Chicago White Sox: Adam Dunn

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 11, Blue Jays 5

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15
10:33
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox opened a three-game series and a six-game homestand with an 11-5 victory Friday over the Toronto Blue Jays.

How it happened: The White Sox unleashed some offense early and often while cruising to the victory. The White Sox sent all nine hitters to the plate in the opening inning, scoring five times and chasing Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. They didn't relent against the Blue Jays' bullpen. The first six batters in the lineup all had at least two hits. Jose Abreu drove in three runs, and Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo drove in two each. White Sox starter Hector Noesi (7-8) gave up five runs and eight hits over five-plus innings but still won for the fourth time in his past five decisions.

What it means: It was nice to be home for a White Sox offense that had its issues on the road. Going back to the final two games of the previous homestand, the White Sox were batting a combined .206 with six home runs and 13 runs scored over their past eight games for an average of 1.6 runs a game. The White Sox were also batting .150 (6-for-40) with runners in scoring position over that time. On Friday, the White Sox were 9-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

Outside the box: The dependable Alexei Ramirez refused to give in to pain as he was hit in the left hand/wrist area by a pitch in the opening inning and remained in the game. He then had hits in two of his next three at-bats. Ramirez has played in 158 games in each of the past three seasons and this year he has played in all but one of the White Sox's 122 games so far.

Off beat: The White Sox delivered six consecutive hits in the fifth inning, their longest such run this season. Their previous best for consecutive hits in an inning was five, done three times. With a five-run first inning and a five-run fifth, the White Sox pounded out 16 hits before the sixth inning even started.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (9-8, 4.96 ERA) to the mound Saturday in the middle game of the three-game series. The Blue Jays will counter with left-hander Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.31) in the 6:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Stock watch: Flowers on a hit parade

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
3:47
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Tyler FlowersBrian Kersey/Getty ImagesTyler Flowers is batting .397 over his past 20 games.

RISING

Streaking
Tyler Flowers, C: The revival of Flowers continued this past weekend. After going 1-for-2 at Seattle on Sunday (he was also hit by a pitch twice in that game), Flowers is batting .397 (25-for-63), with six doubles, four home runs, 14 RBIs and 19 runs scored over his past 20 games. It's a run that started at the All-Star break and has included eight multi-hit games. Flowers' batting average has risen from .213 to its current .250 mark.

Bullpen: Zach Putnam returned from injury over the weekend and now Matt Lindstrom is on the roster again after ankle surgery. Those reinforcements are enough to make it feel like a battered bullpen is on the rise again. But over the last three games there has been a bit of a resurgence, as the relievers have combined for 6 2/3 scoreless innings. That follows a dreadful run when they gave up 36 runs, 46 hits, eight of which were home runs, in their previous six outings.

Alexei Ramirez, SS: The All-Star looks all the way back from his midseason doldrums as he has delivered a hit in 19 of his last 22 games and is batting .341 (31-for-91) over that stretch with three home runs and 15 RBIs. He also has 12 multi-hit games in that run. Ramirez is second in games played at 118 and third in innings played at 1,030 2/3.

FALLING

Slumping
Offense: After opening the second half with an offensive flourish, that has all gone away now. The White Sox are batting a combined .223 (44-for-197) with four home runs and nine runs scored over their last six games. That's a 1.5 runs-per-game average. The club also has a .133 average with runners in scoring position during that span. To show how hot they were when the second started, the White Sox still started the day first in the major leagues with a .290 batting average in the second half and were second in slugging percentage (.426) and OPS (.764).

Maikel Cleto, RP: Already designated for assignment once this season, Cleto isn't making much of his second chance. After having his contract purchased on Aug. 4, the hard-throwing right-hander has given up a home run in each of the two outings upon his return. The last was a two-run home run by the Mariners' Kyle Seager on Thursday. Going back to his previous stint with the club, Cleto has actually given up a home run in each of his last three big-league outings.

