Chicago White Sox: Chris Sale

Series preview: White Sox at Yankees

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
2:57
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
The Chicago White Sox will begin life without Gordon Beckham on Friday night when the team opens a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

Beckham, whose departure had been expected for some time, was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday for a player to be named later or cash considerations. With no less than three young second base prospects ready to break through to the major league level, Beckham was considered expendable.

Micah Johnson and Marcus Semien are two of the White Sox's highly-touted second-base prospects, but it is Carlos Sanchez who will take Beckham's roster spot and be available in the series at New York. Semien will be called up when rosters expand in September, while Johnson has been shut down for the rest of the year with a hamstring issue.

Johnson is considered the second baseman of the future and the team remains high on Semien, despite his strikeout issues during his time with the major league team earlier this season. Sanchez's future with the White Sox is cloudier.

The White Sox could let Sanchez play every day in the hopes that potential success could make him attractive on the trade market this offseason. Or he could be the starting second baseman to start next season if Johnson isn't quite ready to break through and he is deemed a better option than Semien.

What is a certainty is that the White Sox's depth at second base is better than at any other position in the minor leagues, which made Beckham's days numbered.

HEAD TO HEAD



Yankees rookie starter Shane Greene, who will be making his ninth career appearance and eighth career start, has not faced the White Sox. ... The White Sox's Alexei Ramirez is 8-for-21 (.381) with two home runs and eight RBIs in his career against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. ... The White Sox's Adam Dunn has seven hits and two home runs in 27 at-bats against Yankees starter Chris Capuano, while the rest of the players on the White Sox's active roster have a combined 15 at-bats against the lefty. ... The Yankees Derek Jeter is 6-for-20 (.300) against White Sox starter John Danks. ... Yankees hitters are a combined 0-for-9 with a walk and four strikeouts against White Sox starter Scott Carroll. ... Jeter is 3-for-8 (.375) with a home run against White Sox starter Chris Sale.

NOTES



The White Sox moved to a season high nine games under .500 at 59-68 after going 2-4 on their just-concluded homestand against the Blue Jays and Orioles. ... Leadoff man Adam Eaton is on a minor league rehab assignment for an oblique injury and is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday, but he is not expected to play in the series against the Yankees. ... Since returning from the disabled list last weekend, White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia is 5-for-16 (.313) with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored. ... Expect Paul Konerko to be in the starting lineup Sunday, which will be his last game at Yankee Stadium. Konerko has hit safely in nine of his last 14 games, is hitting .283 against left-handers this season and the Yankees will have a lefty in Capuano on the mound for the series finale. ... In the 17 games the teams have played at new Yankee Stadium, the Yankees have won 12 of them, including five consecutive over the White Sox.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday: White Sox LH John Danks (9-8, 4.94 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Shane Greene (3-1, 2.91), 6:05 p.m. CST
Saturday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (5-7, 4.99) vs. Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda (8-8, 3.97), 12:05 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (10-3, 2.12) vs. Yankees LH Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.35), 12:05 p.m. CST

P Carlos Rodon could start as early as 2015

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
7:55
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox's plan is to ultimately make first-round draft pick Carlos Rodon a major league starter. The only issue is how quickly it will happen.

If Rodon ends up being added to the major league club when rosters expand in September, it would appear to be as a reliever to assist the struggling bullpen.

Moving forward, the left-hander could end up with an opportunity that Chris Sale never got, by opening his second year in the organization in a major league rotation.

[+] EnlargeCarlos Rodon
Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images/AP Images"We feel this guy is very close to being able to help us in the rotation," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said of Carlos Rodon.
"We feel this guy is very close to being able to help us in the rotation. Whether that's the first part of [2015], the second part of '15, or '16, we'll see," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "But this guy is coming, we believe, on a fairly quick path and not necessarily one that would require him to spend time in the bullpen.

"It's possible that, again, if he did come here in September, we'd use him out of the pen just to monitor, get him in and out quickly. But, again, long term, we view this guy as a starter."

Rodon made his Triple-A debut Tuesday night as a starter, but he pitched only three innings, giving up one run. He could end up making two more starts at Charlotte before the calendar flips to September, at which time the White Sox would need to make a decision.

