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Covey's struggles, defensive miscues hurt Sox

Chicago falls behind early, held scoreless for seven innings
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland's 6-2 victory over the White Sox Monday night at Progressive Field marked Dylan Covey's first loss since his season debut on April 28 in Kansas City. But White Sox manager Rick Renteria minced no words when talking postgame of how the team's fifth straight loss was more about a bad defensive night than its starting pitcher.

"Even though Dylan did have a few walks, he didn't throw the ball as badly as the numbers might show. We didn't defend for him," Renteria said. "A lot of sloppy play today out there, to be honest. Today was just a little sloppy.

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CLEVELAND -- Cleveland's 6-2 victory over the White Sox Monday night at Progressive Field marked Dylan Covey's first loss since his season debut on April 28 in Kansas City. But White Sox manager Rick Renteria minced no words when talking postgame of how the team's fifth straight loss was more about a bad defensive night than its starting pitcher.

"Even though Dylan did have a few walks, he didn't throw the ball as badly as the numbers might show. We didn't defend for him," Renteria said. "A lot of sloppy play today out there, to be honest. Today was just a little sloppy.

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"One of the few that we've had over the course of the season. We've had a couple. Today we didn't catch the ball and pick him up when we could have. And he still ground out through five innings of work."

Video: CWS@CLE: Covey K's Perez to end the 5th

Take a look at how the second unfolded as an example of the White Sox struggles. Lonnie Chisenhall opened the frame with a single perfectly placed in between the shift. Rajai Davis reached on second baseman Yoan Moncada's fielding error, and Jason Kipnis' bunt single loaded the bases with nobody out. Covey broke quickly to the third-base line on Kipnis' bunt, but the ball rolled in between the hurler and Yolmer Sanchez as there seemed to be some confusion when the third baseman also came in.

"I think it was miscommunication," Renteria said. "Sanchy came in, Dylan went out and I didn't hear anything from the dugout, to be honest. Normally you will hear the chatter. I didn't hear it. That was it. That was the story of the ballgame."

"It came off the bat firm. I got there and I thought I had the play," Covey said. "I was listening for Sanchy, waiting to hear for a three call to see if we had enough time to get him behind me. I heard him at the last second say he's got it. I kind of had to jump over it, got in his way. It was just a weird play and a good bunt."

Video: CWS@CLE: Anderson, Sanchez turn inning-ending DP

Cleveland scored three runs in the frame, which was more than enough for Trevor Bauer, who improved to 6-5 by throwing shutout baseball over seven innings. Bauer fanned eight, walked two and allowed three hits.

This loss ended a stretch of five starts in which Covey went 3-0 with two no-decisions. Covey, who had allowed two earned runs over his last 18 innings pitched, issued a season-high five walks against two strikeouts but felt his stuff was better than his command.

"I was just trying to do too much, trying to throw too good of a pitch instead of just letting my action in the zone take over, just trying to be too fine," Covey said. "I felt good with all of my secondary stuff. I was throwing those for strikes. It's just the fastball command wasn't what it has been the past several outings."

Video: CWS@CLE: Tribe turn strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out DP

The White Sox allowed two stolen bases, got caught stealing in a strike-him-out, throw-him-out situation after Moncada singled to start the game, and on Matt Davidson's double to right with one out in the second, Davidson failed to pick up third-base coach Nick Capra in a situation where he probably could have made third. The White Sox fell to 4-15 in their last 19 against Cleveland and dropped to a season-worst 23 under .500 at 24-47.

Moncada provided a bright spot in the loss with two hits and a walk in four plate appearances. His one-out single in the eighth off reliever Evan Marshall was the team's first hit since Davidson's double in the second and helped set up the first White Sox run. Davidson added his 13th home run of the season in the ninth.

Video: CWS@CLE: Davidson crushes solo home run in the 9th

In the midst of 21 games played in 20 days, ending Sunday, Renteria allowed his players to report later Monday with a chance to catch their breath a little bit. That plan didn't pay immediate dividends based on the results.

"We just didn't handle the ball very well on the defensive side. They are not going to argue that," Renteria said. "There's no mistake about that. We just didn't play very well today.

"You have to play better. You can't give four outs in an inning to a really good Major League ballclub and expect you are going to minimize damage. That's very difficult to do."

Video: CWS@CLE: Sanchez pushes an RBI single to left

SOUND SMART
Chicago's five straight losses have all come against the American League Central -- three against Detroit and two against Cleveland. The White Sox fell to 11-22 within the division.

HE SAID IT
"It stinks that I have been on such a good run, but this is baseball. It's bound to happen. You're bound to have days where your best pitch isn't quite working for you. So just in two days I'll throw a side, work on some things, and in five days I'll be back out there." -- Covey, on his three-game personal winning streak coming to an end

UP NEXT
Carlos Rodon makes his third start of the season and second straight against the Indians and Mike Clevinger with a 6:10 p.m. CT first pitch on Tuesday night at Progressive Field. Rodon is 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA over 11 career appearances (10 starts) against the Indians.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Dylan Covey, Matt Davidson, Yoan Moncada