The bury, bury month of May: White Sox complete another awful month on nine-game losing streak

MILWAUKEE — These White Sox appear to be exactly who they are. The worst team in baseball, but not worsening. Just consistently bad, week to week and month to month.

As the Sox (15-43) brought May to a close with their ninth consecutive loss and 13th in the last 14 games by a 12-5 score against an aggressive Brewers team that sprayed 23 hits all over American Family Field on Friday, their May numbers looked similar to their numbers of April and the last three days of March.

Going into Friday, with 30 games played in March and April and 27 in May, the worst offense in the majors had 84 runs in May and 77 before, 20 home runs in May and 19 in March/April, 44 doubles in both, 16 and 18 (May) stolen bases and a .212/.278/.321 hitting line with a .600 OPS before May and a .215/.278/.337 line with a .611 OPS during.

So you get the picture.

And wins and losses? The Sox were 6-24 in March/April and 9-19 in May, which adds up to the worst start in franchise history.

June will be here Saturday.

“A new month,” second baseman Nicky Lopez said. “Going by fast, but it’s not going by fast. We have to just keep going, come to the ballpark and end the streak. Keep playing for one another, keep playing for the guys in the clubhouse.

“It’s tough right now.”

Paul DeJong hit his team-high eighth homer and Corey Julks had a two-run double, helping the Sox to a 3-1 lead against starter Tobias Myers.

But Sox right-hander Erick Fedde, while striking out eight batters, allowed four runs, nine hits and four walks through five.

“They were aggressive early in the at-bats; they had a lot of good at-bats and didn’t give anything away,” Fedde said.

The Brewers erased a 5-4 deficit with six runs against Michael Soroka and John Brebbia in the seventh.

Lopez played on 97- and 103-loss teams with the Royals, so he knows tough.

“When you don’t see a win in sight,” Lopez said.

He also played for a 104-win team with the Braves.

“When you know every day you’re going to win,” he said. “Which is awesome. No one likes being on this side.”

And the here and now?

“You can get to a point where you don’t see a win in sight,” Lopez said. “But we have to keep coming every day, try to simplify, get a runner over, play simple baseball, score a guy when we have a chance, make a play.”

Lopez reiterated that the clubhouse remains together, so there’s that. He knows losing teams can “fall in that trap of thinking of your personal numbers when things go south.”

But that’s when things get worse.

“Have to keep pushing each other,” he said. “We will in here.”

Manager Pedro Grifol, on Royals coaching staffs when Lopez played in Kansas City, tried pushing his players last Sunday by saying they were flat, then doubled down the next day.

“He has every right to blow up on us if he needs to,” Lopez said. “It’s our job to come in here every day and play our best. It was a little miscommunication between us and him. And the media gets involved.

“I’ve had five managers, and each one handles things differently.”

Grifol, in his second season and with a 76-144 record, said “the fix is we’ve got to make improvements every day.”

He said he and the coaches have to get creative. A skeptic might say one way would be sitting catcher Martin Maldonado, who went 0-for-3 to run his hitless streak to 25 at-bats and lower his average to .079.

With the vast majority of Brewers hits on the ground, Grifol said the Sox would re-examine infield positioning going into Saturday’s game.

“These guys grind out at-bats, and they were relentless,” Grifol said.

“Our guys brought their game. There was a ton of energy in that dugout. There was a will to win a baseball game. But we have to find a way to break this losing streak.”

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