"These notions that I've seen out there that he's going to make three starts at Charlotte then he's coming here, they're going to go to a six-man rotation or they're going to use him out of the bullpen, none of that's been said," Hahn said. "We're going to continue to put challenges in front of this kid. He's responded to each of them so far, and let's see how the next couple go."

After Rodon signed, he made a brief appearance in the Arizona Rookie League before going to Class A Winston Salem, at which he posted a 1.86 ERA in four outings.

"He's coming along quick and he's coming along real well," Hahn said. "Last night was a good outing. We again saw the plus slider, which everyone has seen going back to the college days, as well as the very impressive changeup.

"I saw from his own comments after the game, he had a good feel for where he was in terms of his fastball command not quite being where he needs it to be. But it was his first outing at a high level, and he certainly responded to the challenge."

When Sale was drafted in 2010, he went straight from being a college starter to a relief role, so he has an idea of what Rodon will be going through if he arrives in less than two weeks. Sale pitched the entire 2011 season in relief and was made a starter in 2012.

"The hardest part is the competition and playing every day," Sale said. "I went from pitching once a week in college to being ready to go every single day. In college you play, what, four games a week? You can potentially play in two weeks in a row here sometimes, so that's the biggest adjustment is that every single day there is a game and you have to be prepared regardless of what you did the previous week. Good, bad or indifferent, no matter how many times you had been there, you had to be ready."

If Rodon wants it explained even more thoroughly, Sale is ready.

"Obviously, a few years ago I was in the same position, so any time you go through something, you share what wisdom you have," Sale said. "I'm not going to say I'm going to drop knowledge on him, but, yeah, I'll obviously be there to help in any way I can."

Sale, Lindstrom struggle in loss to O's

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
11:25
PM CT
By Sahadev Sharma
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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SaleAP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastChris Sale gave up two home runs in a game for the first time this season Monday.

CHICAGO -- While teams such as the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers get all the attention in the American League, the Baltimore Orioles, now 19 games over .500 and sitting with a comfortable 7½-game lead in the AL East, go overlooked.

Cy Young candidate and Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale, however, hasn’t failed to take notice.

“They’re one of the best in the league and they play in a pretty tough division, too,” Sale said after his team fell 8-2 to the Orioles on Monday night. “They’re pretty much the whole package. They’re just a well-put-together team and you’ve got to be sharp and on your A-game when they come into town and obviously I wasn’t tonight. Just wasn’t able to hold it together.”

Despite not having his "A-game," Sale still managed to put forth a quality start, tossing six innings and allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out eight and walking two. Sale actually saw his career ERA drop to 5.14 in 21⅓ innings against Baltimore.

“This is a team that no question I’ve struggled against from the first pitch I ever threw,” Sale said. “It’s something that’s just frustrating. You have a plan you want to execute. Sometimes teams come in and they do what they did tonight against me. Obviously you want to extricate this from our minds and come in fresh and ready to go.”

Sale allowed two home runs -- both solo shots, to J.J. Hardy and Nelson Cruz -- for the first time this season.

After the left-hander walked Caleb Joseph to put runners at the corners with two down in the sixth, it appeared that manager Robin Ventura was going to remove Sale, who was at 115 pitches at the time. However, Sale remained in the game and struck out Jonathan Schoop on six pitches.

“I just made sure he wasn't trying to overthrow,” Ventura said of the mound visit. “I knew it was going to be his last guy, just making sure he felt good before he was going to go after the guy. I didn't want him overthrowing and overextending himself.”

Despite the rough night, Sale still had a moment of levity in the postgame session, giving a slightly different version of Ventura’s trip to the hill.

“Very calm,” Sale said of his chat with Ventura. “I asked how his day was going and he commented on my shoes and he liked them. It went very well.”

Matt Lindstrom wasn’t nearly as upbeat. After the Sox cut the Orioles' lead to one in the seventh, Lindstrom came in with two men on and two out in the top of the eighth. Not only did Lindstrom allow both inherited runners to score, but he also gave up three runs of his own and failed to record an out. Since returning from the disabled list last week, Lindstrom has allowed six runs in his two-plus innings of work.

