CHICAGO -- The sixth inning of the White Sox 14-2 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field essentially summed up Chicago's six-game losing streak and 2-10 and stretch. Actually, it spoke volumes to its disappointing 30-61 record in Year 2 of its rebuild.
Ten Cardinals batted against White Sox pitchers Dylan Covey, Jace Fry, Bruce Rondon and Hector Santiago. They scored seven runs, turning a 4-2 advantage into a comfortable nine-run lead.
William Fowler, who played a big part in the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series championship but has slumped this season, capped off the Cardinals' rally with a grand slam off Santiago in his return to Chicago. Before Fowler connected on his sixth home run, the Cardinals scored runs on a Omar Narvaez passed ball, a Rondon wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk, the third consecutive free pass that Rondon issued.
Since June 29, the White Sox have given up six or more runs in an inning five times, all coming in separate games.
"I feel like we are hanging in there early for sure," White Sox outfielder Charlie Tilson said. "It's something we have to learn from. One of those things where you have to keep fighting. Those situations happen, but we have to work through it."
An undermanned White Sox squad played without Avisail Garcia, the team's hottest hitter, who was placed on the disabled list with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain prior to the game. All-Star first baseman Jose Abreu continued his prolonged slump dating back to May 27, going hitless in four at-bats as his average fell to .256, while the offense managed two runs in the third on Tilson's single and nothing more in six innings against Miles Mikolas.
Tilson was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2011 Draft, then traded to the White Sox for reliever Zach Duke in 2016.
"It's pretty cool. Playing for an organization that gave me an opportunity to play in the big leagues, and on the other side, it was the team that brought me into pro ball," Tilson said. "It's motivating to go out there and play hard and try to stick it to your old team."
Covey struck out four in the first two innings, but took a fourth straight loss, with one no-decision mixed in among those last five starts. He allowed five runs (four earned) in five-plus innings, striking out five and walking two, leaving him with an 11.70 ERA over his last 20 innings pitched.
"Felt good early on," Covey said. "I think my ball started creeping up in the zone a little bit as I went. Those ground balls turned into base hits, and they strung a few together. Struggled to get it back down. Did feel good, though. Ball had life on it. Changeup was really good.
"I think I figured some things out in the 'pen this week. I saw the results of that really quick in the first couple innings. And then, runner got on, thinking ground ball, string together some hits and just try to grind through it from there."
RONDON STRUGGLES AGAIN
Rondon's rough recent results on the mound continued, and it could lead to a roster move by the White Sox. The right-hander allowed three runs on three walks in one-third of an inning, as he has allowed 19 earned runs over his last 7 2/3 innings. Rondon has walked 15 and given up 18 hits during that stretch.
"He has to continue to work at pounding the zone," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's got a great arm, great stuff, but again, you have to command. And everybody knows, at the Major League level, no matter how good your stuff is, you've got to hit your spots. It's imperative to give yourself a chance at success."
HE SAID IT
"I think he's kind of missing more middle, which is what they've been getting to." -- Renteria, with one explanation for Covey's recent struggles
Carlos Rodon is scheduled to make his seventh start of the season -- his third at home and second career against St. Louis -- when the two-game series concludes on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Luke Weaver will take the mound for the Cardinals. Rodon is making his 11th career Interleague start, but his first of the season. Last time out, Rodon delivered a quality start against the Astros, allowing two runs over six innings with six strikeouts and six walks.