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Shark trying to work through rocky stretch

CHICAGO -- Prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Jeff Samardzija had gone 10 straight outings of at least seven innings while posting six quality starts along the way.

Since sticking with the White Sox after that 3 p.m. CT Deadline passed, the free-agent-to-be has had trouble getting anybody out consistently. Samardzija suffered his third straight loss and his third straight forgettable outing Friday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field in the White Sox 6-5 defeat to the Cubs.

The right-hander allowed six runs on nine hits over six innings -- including three home runs for the first time in a start this season -- as part of his first career appearance against the team for which he began his career.

Over his three August trips to the mound, Samardzija has allowed 22 earned runs on 23 hits in just 15 1/3 innings pitched.

"No, [August] hasn't been too kind to me, that's for sure," Samardzija said. "I feel great. I feel like my pitches are there. It's just a couple swings of the bat here and there that are getting me, and in big situations.

"It hurts. I take things personally. I enjoy having success. I enjoy doing well. But you have to understand that the work you're doing is always good work. You keep working hard and keep trying to fix what you feel like you're doing wrong."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura thought Samardzija's problem on Friday was as simple as getting too much of the middle of the plate with his pitches. He also thought there could be something a little off with his release point, which can easily be fixed. Samardzija featured more of a pronounced corkscrew delivery out of the windup, akin to Luis Tiant, against the Cubs.

"We need to keep doing what we're doing, keep improving, and we'll be fine," Samardzija said. "It's just one of those little stretch runs in the season that you have to fight through and then before you know it, you'll be on the other side of the coin."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast.
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