Adam Dunn, 1B/DH: The big man's one-inning pitching performance Aug. 5 against the Texas Rangers has been his only highlight of late. Dunn has just two hits over his last 23 at-bats and is batting just .212 (11-for-52) with three home runs, seven RBIs and six runs scored over his last 13 games. Perhaps interleague play is what he needs. Dunn is tied with the Tigers' Torii Hunter for sixth among active players with 46 interleague home runs.

Series preview: White Sox at Giants

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
2:14
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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A struggling Chicago White Sox team has just the right guy on the mound Tuesday night as Chris Sale is set to pitch against the San Francisco Giants.

The White Sox are playing their last two interleague games of the season on Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon against the Giants, and Sale is 3-0 lifetime with a 2.52 ERA in six starts against National League teams.

In fact, the last time he pitched in an interleague game, Sale earned the victory over the Giants on June 18 when he gave up three earned runs over six innings.

Sale is also coming off just his second defeat of the season, though. He gave up just two runs on three hits over six innings Wednesday against the Texas Rangers so that defeat was more a result of the White Sox being held down by Rangers pitching.

Sale is 10-2 with a 2.14 ERA this season and is making a Cy Young Award push, despite spending time on the disabled list earlier this season with a sore arm muscle.

On the road this season, Sale is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA over six starts, five of which have been quality. Sale also has 39 strikeouts in those six road outings.

HEAD TO HEAD



The only active White Sox player who has faced Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong is Adam Dunn, who is 2-for-6 against the right-hander, with a home run and four walks. ... Giants starter Jake Peavy faced the White Sox on April 15 as a member of the Red Sox, giving up just one run on three hits with eight strikeouts over six innings against his former team, as Dunn hit a third-inning home run. ... White Sox starter Scott Carroll, who has never faced the Giants, is 0-1 in two outings against National League teams this season, with a 8.22 ERA. The Giants’ Buster Posey is 2-for-2 against Sale, while Gregor Blanco is 3-for-5.

NOTES



The White Sox have lost five of their past six games and seven of their last nine. ... The White Sox have been outscored 60-17 over their last eight games, totals that show the White Sox’s issues are in more than one area. ... After going 1-for-4 on Sunday at Seattle, Jose Abreu has a hit 28 of his past 29 road games and is batting .391 over that stretch with nine home runs and 24 RBIs. ... The White Sox are now 1-3 over a stretch of 15 consecutive games where they will face teams with winning records. They also have 19 of their last 22 games in August against teams above .500. ... The White Sox are 31-28 against teams with winning runs this season and 25-35 against teams under .500. ... The White Sox's Conor Gillaspie enters the series against his former organization with a .318 batting average, seventh best in the American League, and a .362 on-base percentage that is 17th best in the AL.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Tuesday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (10-2, 2.14 ERA) vs. Giants RH Ryan Vogelsong (7-8, 3.77), 9:15 p.m. CST
Wednesday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (4-7, 4.81) vs. Giants RH Jake Peavy (0-3, 4.82), 2:45 p.m. CST

83 mph? Dunn claims more is in tank

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
12:48
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Adam DunnJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesSox slugger Adam Dunn finally got his wish to pitch, throwing one inning in a blowout loss Tuesday.


CHICAGO -- For those who take their baseball like the military treats wake-up calls, this one is not for you.

For those who aren’t afraid to indulge in a slice of cake every once in a while, well, Adam Dunn brought the batter, the frosting, one of those knives that doubles as a spatula, and a whole stack of plates.

Dunn, who left before talking about his one-inning pitching performance Tuesday night, addressed the event Wednesday, shocked to learn it resonated so well among many.

“I didn’t think it would be this big of a deal,” he said, while still in street clothes Wednesday morning. “I thought it would just be a big deal to me.”

(Read full post)

'Put me in coach!' Dunn pitches ninth

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5
11:49
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Like a blast from the air conditioner at the end of a stiflingly hot day, Adam Dunn supplied literal and figurative relief for the White Sox late Tuesday night.

With Chicago trailing by double digits for the second time in three games, Dunn emerged from the dugout to pitch the ninth inning. It not only caught what was left of a modest crowd by surprise, but also caused the visiting Texas Rangers to do a double take as well.