“It's a little frustrating right now,” Lindstrom said. “I can get guys strike one, strike two, it's just a matter of putting them away. That's been kind of elusive for me the last couple outings. That's been kind of a tough pill to swallow, especially since the game is so close right there.”

Rapid Reaction: Orioles 8, White Sox 2

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
10:15
PM CT
By Sahadev Sharma
Special to ESPNChicago.com
Archive

 
CHICAGO -- The Baltimore Orioles pulled away for an 8-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. A quick look:

How it happened: J.J. Hardy opened the scoring with a solo home run to lead off the second inning off Sox ace Chris Sale. Sale allowed another run in the fifth when Steve Pearce lined a double just out of the reach of a diving Jordan Danks, allowing Nick Markakis to come around to score from first. Nelson Cruz extended Baltimore's lead with a solo shot in the sixth. Avisail Garcia came up with a big two-out, two-run single to cut the deficit to just a run, at 3-2, in the seventh. Conor Gillaspie followed with a deep drive to right field that appeared to be heading over the fence, but Markakis made a leaping catch at the wall to end the White Sox threat.

The Orioles pounced on the White Sox's bullpen in the eighth after making two quick outs, loading the bases for Jonathan Schoop, who doubled in three. Markakis followed a two-run shot, extending the lead to 8-2.

What it means: Sale gave up three or more runs for just the sixth time in 20 starts this season and allowed multiple home runs in a game for the first time since Sept. 15, 2013. Despite not looking his best, Sale still delivered a quality start and gave his team a chance for the victory. And though the offense did make some noise, the bullpen once again struggled, giving up five runs, all with two outs, in the eighth as the Orioles put the game out of reach.

Outside the box: Adam Eaton, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 with a right oblique strain, hopes to return Sunday when he's eligible. Eaton took swings and played catch Monday. Sox manager Robin Ventura expects that the outfielder will make a rehab stint, possibly a short one, before returning to the team.

Up next: Jose Quintana (6-9, 3.14 ERA) takes the mound against the Orioles in Game 2 of the three-game set. Chris Tillman (9-5, 3.68) is scheduled for Baltimore in the 7:10 CT start Tuesday night.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 7, Blue Jays 5

August, 17, 2014
Aug 17
4:11
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 on Sunday to win their first series since the start of August.

How it happened: The White Sox opened with a six-run first inning and then held on for the victory. Conor Gillaspie hit a grand slam to get the White Sox on the board and Jordan Danks followed with a two-run home run. Scott Carroll worked in and out of trouble to earn the victory, giving up five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. Four White Sox relievers combined to take it the rest of the way, with Jake Petricka pitching the ninth inning to earn his ninth save.

What it means: Things haven’t gone so well of late, but the White Sox managed to make a positive out of the weekend. Not only did they win the series against the Blue Jays by taking two out of three games, the offense resurfaced in victories Friday and Sunday. And even in the game they did lose Saturday, Avisail Garcia returned to the lineup, and Mark Buehrle was celebrated in his first start as an opponent at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the White Sox's first series victory this month.

Outside the box: Showing he’s not just a batter who hits for average, Gillaspie tapped into his power side with his grand slam. It was just the fifth home run of the season for the third baseman, who hit 13 for the White Sox in 134 games last year. At the start of the day, Gillaspie’s .311 batting average was seventh best in the American League. Jose Abreu's .306 average was 10th best and Adam Eaton’s .304 mark was 11th.

Off beat: This time, manager Robin Ventura avoided an ejection when a call at home plate didn’t go his team’s way. The White Sox appeared to get Jose Reyes at the plate in the first inning when he stepped on catcher Adrian Nieto's leg and was tagged out. After a replay review, though, it was determined that Nieto blocked the plate and the run was allowed to score. On Wednesday at San Francisco, Ventura was ejected and subsequently fined when an apparent out at home was reviewed and the run was allowed to score.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Chris Sale (10-2, 2.01 ERA) to the mound Monday against Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series. The Orioles will counter with right-hander Bud Norris (10-7, 3.75) in the 7:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.

White Sox move Carlos Rodon to Triple-A

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
6:31
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox promoted first-round draft pick Carlos Rodon to Triple-A Charlotte, increasing the possibility that the left-hander could end up in the major leagues before the season is completed.

