Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

With 'pen taxed, Kahnle, Purke pick up slack

Righty gets sent to Triple-A after loss to Tigers; lefty allows 4 runs, walks 3
MLB.com @scottmerkin

DETROIT -- The White Sox 10-3 loss to the Tigers on Friday night at Comerica Park became more of a big-picture approach than simply in the moment for the South Siders.

Trailing by two runs after six innings and with Carlos Rodon done at 101 pitches, White Sox manager Robin Ventura had to go to his bullpen. The only issue was that following Wednesday's 13-inning victory over the Mets and Tuesday's five-inning Mat Latos start, the relief crew was fairly taxed.

Full Game Coverage

DETROIT -- The White Sox 10-3 loss to the Tigers on Friday night at Comerica Park became more of a big-picture approach than simply in the moment for the South Siders.

Trailing by two runs after six innings and with Carlos Rodon done at 101 pitches, White Sox manager Robin Ventura had to go to his bullpen. The only issue was that following Wednesday's 13-inning victory over the Mets and Tuesday's five-inning Mat Latos start, the relief crew was fairly taxed.

Full Game Coverage

Taxed enough that almost nobody was available.

So Ventura turned to Tommy Kahnle -- who was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Friday to take Melky Cabrera's roster spot with Cabrera placed on the family emergency leave list -- and Matt Purke. The Tigers sent 17 hitters to the plate over the seventh and eighth innings, scoring six times and putting a close game out of reach.

"At that point, you are down a few," Ventura said. "They have to cover the rest of the game, and you saw what it was. I think at that point we at least got through it. As far as usage for everybody else, you kept them away from overextending.

"The game in New York really did a number on guys as far as how many days in a row, plus they were going two innings. They needed today. You had to find a way to get through it."

Closer David Robertson threw 42 pitches over two scoreless innings Wednesday. Matt Albers threw 37 over two scoreless and ran the bases after doubling to lead off the 13th. Nate Jones threw 31 in his two frames. Ventura said that Robertson would have been available if the White Sox had taken the lead, but otherwise, it was up to Kahnle and Purke to finish.

"Today was tough in those middle innings. They were able to get to Rodon a little bit," White Sox catcher Alex Avila said. "We needed to get another inning or so out of them, knowing from the extra-inning game we had a couple of days ago that guys were down in the bullpen.

"That's a tough situation for sure. [Purke] and Tommy struggled a little bit today. But they have good stuff, so they have to keep working."

Kahnle will be working at Charlotte, as he was optioned after the game with a corresponding move to come prior to Saturday's contest. He allowed two runs and threw 38 pitches, while Purke yielded four in his 28-pitch eighth.

With Chris Sale starting Saturday, Jose Quintana on Sunday and an off-day Monday, the bullpen should be back to full strength by the start of the next homestand Tuesday. Rodon was aware of the bullpen scarcity Friday and was hoping to go another inning.

"Unfortunately it was only six," Rodon said. "I was figuring on seven or eight, just didn't happen.

"I have to focus I guess," added Rodon of his location that seems to come and go. "Can't really put a finger on it. Just stick with it. It's going to come."

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.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago White Sox, Tommy Kahnle, Matt Purke