Chicago White Sox extend worst start in franchise history — 3-18 — with 8-2 loss to Philadelphia Phillies

PHILADELPHIA — The Chicago White Sox didn’t wait for their first hit — or run, for that matter — Sunday afternoon.

Eloy Jiménez followed a one-out single by Robbie Grossman with a two-run home run in the first inning, giving the Sox their first lead in the series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

That lead didn’t last very long.

Nick Nastrini walked the first two batters in the bottom of the first. Both scored during a three-run inning. The Phillies didn’t look back, beating the Sox 8-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 43,614 at Citizens Bank Park.

“Whenever the boys go out there and put up two runs in the first, and you go out there and walk the first two guys, that’s not a hot start — never good,” Nastrini said. “Especially giving up three in the first after that, kind of kills the momentum.

“I didn’t do a whole lot to help the team win today.”

The Sox had two hits in the first, and then two more the rest of the game on the way to being swept in the three-game series.

“(Phillies starter Aaron) Nola found his groove, started throwing his sweeper a little more than he did in that first inning, shut us down,” Sox manager Pedro Grifol said.

At 3-18, the Sox are off to their worst 21-game start in franchise history. They are 1-9 on the road.

While the offensive struggles — such as being last in the majors in runs (45) and getting shut out seven times — are well-documented, the Sox didn’t do themselves any favors defensively Sunday.

The Phillies had runners on the corners with no outs in the first. Bryce Harper took off for second base and got caught in a rundown. Trea Turner watched from third and then raced home. Sox second baseman Lenyn Sosa, who was chasing Harper but also had an eye on Turner, made a wide throw to the plate. Turner was credited with a stolen base, tying the score at 2.

Harper moved up to second on the throwing error. He scored later on an RBI single by Brandon Marsh.

“You’ve got to run that guy hard back to the bag and get the out there,” Grifol said. “If you give up the run, you give up the run. But you’ve got to minimize damage here in this ballpark with these guys.

“Ended up getting a run out of it, without an out. Ended up costing us another run.”

The Phillies had runners on first and second with no outs in the fourth. Turner drove in a run with a single to left field, and the runners advanced to second and third when Andrew Benintendi’s throw to the plate was well above the head of cutoff man Braden Shewmake.

The Phillies immediately took advantage of the extra 90 feet as a sacrifice fly followed. Turner later scored on a double by Alec Bohm.

Those types of mistakes are never good. But they are magnified with the way the team is scuffling.

“We’ve got to win with pitching and defense right now until the hitting gets going,” Grifol said. “And if we’re not doing that, we’re going to struggle.”

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The Sox had to dip into their bullpen early as Nastrini allowed five earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts and five walks in three-plus innings. He threw 86 pitches, 46 of which were strikes.

“I just wasn’t good,” said Nastrini, who was making his second major-league start. “I fell behind a bunch, wasn’t executing my fastball when I wanted to. Changeup was kind of a non-factor. I beat myself up there. Got to be better than that.

“I just fell behind in counts. I was falling behind 2-0 and it doesn’t matter who you’re pitching to, whenever you fall behind 2-0, it’s easy to hit. Tough to pitch like that.”

It was another tough series for the Sox.

They didn’t get their first hit in Friday’s 7-0 loss until the seventh inning. They didn’t collect their first hit in Saturday’s 9-5 loss until the eighth.

And on Sunday, Nola limited the Sox to two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in eight innings. The Sox were outscored in the series 24-7.

“We just have to keep working,” Jiménez said. “I know things aren’t going right now, like we expected. But we need to keep fighting.”