White Sox lose 8th straight, complete first winless 7-game homestand in franchise history

CHICAGO (AP) — A little over a week ago, the Chicago White Sox blanked the Blue Jays in Toronto and could say they were playing a decent stretch of baseball after a miserable start to the season.

Fast-forward to their latest game against the Blue Jays, and the White Sox are mired right back in a miserable stretch.

Trevor Richards and Toronto’s bullpen delivered after starter Alek Manoah departed because of elbow discomfort, and the Blue Jays beat the slumping White Sox, 3-1, on Wednesday night to complete a sweep of the three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Chicago has not won since its 5-0 shutout of the Blue Jays in Toronto on May 21. That’s now a season-high eight straight losses for the White Sox and 12 of 13 overall. They also just completed their first winless homestand of at least seven games in franchise history.

The Baltimore Orioles swept a four-game series on the South Side before the Blue Jays came to down and completed their own sweep. Chicago scored a total of four runs in the series against Toronto and 18 runs total on the winless homestand.

After going 3-22 in their first 25 games, the White Sox won 11 of 19. But they’ve only won once since, and their MLB-worst record is now 15-42. Every other team has at least 20 wins.

“There’s no magic wand here: ‘OK, now we are going to start to hit,’” manager Pedro Grifol said. “It’s about work. It’s about preparing, working. These guys are not afraid to sweat, not afraid to get after it.

“We have to continue to get after it.”

The White Sox are off Thursday before a three-game series in Milwaukee over the weekend against the NL Central-leading Brewers. Then, it’s the first “Crosstown Classic” of the season, with two games against the Cubs next week Tuesday and Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

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Toronto completes sweep

With two outs and a runner on third in the second inning Wednesday, Manoah was checked on by Toronto manager John Schneider and a trainer after throwing a 91.4-mph sinker to Dominic Fletcher for a ball. The big right-hander then departed after a short discussion on the mound.

The 26-year-old Manoah will have an MRI on Thursday.

“Kind of just felt really ‘pinchy,’” he said. “At that point, like mentally, I was just like, ‘Do I keep grinding through this and maybe make it worse, or just hand the ball to somebody else?’”

Richards (1-0) came in and pitched 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball. Tim Mayza, Zach Pop and Yimi García each got three outs before Jordan Romano earned his eighth save in nine chances, finishing a four-hitter.

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Korey Lee hit his fifth homer for Chicago off Romano with two outs in the ninth, but left fielder Daulton Varsho finished the game with a solid running catch on Paul DeJong’s drive.

“Nice that we have an off-day (Thursday), but I think you can’t say enough about Trevor covering what he did as efficiently as he did,” Schneider said.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in two runs for Toronto, which completed a 4-3 road trip.

White Sox starter Chris Flexen (2-5) issued a season-high five walks in five innings, but he struck out six while limiting Toronto to two runs and four hits.

Bo Bichette hit an RBI single in the third for the Blue Jays, and Kiner-Falefa singled in George Springer in the fourth. Kiner-Falefa also drove in Springer with an unusual 8-4 fielder’s choice in the sixth.

Andrew Vaughn hit a leadoff double and advanced to third on a Manoah wild pitch in the second. But Lee popped out, DeJong struck out swinging and Fletcher lined to right.

Trainer’s room

White Sox: CF Luis Robert Jr. (right hip flexor strain) went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his second rehab game with Triple-A Charlotte. … OF Tommy Pham got the day off.

Up next

White Sox: RHP Erick Fedde (4-1, 2.80 ERA) is the scheduled starter for Friday night’s game at Milwaukee. But Grifol was noncommittal when asked about his rotation for the three-game set against the Brewers. “We’ll wait and see after the game, see how we get through this game here and see what we’ve got,” he said.

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First pitch Friday in Milwaukee is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

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