“I thought it was the lefty [Eric Surkamp] that pitched that inning before,” the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre said.

[+] EnlargeAdam Dunn
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images"I haven't laughed on a baseball field like that in a long time," Adam Eaton said of Adam Dunn's turn on the mound.
Looking at Dunn’s massive physique standing atop the mound, another thought struck the Rangers veteran.

“You know, Adam Dunn is up there [and] if he hits somebody, we can't charge [the mound] today,” said Beltre, who was almost hit by a Dunn pitch in the low 80 mph range before he worked a walk. “He was throwing power sinkers. Obviously it was too nasty for J.P. [Arencibia].”

Dunn gave up only a run, on a single by Adam Rosales, but he got Elvis Andrus to ground out, Arencibia to pop out and Rougned Odor to fly out for his three outs. The crowd roared. Catcher Adrian Nieto waited at the foul line to shake Dunn’s hand.

“He's been begging for that for a while,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You've got to give the fans what they want.”

What they would have wanted was a victory, but Ventura’s point was taken. In that situation, having Dunn pitch ended up being the best way to end a horrible day in the field.

“I haven’t laughed on a baseball field like that in a long time, ever since I was probably kicking dandelions, in my early teens,” Adam Eaton said. “It’s fun; it takes you back to the glory days and he had good sink, that’s all I can say. He was 80 mph but he had really good sink, maybe from throwing the football around all those times at Texas. That’s the only bright part for sure.”

It even coaxed a smile from starter John Danks, who was crushed for nine runs on eight hits and five walks in 4⅔ innings.

“I loved seeing Adam out there,” Danks said. “Obviously it’s a pretty crappy situation to have him out there, but most importantly it saved an arm in the bullpen.

“After a game like this, hopefully it will send guys home with something to laugh about because the job I did to start the game, and the tone I set, didn’t really have us in the direction of giving us anything to laugh about. Hopefully it helps us put it behind us faster and we get ’em tomorrow, win the series.”

Dunn, who wasn’t around afterward to talk about it, obviously knew that a power sinker, even in the 80 mph range, had a chance at success. Dunn topped out at 83 mph on the radar gun.

“Honestly, for me, it's the worst at-bat in baseball,” Arencibia said. “It's a lose-lose situation. Your adrenaline is at zero and you're just trying to be as locked in as possible, and you look up there and there's Adam Dunn, you know, a guy that I've watched my whole life growing up, hitting homers and looking up to ... and now I'm facing him. He threw me an 80 mph power sinker and almost broke my bat in half.”

In the oddest turn of events of all, Dunn’s appearance on the mound actually seemed to spark a little jealousy from the team that ended up winning the game 16-0, especially after Beltre was told Dunn had been lobbying to pitch for years.

“Oh yeah? He was wanting to pitch?” Beltre said. “That's always nice. I've wanted to pitch, too. I mean, every time I ask, I never get the chance, but that was nice he got to do it.”

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 16, White Sox 0

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5
10:08
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox were crushed 16-0 by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, the second time in three days they gave up 16 runs in a game.

How it happened: White Sox starter John Danks was rocked, giving up nine runs on eight hits, including four home runs, in 4⅔ innings. Danks also walked five batters. The Rangers ended the night with five home runs, their most in a game since last season against the White Sox. Adam Dunn was called on to pitch the ninth inning in the blowout, and he gave up only one run, topping out at 83 mph on the radar gun. Rangers starter Colby Lewis gave up six hits in the complete-game shutout.

What it means: So much for the top three members of the White Sox rotation, as that group has been reduced to two: Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Danks has a 10.29 ERA over his four starts since the All-Star break and also has given up nine home runs in that span. The struggles have come after Danks went 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA in his four starts before the break.

Outside the box: Before the game, Danks, Sale and Quintana boasted a combined 25-14 record and a 3.21 ERA over 62 starts (44 quality). Not only has Danks fallen by the wayside in the group, but Sale and Quintana have completely distanced themselves. Quintana is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA over his past nine starts, while Sale is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA over his past five.

