Derek Holland struggles again as Royals hand White Sox ugly loss

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There will be some ugly days during the rebuild. Sunday was one of them for the White Sox.

Derek Holland struggled again, the bullpen couldn’t contain the Royals, and the defense didn’t help in a 14-6 loss. Other than Tim Anderson hitting a two-run homer in the fifth and Nicky Delmonico reaching base for the 12th consecutive game, it was the kind of long day the Sox can expect and will have to live through before the rebuilding program takes shape.

“In terms of mistakes . . . today and yesterday we had some things that didn’t go well and that doesn’t play well or doesn’t look well and we don’t want those things to occur,” manager Rick Renteria said. “But you continue to address them as need be and deal with them.”

On Sunday, the Sox had a chance to win consecutive series for the first time since June 12-15 against the Orioles and June 16-18 at the Blue Jays. But Holland was ineffective and the Sox fell behind 8-0. Entering Sunday, he was 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA over his last nine starts, and things got worse against the Royals. In his two-plus innings, Holland was charged with seven runs while allowing seven hits and walking three.

“I don’t even know where to begin. Today was just, in my eyes, embarrassing,” Holland said. “Not being able to find the strike zone, and then when I did, catching too much plate. These guys are going to do what they did today to you when you can’t not be in the middle of the plate. It’s frustrating.”

Holland, for all his issues, wasn’t helped by his defense, especially in the second inning when the Royals scored four times and batted around.

Their first run came on a defensive miscue by the Sox, when Drew Butera singled to left but Leury Garcia’s throw back into the infield sailed over everybody, allowing Cheslor Cuthbert to score. After Holland struck out Whit Merrifield looking for the second out, Lorenzo Cain drove a single to left to bring in two and then scored on Melky Cabrera’s single to center in an inning that set the tone for the day.

Earlier Sunday, Renteria praised the Sox’ recent defense, but it didn’t live up to the manager’s words. The Sox made two errors and threw three wild pitches. That followed up a Saturday game that had positives, but also issues such as Yoan Moncada not sliding into second on an attempted stolen base, Jose Abreu easily getting thrown out at home on a double to left and Garcia losing sight of Eric Hosmer’s homer.

“It does seem to come in bunches at times,” Renteria said. “It’s like anything good or negative. They seem to come in bunches, whether it’s positive actions or negative.”

Unfortunately for Holland, his season in Chicago has seen mostly negatives.

He dropped to 5-12, his ERA ballooned to 5.68 and he hasn’t even been able to eat innings. Since July 1,
Holland only has lasted six innings once, and he wasn’t able to extend the Sox’ streak of quality starts to five.

“It’s not beating myself up. I’m my own worst critic. And I’m not  happy with the way I’m performing. These guys are busting their [butts] for me, and for me to not do my job is what’s frustrating,” Holland said. “I have every right to be upset with myself because these fans deserve better. I should be doing better. And I’m not performing the way that I feel I should be. It’s frustrating, it’s upsetting, it’s very disappointing, and it’s very embarrassing, too.”

Follow me on Twitter @BrianSandalow.

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