Chicago White Sox: Chirs Sale

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 8, Tigers 2

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
10:42
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox moved one game from a series sweep Wednesday night after an 8-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

How it happened: It took a few innings, but the White Sox finally got to Tigers starter Justin Verlander, knocking him from the game in a seven-run sixth inning. The former Cy Young Award winner, who has not been at his best this season, gave up seven runs on eight hits over 5⅔ innings while throwing 122 pitches. John Danks continued his recent run of success by giving up two runs on six hits over seven innings. Jose Abreu hit his 19th home run in the second inning, his second against Verlander this season.

What it means: Suddenly, the White Sox are 2.5 games behind the Tigers for the American League Central lead with more than 3½ months to play. That Chicago is merely 33-33 in the standings points to a watered-down division. But surely, the White Sox won’t apologize, because they don’t have to chase a dominant team. If the White Sox remain in contention by the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, they figure to make additions while still focusing on moves for the long term and not expensive quick fixes.

Outside the box: Not only did Abreu collect his 19th home run, he also reached the 50-RBI mark in his 52nd game of the season. Abreu is on pace for 47 home runs and 123 RBIs in his rookie season, even though he missed 15 days on the disabled list with an ankle injury. Abreu has 22 hits and six home runs in his past 13 home games.

Offbeat: Verlander has now given up five or more runs in five of his past six starts and has an 8.72 ERA over that stretch. It was the right-hander’s third start against the White Sox this season but the first time he lost to them. In back-to-back starts against the White Sox in April, he got a victory and a no-decision after giving up a combined five runs over 14 innings.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Chris Sale (5-0, 2.06 ERA) to the mound Thursday in the finale of the four-game series that was reduced to three games because of Tuesday’s rainout. The Tigers will counter with Max Scherzer (7-2, 3.38) in the 7:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Rapid Reaction: Tigers 7, White Sox 3

July, 22, 2013
7/22/13
9:54
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- In their first home game of the season against their division rivals, the Chicago White Sox fell 7-3 on Monday to the Detroit Tigers.

How it happened: In the duel between All-Stars, the Tigers’ Max Scherzer got the best of the White Sox’s Chris Sale. Scherzer gave up just four hits, two of them home runs by Dayan Viciedo and Conor Gillaspie. Sale gave up seven hits with three walks, while giving up an RBI single to Prince Fielder, a two-RBI single to Victor Martinez, and a home run to Torii Hunter. The Tigers padded their lead with three runs off the bullpen in the ninth inning.

What it means: Sale didn’t win the battle, but in facing the Tigers' offense he clearly had a higher degree of difficulty than Scherzer did facing the White Sox. Sale took on all challenges head-on and seemed to be upset over the fact that he was asked to walk Miguel Cabrera intentionally in the fifth inning. Cabrera eventually scored on Martinez’s single, but last season's Triple Crown winner left the game later in the inning with a hip flexor strain.

Outside the box: Sale had 11 strikeouts, the fifth time this season he has struck out 10 or more. It's the ninth time over the past two seasons he has reached double digits in strikeouts. Sale has 142 strikeouts this year. He entered leading all American League left-handers in strikeouts and was second among lefties in all of baseball.

Off beat: Make that three more errors for the White Sox, whose defense saved them on Sunday but embarrassed them a day later. In the ninth inning, the White Sox made a pair of errors in rapid succession. First, reliever Ramon Troncoso had trouble fielding Hernan Perez's bunt. Moments later, catcher Josh Phegley had Brayan Pena picked off second base, but Alexei Ramirez threw the ball away while trying to start a rundown and Pena scored.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.30 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in the second game of the four-game series. The Tigers will counter with right-hander Rick Porcello (6-6, 4.80) in the 7:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Sox alter rotation after game is called

June, 12, 2013
6/12/13
5:59
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod was most affected by Wednesday's postponed game as he will now be moved out of the upcoming series at Houston against the Astros.

Axelrod, who struggled Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays when he gave up six runs on eight hits over four innings, would have pitched Monday at Houston if the White Sox merely pushed back their rotation for a game.

Chris Sale was supposed to start Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, but the game was called off with the expectation of severe weather around game time and throughout the night.

