'Not much fun': Losing streak, struggles continue for Tigers in drubbing by White Sox
The Tigers are sinking — quickly and badly.
The losing streak reached a staggering nine games Thursday, as the Chicago White Sox completed a series sweep with an easy 9-0 victory.
White Sox starter Lucas Giolito was dominant, going seven overpowering innings. Giolito struck out 13 (and the Sox struck out 15), walked one and allowed only three hits.
After a 9-5 start to the season, the Tigers are in free fall.
“We’re not scoring runs and our starters (starting pitchers) are going one or two or three innings,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We have a lot to worry about right now. It’s not much fun.”
Giolito overpowered a meager Tigers’ attack that went down in order five times against the talented right-hander.
“Good mix,” said shortstop Niko Goodrum of Giolito’s arsenal. “Fastball, hides the ball well, fastball and changeup and sharp curve. He just had his stuff.”
Chicago scored three runs off Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull in the first inning and never looked back.
The White Sox added another run in the third, and scalding hot Tim Anderson hit a solo home run in the fourth.
Chicago added four runs off reliever Joe Jimenez in the eighth inning, with Jose Abreu lining a two-run double and Eloy Jimenez ripping a two-run home run.
All the while, the Tigers had one threat against Giolito. They loaded the bases in the fourth with one out and got nothing out of it, with Giolito striking out Goodrum and Christin Stewart to end the rally.
“You have to put the ball in play,” Goodrum said. “Things happen when you put the ball in play.”
The Tigers had a mild threat against White Sox reliever Jimmy Cordero in the eighth inning, putting runners on the corners after a Willi Castro double and Jeimer Candelario single.
But Cordero struck out JaCoby Jones and forced Miguel Cabrera to ground out, snuffing a rare Tigers rally.
Turnbull never got comfortable against the White Sox.
After getting Anderson out on a grounder to open the game, Turnbull walked Yoan Moncada and allowed a double to Abreu.
Eloy Jimenez walked to load the bases. Turnbull then walked Edwin Encarnacion to force in a run, then another run scored on Nomar Mazara’s fielders choice.
Former Tiger James McCann capped the first-inning uprising with an RBI single.
Turnbull only last two innings, throwing 60 pitches (37 alone in the first inning). Turnbull allowed two hits, three runs and four walks, without striking out a hitter.
“Not a lot of positives,” Turnbull said. “I just wasn’t getting the ball in the zone enough. My stuff felt good today. I was just missing and they were more disciplined than I thought they’d be and they made me pay for it.”
Said Gardenhire: “He (Turnbull) was kind of misfiring all over the place. We all kind of saw it. He had no command. He threw 60 pitches in two innings. It just was not a good day for him.”
Here are other takeaways from the loss:
►Miggy struggling: After going hitless in four at-bats Thursday, Cabrera has a .190 batting average with four home runs, 11 RBIs and a .640 OPS for the season.
But Gardenhire isn’t concerned.
“It’s one of those things where he isn’t seeing it great,” Gardenhire said. “He’s hit some balls right at the button, right at people, hard as it could be.
“Like I’ve said, I try not to worry about that guy. He can hit. He’s barreling some balls up. He’s fine. I’m not going to worry about him. We have a lot of other things (to worry about).”
►Losing streak builds: During their 9-5 start, the Tigers outscored teams by a plus-4 differential.
During the nine straight losses, they’ve been outscored by 38 runs.
And up next? Going to Cleveland, where the Tigers have lost 20 consecutive times overall to the Indians.
“You go through stretches and have to weather the storm,” Goodrum said. “Nothing is perfect. You’ll have times where you get every hit, bleeders, hard hits and some stretches where you don’t get the hits.
“You have to weather the storm and continue to work.”
►Pitching plans: Gardenhire was planning on going with Michael Fulmer for maybe three or four innings Friday against Cleveland and go to Tyler Alexander.
But Alexander relieved Turnbull, so it’ll likely by Daniel Norris and another cast of characters out of the Tigers’ bullpen.
“We’ll just have to ad lib,” Gardenhire said. “We’re just going to work our way through it and see how Fulmer does.”