Strong pitching, home runs can’t save the Chicago White Sox from their 10th straight loss

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers had runners on second and third with no outs in the 10th inning Saturday.

The Chicago White Sox brought the infield in, hoping to keep William Contreras at third base and the score tied.

Willy Adames hit a grounder and shortstop Zach Remillard made a diving attempt to corral the baseball. Instead, it bounced off his glove for an infield hit. Contreras scored on the play, sending the Sox to their 10th straight loss in heartbreaking fashion, 4-3, in front of 36,017 at American Family Field.

“It’s a tough one to swallow, especially for me,” Remillard said. “I take a lot of pride in my defense.”

The Sox couldn’t hold the late lead on the way to their 14th loss in the last 15 games.

And at 15-44, they are off to their worst 59-game start in franchise history. The 10-game losing streak is their longest since 10 straight defeats from April 19-29, 2023.

“We’re all playing hard and we’re all grinding through it together, right now the ball’s just not falling our way,” starter Garrett Crochet said.

For most of the afternoon, the Sox appeared headed toward stopping their skid — with Crochet a huge factor.

The lefty allowed one run on five hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in six innings. He threw a career-high 103 pitches.

Crochet finished his outing striking out three of the final four hitters he faced. It was a continuation after an outstanding May, when he went 4-1 with a 0.93 ERA in five starts.

“Crochet pitched his ass off,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “He’s been pitching his ass off all year, especially since the end of April. He was phenomenal. That’s a good team over there and he was able to neutralize those guys.

“(He) made some good pitches when he really needed to. I really wanted him to walk off that mound in that sixth inning. And he did a really good job of putting that last hitter away.”

Crochet left with a 3-1 lead, as Andrew Benintendi hit a solo home run in the third and Gavin Sheets had a two-run homer in the fourth.

The Sox, who were already missing Andrew Vaughn (sprained finger on his left hand), finished Saturday without Benintendi. The left fielder exited in the third inning with left Achilles tendinitis.

Grifol said the injury had been nagging Benintendi previously “on and off” and the home run did not flare it up.

“We’ll see what happens here,” Grifol said of a possible move. “(Benintendi) is a tough kid, can play through pain. For him to come out of a ballgame, it’s bothering him.”

For Sheets, the home run against Brewers starter Robert Gasser was the first of his career against a lefty.

“Just to start getting consistent at-bats against lefties, I feel more and more comfortable against them,” Sheets said. “That at-bat there was big and it felt really good.”

Sheets was involved in a close call that didn’t go the Sox’s way during the pivotal seventh inning. With a runner on first and one out, reliever Justin Anderson got Joey Ortiz to hit a grounder to first. Sheets stepped on the bag and threw to second, where it was ruled Brice Turang got in safely just ahead of Remillard’s tag.

“I thought I got the tag down and I do think he was out,” Remillard said. “They didn’t confirm it (on the video review), the call stood.”

Contreras walked and the two runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch by reliever Jordan Leasure. Adames tied the score with an RBI single to center.

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The game went to extra innings. Remillard led off the 10th for the Sox, with the plan to move the automatic runner to third on a bunt. He was called for a pitch-clock violation before the first pitch, which resulted in an automatic strike.

“Pitch clock once it hits that time, it’s a strike,” Remillard said. “In retrospect, using a timeout probably, learn from that.

“Just one of those situations where you are in extra innings. Guys are moving, we are trying to get our offense set up, you got a ghost runner out to second. It’s kind of an unusual circumstance.”

He unsuccessfully attempted to bunt and struck out. Two groundouts followed as the Sox came up empty.

The Brewers made the most of their opportunity in the bottom of the 10th, as the losing streak continued for the Sox.

“There’s no way to really sugarcoat it,” Sheets said. “It’s a tough stretch and it’s not fun for anybody. All we can do is rally around each other and try to get out of this as soon as possible.”