Sale's next start will now be Friday at Houston in the opener of a four-game series. John Danks and Hector Santiago will be pushed back a day in the Astros series. Jose Quintana will now pitch Sunday at Houston, with Axelrod presumably getting pushed into Tuesday's series opener at Minnesota.

Despite his poor outing Monday, Axelrod has been a bright spot in the White Sox's rotation. He initially earned a starting spot out of spring training as a replacement for the injured Danks and has remained on the staff with the injury to Gavin Floyd.

Axelrod is 3-4 this season with a 4.26 ERA in 13 starts. His 74 innings already have surpassed what he previously pitched in the major leagues over the last two seasons in 18 appearances.

The most Axelrod has ever pitched in a season were the 169 1/3 innings he amassed over three different levels during the 2011 season.

Sale schedule now in limbo

May, 28, 2013
5/28/13
10:10
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- One day after getting thumped by their crosstown rivals, the Chicago White Sox remained stuck in the mud when Tuesday night’s game was postponed.

[+] EnlargeChris Sale
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastSox starter Chris Sale threw 37 pitches before the rain hit on Tuesday.
Chris Sale, making his first start in 11 days because of tendonitis in his left shoulder, went three innings before the monsoon hit, giving up a two-run home run to Welington Castillo. A day earlier the Cubs beat the White Sox 7-0 in the first game of the season between the teams.

The good news for Sale is that because the game is postponed instead of suspended, all stats are null and void meaning the left-hander’s 23-inning scoreless streak is reinstated.

Sale threw just 37 pitches and the White Sox are thinking of having their staff ace pitch earlier than Sunday, which would have been his regular turn in the rotation.

“The benefit is we know that he’s OK right now,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. “He got through the outing. And we’re going to sit on it and think if we’ll we bring him back Saturday or normal day Sunday. We haven’t decided that. We’re going to talk about it more.”

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Sale throws, is confident for Tuesday

May, 25, 2013
5/25/13
5:28
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale threw a ball Saturday for the first time since he was scratched from his last start and pronounced himself on track to take the mound Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.

Sale played catch in the outfield before Saturday’s game and is planning on throwing a full between-start bullpen session at some point Sunday.

“Yeah, it went real well,” Sale said. “It felt a lot better than I actually thought it would be. Everything is on track and be ready to go on Tuesday.”

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Rapid Reaction: White Sox 4, Mariners 3

April, 7, 2013
4/07/13
4:07
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Dayan Viciedo hit a home run in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday to give the Chicago White Sox a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

How it happened: Viciedo’s game-winning shot was only fitting as the game shaped up as a bit of a home run challenge. The Mariners’ Michael Morse and the White Sox’s Adam Dunn traded off two-run home runs in the first inning. The Mariners’ Kendrys Morales hit a solo shot in the sixth, while Alex Rios matched that one inning later. It was Viciedo’s first career game-ending home run. The previous game-ending homer for the White Sox came from Jordan Danks last season.

What it means: If the White Sox showed anything in the opening series it’s that pitching and home run hitting can get it done for stretches. The White Sox will gladly take more pitching, but the consensus is that the offense is going to have to start stringing together hits in order to get consistent run production. The White Sox hit 11 home runs in the season-opening homestand, while giving up four.

Outside the box: The White Sox’s fielding woes are spreading. Gordon Beckham joined the error parade Sunday when he made a wide throw to first base in the eighth inning. It was the White Sox’s seventh error in the first six games. Last season, they led the major leagues by committing just 70 errors the entire season.

Off beat: Alex Rios has been making waves with his hot start. His long ball Sunday gave him home runs in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. On Saturday, when he went deep against Felix Hernandez, it was the first time since 2011 that somebody hit a home run against the Mariners’ ace on an 0-2 count. Adrian Beltre was the last to do it. The White Sox’s Josh Fields did it in 2007.

Up next: After a day off Monday, the White Sox will open a three-game interleague series at Washington against the Nationals. White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will face Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.00) in Tuesday’s series opener.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.320 33 99 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 99
RJ. Abreu 71
OPSJ. Abreu .983
WC. Sale 11
ERAC. Sale 2.11
SOC. Sale 178