Chicago — Given that football season is beginning, scoreboards are getting some work again, it’s probably fitting the Tigers are jumping right in.
Allowing touchdowns — plural that is — in multiple games this week and playing the role of tackling dummies.
Tough, tough five-game stretch this has been, the latest debacle being Saturday’s 14-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
BOX SCORE: White Sox 14, Tigers 0
There have been several of these lately.
If you’re keeping score at home, the Tigers have now been outscored 52-11 over the last five games (four of those losses).
It started Wednesday with that 19-0 loss to Milwaukee.
Followed with a 12-2 loss and 6-3 victory in a doubleheader Thursday in St. Louis.
Friday’s narrow 4-3 loss to the White Sox.
More: Tigers coach Ramon Santiago excited to become U.S. citizen
Then Saturday’s runaway loss.
That’s nine losses in the last 12 games for the Tigers, who have also lost eight consecutive games to the White Sox this season (1-8).
“It’s frustrating, that’s for sure,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You want to compete and stay in the games and we knew coming into this ballpark it’s a hard thing to do when they get on a roll. You have to make pitches and you have a ton of good hitters over there and they chewed us up pretty good. It’s hard to stop these guys. You get balls up and they hit them.
“This is another rough one. We’ve gone through a lot of pitching.”
More: In early stages, Bryan Garcia thriving in Tigers’ closer role
Michael Fulmer got the start Saturday and didn’t finish the third inning, allowing nine hits and five runs.
Coming back from Tommy John surgery last year, Fulmer (0-2, 9.27 ERA) isn’t getting the results he wants.
“I just want to win for this team and bring this ballclub a ‘W,’ and right now I’m not able to do that and that’s the frustrating part,” Fulmer said. “I’m grateful to be healthy, to feel good, and the only frustrating part is the results. Until I start changing something, I’m not going to be satisfied.
“The pitches were there tonight, just not the results we were looking for.”
Fulmer felt his command was as good as it’s been all season, but gave the White Sox hitters credit.
“They had a good approach (at the plate),” said Fulmer, noting many hits were to the opposite field. “I didn’t leave balls in the middle. It’s one of those things where you have to tip your hat to that offense.”
More: Tigers prospect Riley Greene ‘ahead of the curve,’ Alan Trammell says
Gardenhire stressed it’s a process for any pitcher to return from that sort of surgery.
“It’s one of those things you’re going to go through,” Gardenhire said. “He made some good pitches but not enough. It’s about getting him into a routine, even if it’s only three innings, and the goal is to stretch him out next spring training and get deeper into games. That’s what we’re trying to do now with these three-inning stints, and that’s part of the process here.”
Daniel Norris, Rony Garcia and Nick Ramirez followed from the bullpen and didn’t do much better.
The Tigers only had five hits Saturday, and typical of the game, the only time they got close to scoring in the fourth inning, Willi Castro was thrown out after appearing to stumble rounding third base.
“We didn’t do too much offensively,” Gardenire said.
The powerful White Sox lineup had 19 hits, with Jose Abreu (seven RBIs, five runs, four hits, two home runs) and Tim Anderson (four hits), leading the way.
The Tigers hope to salvage one game out of this series Sunday, with Spencer Turnbull getting the start.
Given the extensive use of the bullpen in recent days, the Tigers badly need a quality start from Turnbull.
“We really need Turnbull to step up and have a good performance and give us a chance to win,” Gardenhire said. “We’ve already lost the series but we have a chance to win a game, and heading into a day off, and that’ll fall on his shoulders, to give us a good outing. He’s thrown the ball well. He’s got the stuff. It would be a real nice thing to get