Offbeat: The White Sox’s Moises Sierra had his patience tested Thursday as the Rangers’ offense erupted early. Sierra was in the ninth spot of Chicago's batting order and didn’t come to the plate for the first time until he led off in the third inning. But by that time, Rangers leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo already had made three trips to the plate, hitting a double, striking out and grounding into a double play.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Sale (10-1, 2.09 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the finale of the three-game series. The Rangers will counter with right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-7, 4.84) in the 1:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 5, Rangers 3 (7)

August, 4, 2014
Aug 4
10:58
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox opened a three-game series Monday with a rain-shortened 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers, with the game called in the top of the seventh.

How it happened: Tyler Flowers had a home run and a triple, but his biggest hit might have been his two-run single with two out in the sixth inning in a steady rain that put the White Sox ahead for good. The game was called a half-inning later. Hector Noesi gave up three runs on four hits over seven innings while facing the team that designated him for assignment in April. On the day he was named both American League player of the month and rookie of the month, Jose Abreu delivered a two-run single in the third inning.

What it means: After a rough start in which he gave up three early runs, Noesi gave the White Sox the seven innings they sorely needed. The bullpen needed a night off after getting roughed up Sunday, and Noesi’s outing, combined with some timely rain, gave the group a rest. On Sunday, five White Sox relievers combined to give up 15 runs and 18 hits over the final four innings. The White Sox gave up four hits Monday after giving up 23 on Sunday.

Outside the box: Adam Eaton had two more hits Monday to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He also has reached base in his past 21 contests. He had a streak earlier this season when he reached base in 20 consecutive games. Eaton is batting .448 (39-for-87) during the on-base streak and .490 (24-for-48) during the hitting streak.

Off-beat: Flowers now knows what Adam Dunn can attest to from the last homestand: The top of the U.S. Cellular Field wall is not your friend. Flowers bounced a drive to right field off the top of the wall and directly into the air in the third inning before the ball returned to the field of play. He ended up with a triple. Dunn had a similar play last month; that drive not only hit the top of the wall and bounced up, but the ball also came down on the top of the wall again before falling back onto the warning track. Dunn ended up with a double.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (9-6, 4.50 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in the middle game of the three-game series. The Rangers will counter with right-hander Colby Lewis (7-8, 5.98) in the 7:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Game to take minds off deadline

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
12:15
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT -- Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura had the lineup posted early outside the clubhouse doors and the names of all the usual suspects were written in black permanent marker.

There are no definitives when it comes to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but as the White Sox sat a few hours before moves were supposed to be completed, a sense of calm permeated the locker room that earlier in the month had an edge to it.

[+] EnlargeJohn Danks
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsWith the trade deadline looming, John Danks took the mound for the White Sox on Thursday.
At one point well in advance of Thursday’s afternoon game with the Detroit Tigers, when manager Robin Ventura entered the clubhouse his presence elicited a mock warning alarm from a table that consisted of Alejandro De Aza, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo.

It got a grin out of Ventura, who was not there to tap a player on the shoulder and tell him to pack his bag. Discussion of the morning’s trade between the Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox was airing nearby on a television.

“I can mess with you guys, but I expect these guys to all be here,” Ventura said. “The lineup is the lineup today, unless something happens. I’ll find out then.”

Ventura’s plan to “mess with” the media, and perhaps some players, was to take the lineup card down and rewrite a new one with some names missing.

“It looks like (A’s general manager) Billy Beane had his coffee on early this morning; he’s doing most of (the trade activity). You can mess with the guys if you want to, but I’ll let the players do that. They like doing that to each other.”

John Danks was mentioned in rumors this month, with the New York Yankees possibly interested, but he warned up and took the mound in the first inning, lessening chances a deal was coming. Gordon Beckham, whose days seem to be numbered with a healthy amount of second base prospects in the organization, was in the lineup as well.

Ramirez, Viciedo, and anybody else who popped up in a rumor this month was on the field playing out the last hours before the deadline.

