MINNEAPOLIS – After another dismal start by Andre Rienzo, White Sox manager Robin Ventura wouldn’t commit to sticking with the Brazilian right-hander in the rotation.
If Ventura is looking for another option, Rienzo’s replacement Saturday at Minnesota might be a possibility.
Rienzo (4-5) lost his fifth straight start and gave up at least four runs for the third consecutive time in the Twins’ 4-3 win Saturday. Meanwhile, former starter Scott Carroll pitched 32/3 scoreless innings as the Sox lost the third straight game to start the four-game series and dropped to the bottom of the American League Central standings behind Minnesota.
“I don’t know right now,” Ventura said after the game when asked if he’d contemplate taking Rienzo out of the starting rotation. “We’ll talk about that later. But right now we’re just trying to figure out how to win a game.”
Kevin Correia (4-8) pitched a smooth six innings, giving up two runs – one earned – and five hits.
Rienzo, allowed four runs, and gave up seven hits and two walks in last just 41/3 innings. Rienzo has surrendered 25 runs in 221/3 innings over his last five starts.
“It’s happening so fast sometimes,” Rienzo said of giving up big innings. “I don’t have much time to think, it happens so fast.”
Rienzo was 4-0 after his first six starts after the rotator cuff injury that knocked Felipe Paulino out of action. But he’s only finished the fifth inning in two of his past five turns, and his ERA during the losing streak is 8.87.
With the Twins trailing 2-1, Joe Mauer hit a two-run double that just missed reaching the seats off Rienzo in the fifth inning. Kendrys Morales hit the next pitch for an RBI single.
“Yeah, he had that inning you can see some people working out of,” Ventura said. “This seems to be that one that ends up biting him; hit a batter or walk a batter or give up a hit and the next thing you know it’s a crooked number.”
Carroll relieved Rienzo and got Oswaldo Arcia and Kurt Suzuki to fly out. Carroll allowed just two hits the rest of the way.
Starting five games earlier this season, Carroll carried a 6.15 ERA after six-run loss at Kansas City. The right-hander has a 1.83 ERA in five six relief appearances and instituted the use of a cut fastball.
“It was almost just like another chapter, another opportunity for me where I just wanted to just accept it and relish in it, and use it as an opportunity to build myself,” Carroll said of moving to the bullpen. “I feel like I’m being much more aggressive.”
Ventura said he can see difference in Carroll.
“The urgency is probably there because you go from a starter and now you’re in the bullpen,” Ventura said. “The other alternative after that isn’t very good. So I’m sure that’s the urgency that’s there.”
Minnesota’s Glen Perkins pitched another tenuous ninth inning but got his 19th save in 22 tries after giving up two runs to blow one the night before. Adam Eaton led off with a triple and scored on Gordon Beckham’s sacrifice fly.
Pinch-hitter Paul Konerko then smacked a single up the middle, but Perkins struck out Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn to end it and punctuated the final swing and miss with a big pump of his left arm.
The White Sox have hung around the pack in the American League Central all year, never losing or winning more than four games in a row, but this has been a rough start to an 11-game road trip. They fell a season-high five games under .500 and back into last place.
NOTES: Gillaspie went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .340, but he doesn’t have enough at-bats to qualify yet for the league batting lead. In his last 30 games, Gillaspie is batting .366. . The White Sox will send John Danks (6-5, 3.97) to the mound for the series finale Sunday, and Phil Hughes (7-3, 3.09 ERA) will pitch for the Twins. Danks has a 5.70 ERA in six road starts this season. Hughes gave up three HRs in his last home start, the only time a team has taken him deep in his last eight turns. ... White Sox manager Robin Ventura successfully challenged a call in the third inning, when Brian Dozier originally led off with a double. Replays showed Beckham’s tag grazed Dozier’s foot before it landed on the base.