- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox’s starting rotation is still under a microscope after another below average outing by right-hander Francisco Liriano in Friday’s 7-5 loss to the Royals.
Liriano allowed five runs in 5 innings as a follow up to an even more suspect performance in Detroit last weekend. With 23 games left in the season, the team’s weakest link appears to be a starting staff that is struggling to give the Sox the innings necessary to get into postseason.
Liriano has not given the innings or the spark he was counted on to bring when he was traded to the White Sox on July 28. The White Sox starter has walked 11 hitters in his last two games.
“I am missing my spot,” he said. “I need to find my release point, I am throwing the ball way up or way down. It’s tough to go out there and pitch like that getting behind in the count.”
The Sox have now lost 9 of 13 against the Royals this season. A more shocking statistic has Kansas City now having earned 13 percent of its 62 victories in 2012 against Chicago.
“I feel like I am not doing my job right now,” Liriano said. “It is kind of frustrating (because) every game counts. I ‘m trying to do the best I can right now, and it just isn’t happening.”
Liriano walked the first two hitters in the sixth inning after Dewayne Wise tied the game with his seventh home run in the bottom of the fifth. Both runners scored when reliever Nate Jones failed to hold Kansas City at bay.
“I am sure he feels that it is self inflicted,” Paul Konerko said. “He knows he is better than that. You know he is taking it on his own shoulders. There are times when you think it is all your fault and it is not. As long as you are competing and battling, that’s the way it goes sometimes and you don’t have to apologize to anybody.”
The Sox have had only two quality starts from their rotation in the last two weeks.