CHICAGO -- The only statistic necessary to define the White Sox 11-2 loss to the A's in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field is James Shields' final pitching line.Shields had 11 consecutive starts of working at least six innings come to an end upon allowing eight runs
CHICAGO -- The only statistic necessary to define the White Sox 11-2 loss to the A's in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field is James Shields' final pitching line.
Shields had 11 consecutive starts of working at least six innings come to an end upon allowing eight runs over 4 2/3 innings. Only two of those eight runs were earned, with the White Sox committing three errors behind Shields and losing for an eighth straight time. Reynaldo Lopez had a sharp critique of himself and the White Sox team after a 12-0 loss in Cleveland on Wednesday, but nothing really changed during Game 1 of this straight doubleheader.
"Overall, we didn't play very good baseball this first game," said Shields, who fell to 2-9. "I'm going to hold myself accountable for not doing my part and going deep in the game. I really could have made some better pitches to counteract some of the miscues. But I didn't do my job tonight.
"At the end of the day, what I can control is how I pitch out there and making my pitches. I didn't do my job of getting the outs after we made some miscues, and I've got to do a better job of that."
Yoan Moncada, who is mired in a 19-for-108 slump at the plate over his past 28 games, was charged with two errors on Friday, giving him three errors over his past two games. Moncada's fielding error on a Matt Olson grounder in the second contributed to four unearned runs, finished off by Franklin Barreto's three-run homer. Barreto has five career homers, including two homers and six RBIs on Friday. Two have come against Shields and three against the White Sox in Chicago.
Troubles continued during a four-run Oakland fifth. Left fielder Leury Garcia misplayed a Khris Davis single to left, allowing a second run to come in on the hit, Moncada couldn't come up with Olson's grounder to right and another run scored on a wild pitch off a Mark Canha swinging third strike. Even when the White Sox scored for the first time since the ninth inning Tuesday in Cleveland via a run in the sixth, the rally came to an end when Matt Davidson was thrown out trying to go from second to third on Kevan Smith's grounder.
"Ultimately, it is about actions on the field. It is about those guys, maybe they're trying to do too much," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "We try to talk about maintaining a focus to allow yourself to compete.
"You want them to be relaxed, and still be comfortable in what they're doing. Sometimes, they press and end up putting themselves in a vulnerable position. That's what I think happened with Matty. He tried to force something there he didn't have to on the bases. Moncy, he didn't surround the ball enough to put himself in a position to catch it and make the play."
With a 54-18 run differential during the eight-game losing streak, the White Sox focus is on getting better and staying confident.
"We definitely can get better. We have to get better," Shields said. "We haven't been playing very good baseball as of late, and we've got to pick our game up, we've got to get better. That's the name of the game. This is the highest level of baseball, and we've got to play that way."
The White Sox have scored three runs or fewer in five consecutive games and nine of the last 11.
HE SAID IT
"I don't necessarily think losing as much as the way we're playing baseball overall. We know we need to clean it up, and we've got to keep moving forward." -- Shields, on whether the losing is being felt in the clubhouse
Following Friday's doubleheader, Dylan Covey will make his eighth start of the season, fourth at home and first career against his former Oakland organization with a first pitch of 1:10 p.m. CT Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field against Daniel Mengden. Covey was selected by the A's in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft and by the White Sox in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 8, 2016.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.