“It is what it is,” Beckham said about the deadline. “I mean, it’s just another day, you know. ... Yeah, it will feel good to get that behind us.”

It doesn’t mean the opportunities for deals are done. If the roster remains intact by the end of Thursday, there is always trade waivers in August. Beckham, Viciedo and even Adam Dunn could all be traded then, depending on teams’ stretch-drive needs.

But Thursday is the day that players always sweat the most.

“For them it would be good (to get past the deadline),” Ventura said. “Even for us, we’re just talking about stuff that’s all hypothetical and you don’t know what it really holds. Everybody is going to be happy to get by (this day).”

White Sox taking trade deadline in stride

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
10:14
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT -- On the one-year anniversary of Jake Peavy’s trade to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, all was quiet with the Chicago White Sox.

That 2013 trade, which is now fondly known as the deal that brought Avisail Garcia to the South Side, signaled the start of the White Sox’s current roster rebuild, which is in full swing with Jose Abreu at first base and Adam Eaton in center and at the leadoff spot.

It also was announced Wednesday that Garcia is headed out on a minor league rehab assignment, with a return later this season still possible.

With this year’s non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, the White Sox don’t look to be in position to make much of a splash.

Gordon Beckham’s struggles, which have lasted well more than a month now, have crashed his market.

Dayan Viciedo had off-and-on interest, John Danks won’t yield both the salary relief combined with the prospect the White Sox are looking for, and nobody is willing to meet a steep price on Alexei Ramirez.

Adam Dunn is more likely to be moved in August through trade waivers, if at all, than in July.

If teams want to buy what the White Sox are selling, perhaps a final-day agreement can be brokered. Nothing pushes a deal to fruition like a set deadline.

After Wednesday’s 7-2 defeat to the Detroit Tigers, Beckham said the passing of the trade deadline will take a weight off his shoulder. But he added that he still has plenty more to deal with if he wants to start being productive again.

“I’m definitely not going to blame my struggles on the trade deadline; it is what it is,” Beckham said. “It’s been a little different, but you know what, I mean, honestly, I played so bad, unfortunately, I don’t know how much of a chance the White Sox have to trade me. So, that’s the unfortunate thing for them."

Teams interested in second basemen, such as the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays, did have scouts in Detroit this week. But Beckham wasn't feeling like a wanted man.

“Obviously, I hold myself to a high standard and really haven’t achieved that this month," he said. "It’s just been frustrating. We’ll see what happens and go on to August.”

In regard to the deadline, White Sox manager Robin Ventura was asked which would be better: To know who he has on the roster moving to August? Or to not have to be asked trade questions any longer?

“Probably being asked about it,” Ventura said. “At this point, I expect the faces we have in there I will see the next few days. So just keep playing.”

The White Sox were handcuffed by Tigers starter Max Scherzer on Wednesday, but the day before their bats delivered a double-digit run total in an easy victory. That kind of game on Tuesday would not have been possible for the White Sox around last year’s deadline, as stress and uncertainty seemed to rule each day.

“Last year was different,” Ventura said. “This year, guys aren’t really concerned about it. I think they were a few weeks ago. Right now, it seems like a little bit lighter mood than it was when there was a lot of talk two weeks ago. It’s a little quieter right now. And I think guys are pretty loose for it being the trade deadline.”

Rapid Reaction: Tigers 7, White Sox 2

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
9:28
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT -- The Chicago White Sox fell 7-2 to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday to even their three-game series.

How it happened: A 29-minute delay at the outset was the only thing keeping the White Sox in this one, as the Tigers emerged with a six-run first inning off Hector Noesi. The Tigers sent 11 batters to the plate in the opening frame. A day after the White Sox offense scored 11 runs against the Tigers, Chicago batters were held to seven hits against Tigers starter Max Scherzer. Adam Dunn hit a home run -- his 17th -- in the ninth inning.

What it means: So much for trying to sneak up on the .500 mark. The White Sox were aiming to move two games under .500 for the first time since June 18, when they were 35-37. Now, they stand at 52-56 after winning four times in their past six games and seven times in their past 12.