After agreeing in July to a $6.582 million signing bonus as the No. 3 overall selection, Rodon first pitched in the Arizona Rookie League before heading to Single-A Winston-Salem. He made just two appearances in Arizona to get his feet wet and four at Winston-Salem, where he posted a 1.86 ERA over 9 2/3 innings.

Rodon will make his Triple-A debut Tuesday in a starting role. He could end up with the White Sox in September when rosters are expanded.

Chris Sale took a similar route to a quick MLB promotion when he was drafted in 2010. Sale pitched in four games at Winston-Salem and then seven at Charlotte before he was brought up to the major leagues that year to work as a reliever.

Rodon could make three starts with Charlotte before a potential September promotion. He likely would pitch out of the bullpen if called up to the White Sox for the final month of the season.

Series preview: White Sox at Giants

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
2:14
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
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

As Sox slide, Eaton won't give up fight

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
5:13
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- As bad as the Chicago White Sox have been of late – a struggle that includes the pitching staff, defense and now offense – they still have somebody willing to pay the ultimate price for success.

Adam Eaton refuses to slow down, even with the White Sox fading fast in the won-loss columns. His 11-game hit streak and 21-game on-base streak might be finished, but his full-speed crash into the right-center field fence Wednesday showed that he still has plenty of fight left in him.

[+] EnlargeAdam Eaton
David Banks/USA TODAY SportsAdam Eaton said his back suffered the brunt of the pain from his full-speed crash into the fence in right-center field.
Not only did Eaton have to leave the game in the second inning against the Texas Rangers, he required X-rays, which came back negative. Despite going face-first into the fence, his biggest issue was with his lower back.

“I’ve been better,” Eaton said. “I’ve never done that before. I’m a little embarrassed. But my back kind of took a beating a little bit there. I’m very happy that it wasn’t my head. I thought that I went into the wall pretty hard.

Eaton sounded as if he wouldn’t be able to play Thursday in Seattle, but he said he would let the four-hour flight to the West Coast determine his fate. From the way he struggled to put on his dress clothes for the plane ride, playing Thursday seems highly unlikely.

Eaton obviously hit the fence running forward in a full sprint, but the impact was so violent that the energy transfer affected his back.

“I think it was the kind of snap, coming back,” Eaton said. “As soon as I hit the wall, that was my initial feeling. I felt a little tension in the back. Not a pop but definitely felt it. It was kind of scary. (Dayan Viciedo) kind of kept trying to pick me up. I told him to leave me alone, I can’t even breathe. Let me catch my breath. It knocked the wind out of me.”

Eaton said he was glad a head injury wasn’t involved and he didn’t have a concussion, but when asked about the homestand he couldn’t think of who the White Sox played before the Ranges were in town. He also couldn’t remember how many games the team won or lost since the homestand started Friday.

For the record, the White Sox went 2-4 during the six-game home games, and the pitching staff gave up 16 runs to the Twins on Sunday and another 16 to the Rangers on Tuesday.

With some rough defeats in mind, manager Robin Ventura was more than appreciative for a player fighting to keep the losses from mounting, although a defeat happened anyway Wednesday. Ventura did not knock Eaton’s effort, which some might have viewed as reckless.

“He’s going after everything; that’s just the way he plays,” Ventura said. “You don’t want to take that away from him. He has done the same thing and made some great catches. That’s part of playing the game. It wasn’t necessarily silly. He thought he had a shot at it and it ended up carrying out of the ballpark. Right there, the way the wind blows, it can ride through that area and just keep sailing. He thought he had a shot at it at first.”

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 3, White Sox 1

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
4:08
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox lost for the fourth time in their past six games, falling 3-1 to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

How it happened: Adam Rosales hit two home runs to lead the Rangers to the victory. White Sox starter Chris Sale needed 111 pitches to get through six innings, giving up two runs on three hits. Dayan Viciedo hit a home run for the White Sox in the seventh inning, his 14th of the year, to match his total from last season. Rangers starter Nick Tepesch didn’t allow a run over 5 2/3 innings, winning for the first time since June 27. The Rangers won consecutive games for the first time since June 27-28 and for the first time on the road since June 13-14.

