While the White Sox offense played well again, the pitching was not there this time around. Dylan Axelrod was roughed up early, and the team just could not dig themselves out of an early hole.
Detroit Handles “Ax”
Once again, it was just not Dylan Axelrod’s night, and we’ve been saying that all too often recently. Dylan was able to help the bullpen out by pitching into the sixth inning, but he gave up 11 hits and seven runs in the process.
Axelrod’s main problem during his slump has been falling behind hitters, and tonight was no different. He only walked two in 5.2 innings, but he had plenty of long counts and found himself in many 2-1, 3-1 situations. When you are facing a lineup that includes Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder (who were a combined 6-for-10 with four RBI tonight), you are going to lose the game if you continually pitch in hitter’s counts.
Viciedo, Beckham Stay Hot
While the Sox lost, Axelrod really was the only bad thing to focus on, as the Sox did have a good amount of positives tonight. That includes the offense, which was able to pound out nine more hits and five more runs. This group was led by Dayan Viciedo and Gordon Beckham, both of whom have been hitting the ball well recently.
“Tank” followed up his two home run performance on Tuesday with two more hits and a double tonight. He’s now hit safely in eight of his last ten games, raising his average 21 points (from .227 to .248) in that span. We know what Viciedo is capable of when he gets rolling, so hopefully this is the start of something big for #24.
As far as Beckham goes, he’s hit ever since he’s come off the DL. Tonight, he pounded out his second home run of the season, and now has a hit in all but one game in the month of July. On the month, he’s batting .452, and he’s at .340 on the season.
Also, Conor Gillaspie added two hits and hit his seventh home run of the season, a line drive off of Tigers starter Rick Porcello.
Purcey, Castro Pitch Well
Ramon Troncoso had a relief outing to forget tonight (three hits in just four batters faced), but David Purcey and Simon Castro were solid in the seventh and eighth innings.
It was good to see Purcey, a former Tiger, bounce back from a rough White Sox debut last week in Tampa. He had trouble finding the plate down in Florida, but the lefty recorded no walks and no base runners in his inning of work tonight.
Castro was also able to put a rough outing behind him, as he allowed a home run to Don Kelly last night. Tonight, however, Castro allowed just one base runner in a quick, twelve pitch inning.
Our Sox will finish the series in Detroit tomorrow afternoon, as Chris Sale will oppose Anibal Sanchez in the rubber match. Sanchez earned a huge payday from the Tigers this off-season, which many feel was a bit steep. However, Sanchez has silenced the critics this year and has arguably been the team’s best pitcher outside of Max Scherzer.
We all know the rough luck Sale has had recently, but with a guy like Sanchez throwing, Sale has a lot of pressure on him once again.