Outside the box: Jose Abreu managed to make even more noise Wednesday by extending his hitting streak to 19 games. It is tied for the third-longest hitting streak by a White Sox rookie behind the 26 games from Guy Curtright in 1943 and the 24 from Chico Carrasquel in 1950. Abreu has a hit in 37 of his past 38 games, going 0-for-4 in a July 5 contest against the Seattle Mariners.

Offbeat: It might have been an awful first inning for Noesi, but the White Sox starter could not have had an easier fourth inning. The White Sox right-hander needed just three pitches to get out of the fourth, and he even gave up a hit in the process. Miguel Cabrera singled, Victor Martinez grounded into a double play and Torii Hunter lined out. Noesi gave up one run on four hits over his last four innings of work.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (9-6, 4.40 ERA) to the mound Thursday in the series finale. The Tigers will counter with left-hander Drew Smyly (6-9, 3.77) in the 12:08 p.m. CT start from Comerica Park.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 11, Tigers 4

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
9:36
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT – The White Sox toppled the Detroit Tigers 11-4 on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series and now have won four of their last five games.

How it happened: The White Sox broke open a close game in the seventh inning by sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs. The White Sox scored their most runs since delivering 16 on April 20. Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn hit home runs in the seventh inning, while Alexei Ramirez hit a three-run triple. Abreu had three hits and tied a season-high 18-game hitting streak. White Sox starter Jose Quintana gave up two runs on nine hits over six innings.

What it means: Abreu drove in four runs to move him past the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead in RBIs with 83. He also has a hit in 36 of his last 37 games, which means he had an 18-game hitting streak, followed by a hitless game on July 5 against the Seattle Mariners before starting another 18-game streak the next day. The only White Sox player ever to record two hit streaks of at least 18 games was Eddie Collins (21 and 22 games) in 1920. His 31 home runs are the most from a rookie since Chris Young (32) and Ryan Braun (34) in 2007.

Outside the box: It’s unsure if Quintana knows what it feels like not to have to sweat out the completion of one of his starts. The king of the no-decision has received two runs or less of support in each of his last five starts and 15 times this season. His 36 no-decisions since 2012 are the most in baseball and his 3.91 run-support average over that time is third-lowest in the AL.

Offbeat: When Abreu and Dunn both went deep in the seventh inning, it was just the second time all season the White Sox had hit home runs in consecutive at-bats. The only other time it happened was when Ramirez and Avisail Garcia did it in April. They also were the first two home runs given up all season by Tigers reliever Joakim Soria, who was acquired from the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Hector Noesi (5-6, 4.37 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the middle game of the three-game series. The Tigers will counter with right-hander Max Scherzer (12-3, 3.37) in the 6:08 p.m. CST start from Comerica Park.

Series preview: White Sox at Twins

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
11:34
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
The last time the Chicago White Sox rolled into the Twin Cities to face the Minnesota Twins, they limped out in the midst of their worst losing stretch of the season.

The White Sox were just 4 1/2 games out of first place on June 19 when they arrived at Target Field. Then were then swept in a four-game series, saw the losing streak extend to five games at Baltimore, and after a victory over the Orioles, they lost the next two games.

Things turned around to end a series at Toronto, but the White Sox started their longest road trip of the season with a 1-7 record, and by June 26, they were 9 1/2 games out of first place. They currently stand 10 back at 48-54.

Going back to a four-game losing streak June 12-15, the sweep by the Twins came in the middle of a stretch where the White Sox lost 12 times in a span of 15 games.

In that June 19-22 four-game sweep at the hand of the Twins, all the games were competitive. The White Sox lost three games by one run and one game by just two runs.

That series helps to magnify how competitive White Sox games have been this season. Out of the 102 games the White Sox have played this season, 64 have been decided by three runs or less, the most recent coming Wednesday when they were beaten 2-1 by the Kansas City Royals.

The White Sox are 30-34 in those games decided by three runs or less, going 19-17 in one-run games, 7-10 in two-run games and 4-7 in three-run contests. Since 2012, the White Sox are 69-73 in games decided by a single run.

