Chicago White Sox: Anaheim Angels
Chicago White Sox (74-62 overall, 40-27 home, 34-35 road)
Lead the American League Central by one game over the Tigers
Would trail the wild-card leaders by 2 ½ games
Last 10 games: 3-7, lost to the Kansas City Royals on Friday, play the Royals again on Saturday
Home games remaining: 13 (two with Royals, four with Tigers, three with Cleveland Indians, four with Tampa Bay Rays)
Road games remaining: 12 (three with Twins, three with Royals, three with Los Angeles Angels, three with Indians)
Detroit Tigers (73-64 overall, 43-28 home, 30-36 road)
Trail White Sox by one game in the Central
Trail wild-card leaders by 3 ½ games
Last 10 games: 4-6, lost to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, play the Angels again on Saturday
Home games remaining: 10 (three with Oakland Athletics, three with Twins, four with Royals)
Road games remaining: 15 (two with Angels, four with White Sox, three with Indians, three with Twins, three with Royals)
Oakland Athletics (77-60, 42-30 home, 35-30 road)
Lead the wild-card standings
Last 10 games: 7-3, defeated the Seattle Mariners on Friday, play the Mariners again on Saturday
Home games remaining: 9 (three with Orioles, three with Mariners, three with Texas Rangers)
Road games remaining: 16 (two with Mariners, four with Angels, three with Tigers, three with New York Yankees, four with Rangers)
Baltimore Orioles (77-61 overall, 38-31 home, 39-30 road)
Trail the Yankees by one game in the East
Last 10 games: 6-4, lost to the Yankees on Friday, play the Yankees again on Saturday Home games remaining: 12 (two with Yankees, three with Rays, four with Blue Jays, three with Boston Red Sox)
Road games remaining: 12 (three with Athletics, three with Mariners, three with Red Sox, three with Rays)
Tampa Bay Rays (76-62 overall, 38-31 home, 38-31 road)
Trail the Yankees by two games in the East
Trail the wild-card leaders by one game
Last 10 games: 6-4, defeated the Rangers on Friday, play the Rangers again on Saturday
Home games remaining: 12 (two with Rangers, four with Red Sox, three with Blue Jays, three with Orioles)
Road games remaining: 12 (three with Orioles, three with Yankees, two with Red Sox, four with White Sox)
Los Angeles Angels (74-63 overall, 36-29 home, 38-34 road)
Trail the wild-card leaders by two games
Last 10 games: 9-1, defeated the Tigers on Friday, play the Tigers again on Saturday Home games remaining: 15 (two with Tigers, four with Athletics, three with Texas Rangers, three with White Sox, three with Seattle Mariners)Road games remaining: 9 (three with Royals, three with Rangers, three with Mariners)
New York Yankees (78-60 overall, 41-28 home, 37-32 road)
Lead the East by one game over the Orioles
Would lead the wild-card standings
Last 10 games: 4-6, defeated the Orioles on Friday, play the Orioles again on Saturday Home games remaining: 12 (three with Rays, three with Blue Jays, three with Athletics, three with Red Sox)
Road games remaining: 12 (two with Orioles, three with Red Sox, three with Twins, four with Blue Jays)
CHICAGO -- A walk-off home run by Alex Rios in the 10th inning was just what the White Sox needed to start a nine-game homestand on the right foot.
“It’s exciting to win a game like that and everybody is waiting for you at home plate to celebrate,” Rios said after the 8-6 win over the Angels on Friday night. “It’s always good to celebrate a win; it doesn’t matter how.”
Rios had homered earlier in the game, but it was his 18th long ball of the season that gave the White Sox their 56th victory and kept them 2 1/2 games ahead of Detroit, which also won Friday evening.
Friday night’s heroics were the latest chapter in a redemptive season for the White Sox outfielder. Rios has been arguably the most consistent player on the team, putting up big offensive numbers while playing a Gold Glove-caliber right field on defense.
“He deserved a shot at going to the All-Star Game,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He knocks in big runs for us, steals bags, [plays] great defense. I am just real happy for him.”
Rios' 2011 season was his worst as a major league regular -- he hit just .227 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs. The outfielder credits a move back to his natural position in right field as a key for his resurgent 2012 campaign.
“He is one of the most valuable players on our team,” said reliever Matt Thornton, who won his fourth game of the season by pitching a scoreless 10th inning. “That guy has worked so hard at his game the last few years, and last year he really struggled, and having the success this year is outstanding to see.”
The walk-off home run was the third of Rios’ career. During his past 10 games, Rios has homered six times and is batting .361 with 16 RBIs.
CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the White Sox’s 8-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.
How it happened: There was a game under protest, a monster collision at the plate, five towering home runs, shoddy starting pitching from Phil Humber and a Sox bullpen that saved the night, punctuated by Alex Rios’ game-winning two-run home run that just cleared the left-center field fence in the 10th. The Sox’s first home game in more than a week had its share of highs and lows. Shortly after Adam Dunn was called out at home plate despite his full-speed collision with catcher Chris Iannetta, catcher A.J. Pierzynski set a career-high with his 19th home run of the season. Rios hit his 17th homer of the season in the sixth. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols each homered off Humber, who hasn't won in his last 15 straight starts at home - a franchise record - dating back to his last win at the Cell against Oakland on June 12, 2011. Alexei Ramirez’s single and Gordon Beckham’s sacrifice bunt led to Alejandro De Aza’s game-tying RBI ground-rule double in the seventh. Relievers Nate Jones, Brett Myers, Jesse Crain and Matt Thorton combined to throw 4 1/3 scoreless innings to give the Sox a chance in the end.
What it means: The Sox moved to a season-high 11 games over .500. They’ve now won eight of their last 10 games as they began a 10-day home stand.
Outside the box: Angels manager Mike Scioscia played the game under protest starting in the bottom of the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Paul Konerko grounded into what could have been a double play. But after a force out at home plate, Konerko was called safe at first. Scioscia argued that Konerko ran outside the baseline in the final 45 feet to first base. The Sox went on to score four runs in that inning.