CHICAGO – The White Sox’s 27-day reign atop the AL Central ended thanks in part to their crosstown rivals.
But the Sox can’t solely blame their struggles against the Cubs for their fall in the standings. Sitting in second with the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals on their heels, the Sox entered Wednesday having lost three straight games and seven of their past 10.
The Sox are 7-11 in June – one of the worst records in the AL – after their 18-11 mark in May tied for the best record.
“We’ve had kind of a rough week and a half, but we haven’t been playing horrible,” second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “We’ve been in games, but they haven’t worked out for us. Good teams find a way to make it work out, so we’ve got to turn the tide here and start picking up some wins and it’ll change.”
NL struggles: One of the best teams in interleague play, the Sox have scuffled this season against NL competition.
The Sox’s 161-119 all-time interleague record is the third-best mark in the majors behind the Yankees and Angels. But the Sox are 7-8 this season – against the Cubs, Astros, Cardinals and Dodgers – and have lost eight of their past 12 interleague games.
“We’ve played some pretty good National League teams,” Adam Dunn said. “We’ve faced everyone’s best, it seems like. When we’ve caught them, teams we’ve played have been playing pretty good, and we haven’t. I think it’s nothing other than that. I wouldn’t say they’re a better team than us, it’s just kinda catching a team that’s playing good and a team that’s not playing its best baseball.”
Hudson gets a break: After Orlando Hudson’s rough night at third base, manager Robin Ventura gave him a “mental break” and sat him for Wednesday’s series finale against the Cubs.
Utility man Eduardo Escobar started in place of Hudson, who is learning the position. Hudson committed a costly throwing error in Tuesday’s loss, but Ventura said the career middle infielder is going through a learning curve at his new position.
Although Hudson is hitting .167 with four fielding errors in 25 games for the Sox, his benching is only one game.
“It’s getting comfortable with it,” Ventura said. “It’s different. He’s played in the middle of the field most of his career. There’s different things that are happening. Baseball has a way, if you put a guy at a new position, it’ll find them in a lot of different situations.”
Charity raffle: The Sox’s Jake Peavy helped raise more than $52,000 through his raffle to benefit pancreatic cancer research in honor of his friend, San Diego Padres coach Darrel Akerfelds.
Terry and Lynn Iker of Arlington Heights won the raffle, which included tickets to all three games against the Cubs.
They donated Tuesday’s tickets to a family with a child battling leukemia.