A team has allowed 16 or more runs 10 times in this season. That’s 10 times in 3,357 team games. The Chicago White Sox are responsible for two of those 10 instances in the last three days. On Sunday, the White Sox lost 16-3 to the Twins in a game they were leading 3-1 after five innings and in which their starter, Jose Quintana, allowed just one unearned run in five innings. On Tuesday night, the White Sox were shut out by the Rangers’ Colby Lewis and lost 16-0, the most lopsided loss of the 2014 season.
On Sunday, the White Sox watched five of their relievers surrender multiple runs in an inning or less, four of them allowing as many or more runs than the number of outs they recorded. In the Twins’ nine-run eighth inning, Ronald Belisario faced just four batters, all of whom singled and ultimately scored. In the next inning, Andre Rienzo gave up home runs to three consecutive batters, the last of whom, catcher Eric Fryer, had hit just one previous major league home run.
On Tuesday night, the Sox spread things out a bit more, giving up runs in seven different innings, but never more than four in any one frame. Chicago starter John Danks gave up four home runs, just the 12th pitcher to do so in a single game this season and the first since the Rangers’ Joe Saunders on June 30. Danks allowed two in the fifth inning alone, as J.P. Arencibia led off with a solo shot before Robinson Chirinos mercifully ended Danks’ night with his second homer of the night to make it 9-0 Rangers. Arencibia, who had hit a bases-loaded double in the second inning, was the hitting star of the game, going 3-for-5 with seven total bases, four runs batted in and, perhaps most surprisingly, a walk. Arencibia now has seven home runs and seven walks and is hitting .198/.261/.421 on the season.
The Rangers, incidentally, are the only other team to allow 16 or more runs on multiple occasions this season, having lost 17-7 to the Indians on June 6 and 16-2 to these White Sox on April 20. Meanwhile, Lewis’s shutout was just the second of his major league career. His first occurred on May 16, 2011, and like this one, came against the White Sox in Chicago.
In case anyone was unconvinced that this game was a farce, Adam Dunn made his pitching debut in the top of the ninth inning. Throwing low-80s slop, Dunn, who pitched in high school in mid-1990s, gave up the 16th run on a walk and a pair of singles, but also got Elvis Andrus to ground out on a 3-1 pitch, Rougned Odor to fly out to end the inning and, just to cap it all off, Arencibia to foul out on the only pitch he saw in the inning. Somehow Arencibia had no trouble with the White Sox real pitchers, but fouled out against a player who started the game as a designated hitter. Speaking of which, per @AceballStats, Dunn is just the third man ever to pitch in a game he started as a designated hitter, joining Jose Canseco in 1993 (then of the Rangers, of course) and Chris Davis in 2012, both of whom did it against the Red Sox.