Baseball / Sports

White Sox strike out without Jose Abreu, fall to Astros

HOUSTON -- The Chicago White Sox have shown an ability to survive despite injuries to some of their most important players this season, but Sunday was not one of those efforts.

After losing first baseman Jose Abreu to the disabled list with left ankle tendinitis Sunday morning, the White Sox and left-hander John Danks fell to the Astros 8-2 at Minute Maid Park for their third straight series loss.

While Danks allowed three home runs -- two to third baseman Matt Dominguez -- the Sox received only two RBIs from catcher Adrian Nieto against Astros right-hander Brad Peacock.

"We're looking a lot different than we did a week ago, just guys we have in there, how they're swinging," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You take somebody like Abreu out of there, it just looks different. It needs to pick up because he's not going to be here for a couple of weeks."

The Astros took a four-run lead for the second straight game.

Chris Carter started with a solo home run in the second inning. After a walk and a double, Jonathan Villar hit a two-run single to left field. Alejandro De Aza committed an error while fielding it, and Villar advanced to second. He stole third and scored on Nieto's throwing error to third for a 4-0 Astros lead.

"Everything gets frustrating, especially when you have games like this," Ventura said of De Aza's error. "It just has to be cleaned up. You have that and throwing down the left-field line. You keep giving teams opportunities, you're going to pay for it."

Dominguez hit two-run shots in the third and fifth innings off Danks, who lasted a season-low 42/3 innings. Danks gave up 10 hits and eight runs -- seven earned -- walked three and struck out seven, and he was even more disappointed to do it in his home state in front of about 30 family members and friends.

"I did a terrible job of keeping the ball in the ballpark," Danks said. "I did a terrible job of getting in pitchers' counts. ... It was an all-round pretty crappy day."

The Sox had a third-inning chance to rally against the Astros after walks to Alexei Ramirez and De Aza and singles by Nieto and Adam Eaton cut the lead to 4-1. They had the bases loaded with no outs but failed to score as Gordon Beckham grounded into a double play and Conor Gillaspie flied out to center field.

Happy return: The Sox at least were able to welcome leadoff hitter and center fielder Eaton back from the disabled list Sunday. Eaton had been out since May 3 with a right hamstring strain, an absence he found difficult.

"I get stir crazy really easy," Eaton said. "I'm still relatively new here, and I want to contribute as much as I can to kind of win over the guys' faith in me in the outfield and at the bat. Not to be able to do that definitely takes away from my day and my personality. I'm very excited to be able to contribute to the team and help the team win. I'm pumped to be back for sure."

Eaton said he understands the urge to fight through an injury to prove oneself in the first season with a team, as Abreu tried to do.

"You might let this last three, four days, a week longer than what you should have than if you are, say, making $15 million this year. It's a little bit different," Eaton said. "You want to push this as much as you can without being stupid. You push it a touch longer than what it probably should go. The smart thing is get treatment and get it settled right as it happens."

Back with the team: Sunday marked a full month that left-hander Chris Sale has been on the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain.

After he made a rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday, he will rejoin the team in Kansas City on Monday for evaluation so that the Sox can decide his next move, whether it be one more rehab start, a bullpen session or a start with the Sox.

"I don't know if it's as perfect as you want to be, but he is feeling good after throwing the other day," Ventura said.

Needs work: De Aza has made some ugly baserunning mistakes in the last couple of years, including one Saturday when he was thrown out at third on a sacrifice fly for the third out. Ventura was asked what can be done to correct his mistakes on the basepaths.

"You continue to harp on the basics and the fundamentals of it," Ventura said. "You can't make the third out at third base. That's rule No. 1. I could see Joe (McEwing) trying to hold him up, but it's their brain that's out there."

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