Renteria stays with Pelfrey in costly decision

Manager regrets not going to bullpen

Renteria stays with Pelfrey in costly decision

ANAHEIM -- Since the start of his White Sox managerial tenure, Rick Renteria has preached team above individual. He has talked about playing for the name on the front of the jersey as opposed to the name on the back.

But it was Renteria who told reporters about breaking that philosophy in a key moment of Monday's 5-3 loss to the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Mike Pelfrey, who was effectively wild for most of the night, had a two-on, two-out situation in the fifth inning with the White Sox leading by a 3-0 margin and left-handed-hitting Kole Calhoun at the plate. Renteria had left-handed reliever Dan Jennings warming in the bullpen, but chose to stay with Pelfrey and try to push him through five in what turned into a game-tying home run from Calhoun.

"Pelf gave us a nice four-plus innings. Really, he gave us enough to do what we need to do," Renteria said. "I had those guys out there ready to pick him up and I didn't. I went against my better judgment.

"Honestly, we had [Jennings] ready for Calhoun and a righty ready. That's not any of their faults but mine. At least it would have given us a better chance. I can't guarantee that the outcome would have been what we wanted, but the matchups would have been better."

Anthony Swarzak, who yielded a double Andrelton Simmons in the sixth inning -- the second hit allowed to the last 50 batters faced -- replaced Pelfrey in the fifth. Swarzak was ready to face Mike Trout after Calhoun, but Pelfrey stayed in the game and yielded Trout's go-ahead home run.

Pelfrey went to at least a three-ball count against 11 Angels hitters. Cameron Maybin worked the count full with one out in the fateful fifth, but Pelfrey's 3-2 sinker within the strike zone was called ball four by home plate umpire Mike DiMuro. That call changed the complexion of the inning, but not the point of blame for Pelfrey.

Maybin's crucial walk

"I'm pretty frustrated. Pretty disappointed. Pretty tough to swallow after being given that 3-0 lead and giving it right back. It [stinks]," Pelfrey told reporters after falling to 0-4. "I felt like it was 3-2 to everybody. Eventually it caught up to me. Pretty bad to give up three runs on one hit, and walking guys."

In five starts with the White Sox, Pelfrey has worked into the sixth inning only one time. The deeper he works, the more problems Pelfrey seems to face. He now has allowed nine of his 16 runs this season in pitches 75 to 100.

That statistic also could have factored into the pitching-change decision for Renteria. Instead, it became a tough but teachable moment for Renteria himself.

"Today my emotions for an individual came before the reality of managing for a team," Renteria said. "You cannot do that and win ballgames consistently over an extended period of time.

"This one doesn't sit well with me. I'm sure it doesn't sit well with very many people. I agree with them. But it's not something we've been doing all year long. It's something we went against. We've been thinking team first, and we're going to continue to do it."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.