White Sox, Blue Jays try to stay motivated (Aug 01, 2017)

CHICAGO — White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson admits that when a team is losing on a regular basis, it is sometimes not easy to report to the ballpark.

With his Chicago team in the midst of a rebuild, the losses have mounted in what already was a long season. But after back-to-back, walk-off victories — including a 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night — the White Sox aren’t conceding anything.

Despite losing 14 of their past 17 games heading into the Tuesday game against the Blue Jays, the White Sox continue to fight. That was evident Monday night when Davidson delivered a two-out, game-winning single in the ninth inning as the White Sox rallied from a 6-0 deficit.

“Obviously winning is a lot more fun than losing,” Davidson said. “We’re enjoying it. and it’s good to get everybody with smiles on their face. (There’s) just more momentum and kind of change it up. …

“Everybody’s a little more relaxed, and it makes it easier to get your work done every single day and get excited for the game.”

As much of a lift as consecutive walk-off wins provided for the White Sox, they still face a long road as they move ahead with a cast of young players. After general manager Rick Hahn was busy dealing major-leaguers for prospects in the days leading up to the trade deadline, the White Sox held firm on Monday before rallying to victory against the Blue Jays.

Toronto continues to build for the future as well. The Blue Jays traded away left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano and reliever Joe Smith for prospects who likely won’t factor into the Blue Jays’ plans until at least next year.

“We’re just going to keep playing,” Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said Monday. “I don’t know how many games we have left, but the way I go about it is we have one game today, tomorrow isn’t promised, so play your best today and see how it goes.”

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said that while it is difficult to say goodbye to familiar faces, it is part of the business of baseball to keep moving forward once moves are made.

And as July gives way to August, pressing on will remain a way of life for the Blue Jays.

“Every manager who coaches baseball, you want to win that day, however your team stacks up,” Gibbons said Monday. “That doesn’t change.”

In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said that given where Toronto stands, making the moves Monday made the most sense.

“We would prefer to be buying and making a push for the pennant, but having said that … we feel like we were prepared to pivot at the opportunities that presented themselves to make the organization better,” Atkins said.

On Tuesday, Toronto right-hander Marcus Stroman (9-5, 3.08 ERA) will face Chicago right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-8, 4.73), who, like the majority of White Sox starters, has struggled as Chicago’s roster has remained in constant flux.

Stroman allowed six hits and three runs over 4 2/3 innings in his most recent start on Thursday against the Oakland Athletics, a game the Blue Jays won 8-4.

In five career starts against the White Sox, he is 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA. In his lone start against Chicago this season, Stroman got the loss after giving up three runs and six hits in seven innings on June 17.

Pelfrey yielded six hits and five runs over five innings in a loss to the Chicago Cubs in his most recent start on Thursday.

In five career starts against Toronto, Pelfrey is 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA. He won his only start against Blue Jays this season, giving up one run and four hits in six innings on June 17, beating Stroman.

With the White Sox entering August on a two-game winning streak, they hope that despite all the change, good things can still happen.

“I think that this victory gives us confidence and gives us the energy and the motivation to come every day, trying to do our best and trying to work harder,” Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu said.