What it means: The pitching problems have been bad enough, but now there is an offensive drought to deal with. After Tyler Flowers' two-run single in the sixth inning of Monday’s game, the White Sox needed 16 innings before they scored again on Viciedo’s home run. And it isn’t like Texas has the strongest pitching staff around. The Rangers came into the game with a 4.85 team ERA, 29th among all 30 major league teams.

Outside the box: Adam Eaton left Wednesday’s game in the second inning when he crashed into the right-center field fence at full speed. Eaton was chasing Rosales’ eventual two-run home run, his first of the day. X-rays were negative and Eaton was diagnosed with a bruised loser back despite the face-first collision. He walked off the field under his own power.

Off beat: Talk about a tough-luck loser. Sale lost for just the second time all season and in those two defeats he gave up a combined three runs over 13 innings. To put in another way, Sale has a 2.08 ERA when adding up his defeat Wednesday and his only other one on June 12 at home against the Detroit Tigers.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.36 ERA) to the mound Thursday at Seattle in the opener of a four-game series. The Mariners will counter with left-hander Roenis Elias (8-9, 4.19) in the 9:10 p.m. CST start from Safeco Field.

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.

Andrus (0-for-15) will face Sale

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5
7:23
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- There is no shame in struggling against Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, although not too many players have a worse time against the left-hander than the Texas RangersElvis Andrus.

Despite an 0-for-15 career mark against Sale, the Rangers’ shortstop will be in the lineup Wednesday afternoon. Texas manager Ron Washington is well aware of the numbers, but won’t change his shortstop against Sale in the finale of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

“So, I look at that and I can't afford to pull Elvis out the lineup,” Washington said Tuesday. “He's 0-for-15 and now it's Elvis' turn to get Sale. It's his turn to get Sale. And if he don't, then he'll be 0-for-f---ing-19. But I ain't pulling him out. I figure the odds got to be in Elvis' favor.”

Washington was far from finished on the subject.

“Ol' Sale gotta leave something for Elvis to put in play to get a base hit off,” Washington said. “If not, then he certainly will be one of those guys that will go down in history that Elvis never got a hit off of. I'm not removing him. I know he's 0-for-15. I'm not removing him and I think he's got 0-for-15 with five K's.”

Hey, it’s not all negative. Andrus does have a walk against Sale.

Bad numbers against Sale actually put you in good company. Among others who struggle against the Cy Young Award candidate are Mike Napoli (1-for-11), Michael Brantley (2-for-19), Albert Pujols (1-for-12) and Austin Jackson (2-for-30).

Stock watch: Eaton up, bullpen crashes

August, 4, 2014
Aug 4
1:57
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Adam EatonAP Photo/Andrew A. NellesComing off a .340 July, Adam Eaton is batting .538 through three games in August.

RISING

Streaking
Adam Eaton, CF: Four months into the season and the team's new leadoff man continues to impress. A current 10-game hit streak and 20-game on-base streak is one thing, but Eaton has also helped to stabilize defense in center, a spot previously occupied by Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios. The White Sox moved starter Hector Santiago and minor league outfielder Brandon Jacobs to get Eaton and at this point they have zero buyer's remorse.

Jose Abreu: 1B: Going hitless in his past two games doesn't necessarily sound like somebody on the rise, but nobody dares to call Abreu a hitter on a slide after the monster July he produced. Abreu's power numbers seemed to have cooled of late, but he had a hit in all but one July game and batted .374 during the month with a 1.099 OPS. Abreu's six home runs in July are just one more than he hit in May, when he spent two weeks on the disabled list. Blame a sore lower back that plagued him late in the month.

Starting pitching: White Sox starters own a 3.42 ERA over their past 36 starts, one of the best marks in the American League over that stretch. Since June 23, when the solid stretch began, the White Sox have lowered their overall starters' ERA from 4.77 to 4.30. White Sox lefties Jose Quintana, Chris Sale and John Danks have combined to go 25-14 with a 3.21 ERA this season in 61 combined starts (44 quality).

