9/8/2013 1:31 P.M. ET
Santiago battling to minimize pitch counts
By Todd Karpovich / Special to MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- White Sox lefty Hector Santiago has heard some criticism this season.
After allowing a career-high five walks against the Red Sox on Aug. 30, pitching coach Don Cooper took him to task in the media, saying the New Jersey native had a bad outing and issued too many walks.
Santiago shook off the criticism Saturday against the Orioles and kept the White Sox in the game, despite struggling with a high pitch count. Santiago did not get a decision after allowing two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks over five innings.
The White Sox have the worst winning percentage on the road of any Major League team at .320 (24-51), but Santiago has thrived in opposing ballparks. He has held hitters to a .217 average on the road, which ranks sixth in the American League for pitchers with at least 130 innings.
"It's been the same story all year," Santiago said. "It's like the first two innings are like high, and then I kind of have some decent innings that can get me deeper in the game. But those first two innings end up killing me right there. Fifty-plus pitches, and some of them I felt like were good pitches, but just in the wrong times. It was like, other situations, better counts, you might get someone to chase that right there."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura appeared frustrated that Santiago was not able to throw more innings. Still, he has seen some promise with the 25-year-old.
"He's been better," Ventura said. "He just found himself in a high pitch count early. He's going to have to locate and get through it a little bit easier. You start using that much to get through five, he's not going to be in there that long."
Santiago is 4-8 with 3.44 ERA in 33 appearances (21 as a starter) this season.
White Sox pushing forward despite mounting losses
BALTIMORE -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura was in no mood Sunday to talk about the grind of the current 10-game road trip or looking ahead to get back home for the first time in almost two weeks.
Instead, he said the team was just focused on snapping its nine-game skid. The loss Saturday against the Orioles was particularly painful because the White Sox took the lead in the 10th inning on a solo home run by Conor Gillaspie, only to have Matt Wieters respond with a walk-off, two-run single off Addison Reed for a 4-3 victory.
"Any time you lose late, it's always worse," Ventura said. "There's always another game, so you put it behind you. The effort and optimism and all that kind of stuff play into that. That's what makes baseball hard. It's every day."
All of the losses in the nine-game losing streak have been on the road against American League East opponents -- the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles. Chicago has lost nine straight road games three times this season.
Ventura said being on the road has not made the streaks any harder to endure.
"I don't think that part would matter," Ventura said. "Any time you go through something like this, whether you are at home or on the road, it's equally painful."
Some of the players said the ball has simply not gone their way many times this season.
"I'm sure you've heard it before, I feel like we see something new every game," Reed said Saturday. "Things just aren't going our way, and today it was a bad pitch by me. It happens, it's baseball. Things can happen like that and all we can do is come back tomorrow and do everything we can to get the win."
Avisail out of finale lineup because of 'bad tooth'
BALTIMORE -- Outfielder Avisail Garcia was out of the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Orioles because of a "bad tooth," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
The tooth might get pulled Monday in Chicago, and Garcia could miss a "few games" depending on how he feels.
Garcia has been one of the club's hottest hitters, going 30-for-87 (.345) with three doubles, a triple, two homers and 13 RBIs over his past 23 games.
"He was supposed to be in there," Ventura said. "He was not feeling that good yesterday. He ought to get something done tomorrow."
Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.