CHICAGO – The White Sox were feeling much better about themselves Friday after returning from a 5-2 road trip to Philadelphia and Detroit.
That took much of the sting off a 2-8 showing on their first homestand after the All-Star break.
“We’ve been setting the table early, going out and playing hard,” Tim Anderson said. “We’ve been able to get a couple wins. We’ve been grinding. We’re still playing together as a team.”
The Sox averaged six runs a game on the road trip after managing only 21/2 runs a game on the homestand.
The offense went missing again Friday afternoon in a 7-0 loss to the Athletics at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Oakland starter Mike Fiers scattered three hits over eight innings, with Anderson reaching twice on singles. The veteran right-hander improved to 11-3 while lowering his ERA to 3.30.
“You look at his season, he’s putting up good numbers,” Sox catcher James McCann said. “Today, he commanded the baseball really well. My personal opinion is he used both sides of the plate effectively, and he used his off-speed pitches effectively, and he was efficient. He was able to keep us off balance.”
Ross Detwiler started for the Sox, and the left-hander gave up two runs on four hits and four walks in 51/3 innings. Matt Chapman homered off Detwiler in the first inning, and Stephen Piscotty had another solo shot in the second.
“I felt pretty good,” Detwiler said. “A couple of pitches got away from me, and against a really good team, they put them both on the board.”
Moncada update: On the injured list since July 31 with a strained right hamstring, Yoan Moncada initially was expected to need two weeks of recovery time before rejoining the Sox.
That estimate seems about right.
The switch-hitting Moncada has been taking batting practice from both sides of the plate, and he was moving well taking groundballs at third base before Friday’s loss to Oakland.
If he avoids a setback, Moncada should be back in the Sox’s lineup early next week against the Astros.
“The tightness is starting to dissipate,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s progressing well. I couldn’t give you a timetable; we want to make sure he’s good and ready. But he’s doing well. He’s much closer.”
Benetti, Walton reunion: When the Sox play Los Angeles on Friday at Angel Stadium, broadcaster Jason Benetti will be joined by basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton on NBC Sports Chicago.
Regular TV analyst Steve Stone is off for the three-game series.
Benetti and Walton broadcast college basketball together in November at the Maui Invitational.
“Doing a game with Bill Walton is a gift,” Benetti said. “His mind is a playground, an orchestra and a volcano all rolled into one. It is impossible to think of someone who takes the audience and his broadcast partner on more of a journey through the world, and to have that next to me is an honor and a treat.”