Friday. Bonderman has struggled since the All-Star break, going 2-3 with a 6.22 ERA.