HEAD TO HEAD


While the White Sox's Gordon Beckham is just 2-for-17 (.118) against Twins starter Phil Hughes, Moises Sierra is bating a robust 8-for-16 (.500). ... The White Sox's Dayan Viciedo is 6-for-11 (.545) with a home run against Twins starter Kevin Correia. ... Twins starter Yohan Pino made his major league debut at age 30 on June 19 against the White Sox, giving up two runs on five hits over seven innings in a no-decision. ... The Twins' Kendrys Morales is 3-for-7 (.429) with a home run against White Sox starter Hector Noesi. ... Joe Mauer is 22-for-56 (.393) with eight RBIs against White Sox starter John Danks, while striking out eight times. ... In 10 starts against the Twins over the past three seasons, White Sox starter Chris Sale is 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA and has 37 strikeouts in 38 innings. ... White Sox starter Scott Carroll has just one appearance against the Twins, an impressive 3 2/3-inning relief outing where he gave up two hits and no runs.

NOTES


Viciedo was a late scratch from Wednesday's game against the Kansas City Royals with hamstring tightness and is day-to-day. ... Over the White Sox's past 18 games, 12 have been decided by three runs or less and they are 5-7 in those contests. ... The White Sox's Jose Abreu is batting .377 (20-for-53) during his current hitting streak and has a hit in 31 of his last 32 games, going 0-for-4 in a July 5 home game against the Seattle Mariners. ... Adam Eaton had a nine-game hitting streak come to an end in Wednesday's game against the Royals. … The White Sox's Adam Dunn has recorded an RBI in three consecutive games, the fourth time he has done that this season. ... The White Sox's Tyler Flowers is 9-for-15 (.600) with four doubles and three RBIs over his last five games. ... The Twins are undecided for their starter on Saturday, but it could be Kyle Gibson (8-8, 4.19), who missed his last outing with back stiffness. ... The All-Star Game host Twins were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays to start the second half, but are coming off a 2-1 series victory over the Cleveland Indians. ... While White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson attends Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Frank Thomas and Tony La Russa this weekend, Steve Stone will share the booth with Tom Paciorek.

PITCHING MATCHUPS



Thursday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (4-5, 4.55 ERA) vs. Twins RH Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.05), 7:10 p.m. CST
Friday: White Sox LH John Danks (8-6, 4.35) vs. Twins RH Kevin Correia (5-12, 4.76), 7:10 p.m. CST
Saturday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (9-1, 2.03) vs. TBA, 6:10 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.520 vs. Twins RH Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.63), 1:10 p.m. CST

Rapid Reaction: Royals 2, White Sox 1

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
4:17
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox were in it late but fell 2-1 on Wednesday in the series finale against the Kansas City Royals.

How it happened: Norichika Aoki drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning for the Royals against reliever Zach Putnam. An expected pitchers' duel between the White Sox's Jose Quintana and the Royals' James Shields came to fruition. Quintana gave up one run on seven hits over seven innings, while Shields gave up one run on six hits over seven innings. Both runs came home in the first inning as the Royals scored on Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly and the White Sox tied it on Adam Dunn's single.

What it means: On the cusp of winning a series against the Royals, the White Sox fell again to their division rival. The White Sox won the series opener, but lost the next two games and still haven't beat the Royals in a series at home since April of 2013. The White Sox are now 2-12 in their last 14 home games against Kansas City.

Outside the box: Tyler Flowers' hot run at the plate continued with two more hits. In an offensive funk heading toward the end of the first half that saw his batting average dip to .213 and his on-base percentage fall to .270, Flowers has turned things around quickly with three multi-hit games over his last five contests.

Off beat: The incredible no-decision tally continued yet again for Quintana. The left-hander was left with a no-decision after a hard day of work for the ninth time this season. Since 2012, nobody in baseball has more than Quintana's 36 no-decisions. It was his 16th quality start of the season after entering the day fifth in the American League in that category. Opponents were hitting .43 home runs per nine innings against him, fifth best in the AL.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Hector Noesi (4-6, 4.55 ERA) to the mound Thursday at Minnesota in the opener of a four-game series. The Twins will counter with right-hander Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.05) in the 7:10 p.m. start from Target Field.

