CHICAGO -- Bad luck seemed to be the White Sox postgame theme following a 6-2 loss to the Blue Jays Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Manager Tony La Russa termed it “buzzard’s luck.”
La Russa was referring to reliever Aaron Bummer, who dropped to 0-4 with a fifth blown save after allowing three earned runs while recording just one out in the eighth, turning a 2-1 lead behind starter Lance Lynn into a 4-2 deficit. Bummer, meanwhile, was victimized by a wild pitch on a third strike to Riley Adams that would have been the inning’s second out and then a Marcus Semien infield hit during the rally.
That misfortune also extends to the injury front for the White Sox (37-24). Second baseman Nick Madrigal sustained what was described as right hamstring soreness, according to the team, as he tried to beat a slow roller to third, ending the seventh.
Madrigal limped past first base and dropped to his knees, in obvious pain. The team’s second baseman and leader in hits at 61 was helped off the field while putting almost no pressure on his right leg. He will be further evaluated Thursday.
“You just keep doing your thing, really,” said Lynn of the latest injury. “Obviously you feel terrible for someone when things happen like this. But as a team, you've got to do everything you can to make sure they're good, keep them upbeat, keep them ready to roll and keep them pushing to get back.
“Then the guys that are active that day, it's the next man up. The next guy has a chance to show what he's capable of, and you're able to be out there and cheer him on and make sure you're doing everything you can to make sure they've got what they need."
Danny Mendick could be that next man up; he replaced Madrigal Wednesday. Madrigal finished 1-for-3, raising his average to .305, and delivered the go-ahead double in the fifth for his 21st RBI.
The White Sox already have lost left fielder Eloy Jiménez (ruptured left pectoral tendon) and center fielder Luis Robert (right hip flexor tear) from their talented core. They can ill afford to lose a valuable presence such as Madrigal, who not only produces key hits, but is a solid defensive force at second.
“Unfortunately it’s a conversation we’ve had before,” La Russa said. “You are not going to just carelessly say, ‘Hey, we will bring somebody in and plug him in and be OK.’ That disrespects who Nick is and what he’s done. You have to definitely respect, just like we did with Eloy and Luis.
“At the same time, the games do go on and we just hope it’s not something where it’s a tear and puts him out for a long time. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. He’s a big big part of our club. He’s not available, we have to keep playing and somebody will step up.”
The White Sox also received a scare in the first inning as Yoán Moncada singled home a run and reached base in his Major League-best 56th game of the year. Jake Lamb was trying to score from second on the play, and José Abreu had moved into position behind the plate to signal Lamb as he came home.
At the same time Abreu moved, home-plate umpire Erich Bacchus flipped Moncada’s bat out of the way behind him and inadvertently hit Abreu in the left knee. Abreu was down on the ground in pain for a minute or so, but continued his at-bat and stayed in the game.
Lynn struck out nine and yielded four hits over seven innings, leaving veteran left-hander Bummer even more bothered by what happened in the eighth. Bummer, who stands in front of the media and talks in good times and bad, didn’t like the hit he allowed to Bo Bichette and the walk issued to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to force home the tying run after the bad breaks.
"For lack of a better word, [stuff] happens and it's how you respond to it. And I really wasn't happy with the way I responded to it,” Bummer said. “Lance deserves that win.
“Lance deserves to be leading the league in wins. He deserves to win that game. The offense, they did what they needed to do to win that game and sometimes the ball just doesn't roll your way. I can only control the next pitch, and I didn't make the pitches that I needed to. It's as simple as that. I let the team down in that aspect and I've got to go out there and be better.”