AP NEWS

Shields struggles as A’s rout White Sox

August 20, 2016
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Matt Albers reacts after Oakland Athletics' Danny Valencia hit a double during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO (AP) — James Shields had another poor outing for the Chicago White Sox. Their offense didn’t fare much better.

Shields allowed seven runs in 4 2-3 innings as the White Sox managed just two hits in a 9-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Friday night. The right-hander has surrendered 27 earned runs in 14 innings over his last four starts for the White Sox, who have dropped 10 of 13.

“I need to finish strong, no doubt about it,” said Shields, who is 3-8 since the White Sox acquired him from San Diego on June 4. “I’m not helping this team out right now, so I need to do my job and get better and move on.”

Kendall Graveman faced one batter over the minimum while throwing a two-hitter and Khris Davis hit his 31st home run to hand Shields his 15th loss overall.

Graveman (9-8) allowed leadoff singles to Jose Abreu in the third and Adam Eaton in the seventh. Both were immediately doubled off first on line drives. Justin Morneau reached on an error by first baseman Yonder Alonso in the eighth.

Graveman struck out five and needed 97 pitches for his second complete game of the season.

“Boy, I was looking to see what time it was. It felt like it was an hour and 55-minute game, at least on his end,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ve seen him pitch well. We’ve seen the sinker, we’ve seen the cutter. We just haven’t seen a shutout like this.”

Stephen Vogt and Yonder Alonso also homered for the A’s, who snapped a five-game losing streak.

Shields (5-15) matched a career-high for losses in a season set with Tampa Bay in 2010. The three homers allowed gave him a major league high-tying 29 and the six earned runs gave him a major league-high 91.

“I’m not getting the job done with runners on base,” Shields said. “When you give up homers, it’s fine, as long as no one’s on. That’s not what I’m doing right now. I need to get better at that.”

Shields walked three, including .211-hitting Max Muncy in the second to force in a run. Davis hit a solo shot to left in the third and Vogt and Alonso connected with two outs in a four-run fifth.

Davis also singled, doubled and scored three runs and Vogt added an RBI double for the A’s, who had scored three or fewer runs in 12 of their previous 19 games.

“He had a stretch of three or four outings that he was doing well,” White Sox catcher Dioner Navarro said about Shields. “He has to keep grinding and find something that clicks. I still believe that he’s going to help us out.”

Graveman came in having allowed five home runs in his last four starts. But the right-hander used strong command while allowing the fewest hits of his season.

“His ball moves a lot,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We didn’t get anything done. I mean, all the way around it wasn’t a good night for us.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: 2B Brett Lawrie, on a rehab assignment for a hamstring injury, experienced quadriceps soreness earlier in the week. He didn’t play Friday for Double-A Birmingham. . OF Avisail Garcia (knee) is expected to begin a rehab stint in the next few days.

ZERO AGAIN

The White Sox were shut out for the ninth time this season and the first time since July 16, at the Angels.

SEMIEN’S STREAK

A’s and former White Sox INF Marcus Semien had an RBI single in the eighth while playing in his 124th consecutive game. But that streak may soon end.

“His wife is going to have something to say about that,” Melvin said.

Semien’s wife is due Saturday.

UP NEXT

White Sox ace Chris Sale (14-6, 3.30 ERA) seeks his first win since July 2 when he faces fellow lefty Ross Detwiler on Saturday night. Sale has allowed eight earned runs and 15 hits in his last two starts.