Rapid Reaction: Royals 7, White Sox 1

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
11:08
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox's three-game series against the Kansas City Royals was evened at a game apiece after a 7-1 defeat Tuesday.

How it happened: The White Sox managed to keep it close until the Royals broke it open with four runs in the sixth inning. White Sox starter Scott Carroll gave up one run over five innings but put the first three runners on base in the sixth before he was removed. He gave up five runs and 11 hits. Royals starter Bruce Chen allowed one run on five hits over five innings. White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn hit a fourth-inning solo shot for his 15th home run on the season.

What it means: The White Sox continued their stop-start, hot-cold season with Tuesday's loss. The White Sox haven't won more than four consecutive games or lost more than five in a row. A victory could have made them 4-1 on their homestand. Instead, it's 3-2 and more in line with how the rest of their season has gone. The 48-53 White Sox were last at .500 on June 11, when they were 33-33.

Outside the box: Chen's mastery of the White Sox continued, albeit in a brief appearance. The left-hander might have a 4.53 career ERA and sit barely over the .500 mark in 16 seasons, but he is dominating when it comes to facing the White Sox. He entered Tuesday’s outing with a 3.48 career ERA against the White Sox, but since 2011 that mark has been 3.00. The White Sox came in to the affair batting .207 against Chen in 242 at-bats at U.S. Cellular Field.

Offbeat: Alexei Ramirez didn't have much luck figuring out Chen's pickoff move, not that it ended up hurting him. Twice on Tuesday it looked as if Chen had Ramirez picked off as he threw to first base when Ramirez was breaking for second on a steal attempt. But both times Ramirez was able to make it safely to second. His second steal had to be confirmed via replay, as Ramirez’s swim move on the dive into the bag made the difference.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.26 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the series finale. The Royals will counter with right-hander James Shields (9-5, 3.70) in the 1:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Abreu gets day to catch his breath

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
5:18
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu was held out of the Chicago White Sox’s lineup Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals, as manager Robin Ventura elected to give his sensational rookie first baseman a day of rest.

Ventura acknowledged a sore back for Abreu as his main inspiration for making the move, but said it is nothing serious.

“(Monday) night I was watching him run around,” Ventura said. “Going through the all-star stuff and everything else, not having a break, you just see little things, back stuff and him moving around. It looks like today is a good day to do it.”

Ventura brought Abreu into his office after Monday’s game for a little chat.

“I talked to him ... just being honest with him and him being honest with me so today was just a good day to do it,” Ventura said.

Conor Gillaspie was back up in the No. 3 spot of the lineup, while Paul Konerko was inserted at first base and slated to bat sixth. Adam Dunn was the designated hitter bating fifth, while Dayan Viciedo was the cleanup hitter.

It’s not like any minor aches and pains Abreu might have been experiencing have affected him much. He is currently riding a 12-game hitting streak and has a hit in 30 of his last 31 games. He has 29 home runs but hasn't hit one since July 12 at Cleveland.

Ventura said Abreu would be available as a pinch hitter late in the game.

“We talked about this a few days ago that every once in a while when things come up just knowing that he’s starting to get to the most games he’s ever played in a year portion, when things like this happen, you just give him a day,” Ventura said.

The regular season in Cuba, where Abreu has played the last 10 seasons, is less than 100 games. Abreu has already played 86 games this season.

“It’s not like (Abreu) is from another planet and he can’t do it,” Ventura said about the 162-game schedule. “I think every time a player does it for the first time there will be adjustments and things will be different. Other guys have done it and been able to manage it. I don’t think he will fall apart once he gets over 100 games.”

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.12 158 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAC. Gillaspie .309
HRJ. Abreu 32
RBIJ. Abreu 90
RJ. Abreu 65
OPSJ. Abreu .956
ERAC. Sale 2.12
SOC. Sale 158