CHICAGO (AP) - A week ago, the San Francisco Giants had the best record in baseball, a near double-digit division lead and they were piling up the wins seemingly with ease.
But manager Bruce Bochy knew a rough stretch was coming.
“I don’t care how good you are, you’re gonna have your ups and downs,” he said. “You’re gonna have your hiccups, your bumps in the road and you know it.
“What’s important is how you deal with it.”
What the Giants are dealing with now is a five-game losing streak.
Ace Tim Hudson was roughed up for seven runs - serving up homers to Cuban rookie sensation Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn - and the Chicago White Sox swept the brief two-game series with a 7-6 victory on Wednesday.
Abreu reached 20 homers in his 58th game, the third fewest in major league history behind Wally Berger (51 games) and Mark McGwire (56 games).
“I wasn’t aware of this happening, but it’s a good thing,” Abreu said through a translator. “I welcome it and I want to continue to help the team win. That’s what it’s all about right now.”
White Sox ace Chris Sale (6-1) labored, giving up three runs on eight hits through six-plus innings for Chicago. Ronald Belisario, pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his seventh save.
Chicago now has won two straight following a four-game skid.
“Our guys, they’re tough,” manager Robin Ventura said. “They just keep grinding. We know we didn’t play well against (Kansas City), but put it behind you and you keep going. If you want to look in the rearview mirror and wallow on that, you’re going to get beat a lot more. These guys seem to stay with it and grind it out.”
Hudson (7-3) allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing this season. He entered the game with an MLB-leading 1.81 ERA.
“It’s frustrating, no doubt about it,” Hudson said. “The guys, they played their butts off all day behind and fought right there ‘til the end. You score six runs on a day I pitch, we should win these games.
“For me, that’s the frustrating part.”
Abreu’s liner into the left field bullpen put Chicago ahead 2-0 in the first.