FALLING

Slumping
Ronald Belisario, RP: It might make more sense to simply qualify the entire bullpen as on the decline, especially after its meltdown Sunday (15 runs in four innings), but Belisario has managed to stand out from the rest. The right-hander has given up at least three runs in three of his last four outings. The former Dodgers reliever has always been an up-and-down proposition, starting slow, pitching better in the middle of the season and fading late. What is troubling is that his career 4.17 ERA in August is his worst of any month.

Eric Surkamp, RP: Give the left-hander credit for trying to adapt to a bullpen role after being called up in June from Triple-A Charlotte where he was a starter. The transition has had its rough spots. Surkamp's contribution to Sunday's bullpen troubles was two runs on four hits over one inning. He has given up a run in three consecutive outings, and four of his last five, and now has a 7.84 ERA on the season.

Gordon Beckham, 2B: A two-hit game on Saturday showed some signs of life, but since the start of July, Beckham's overall production remains alarmingly low. An 0-for-3 day on Sunday means that Beckham is batting just .149 (16-for-107) since July 1. Although he wouldn't admit it, the thought has been that the approaching July 31 non-waiver trade deadline was messing with his mind. Now that the deadline has passed, it wouldn't be surprising to see Beckham improve at the plate.

Series preview: Rangers at White Sox

August, 4, 2014
Aug 4
11:19
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Expect Chicago White Sox starter Hector Noesi to have his senses on high alert when the faces the Texas Rangers on Monday.

The right-hander was a member of the Rangers earlier this season for just three games, all in relief, but it was the humiliating way that his days in Texas ended that could have Noesi wanting to prove himself.

It’s hard to fault the Rangers for designating Noesi for assignment days after he gave up seven runs on seven hits in a single inning of relief. Adding a plot twist is that the horrible outing came against the White Sox, the team that claimed him on waivers less than a week after torching him for all those runs.

If anything, Noesi might want to show the Rangers that he wouldn’t have been the guy who got pushed around so easily if given another chance. The White Sox took a flier and turned Noesi into a starter of all things, which means that he already will have some satisfaction even before he throws his first pitch Monday night.

The decision to make Noesi a starter has had its ups and downs, which is to be expected when turning a reliever into a member of the rotation on the fly. But it has worked out better than anybody could have predicted.

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White Sox battle through, pick up Sale

August, 2, 2014
Aug 2
12:15
AM CT
By Sahadev Sharma
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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Jose AbreuJon Durr/USA TODAY SportsJose Abreu ran his hitting streak to 21 games with a 3-for-3 effort Friday.

CHICAGO – It’s rare that Chris Sale has a bad outing, but Friday night was one of those times.

The Chicago White Sox left-hander gave up five runs (four earned), all in the third inning, but still managed to last six innings, striking out seven and walking one. Despite the bumpy stretch, Sale emerged with a solid stat line, and his offense came through for him as the Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 10-8.

“Just how we drew it up,” Sale said with a smile. “It was a little bit of everybody. Everybody in the lineup got a hit today, which is awesome. Scoring runs early, scoring runs late and in between. This team never quit fighting, especially when I put us in a pretty good hole right there. We never quit battling and put some good at-bats together and some runs on the board and it’s always nice to see.”

The White Sox came back from two separate deficits, and seven players had multihit games, including Jose Abreu, who went 3-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. The rookie MVP candidate has reached in his past 10 plate appearances and has hit safely in 21 consecutive games and 39 of his past 40.

“Hit it hard and you expect something to happen because he’s in a zone right now,” manager Robin Ventura said of Abreu. “Anything you throw up there I think he’s going to hit hard. It’s unfair that you feel that way of a guy going up there, and if he doesn’t get a hit you feel like it’s a bit unlucky. He’s as hot as anybody in the league.”

Abreu and Sale -- who despite a rough outing is still in the hunt for a Cy Young with a 2.09 ERA, 129 strikeouts and only 20 walks in 116 innings pitched -- are the two clear stars of these White Sox. However, it’s the never-quit attitude of the team that continues to impress.

Before the game, pitching coach Don Cooper -- who missed the previous 11 games because of vertigo -- mentioned how he could see the team’s fight when watching games from home. Ventura had similar feelings after another hard-fought victory gave his team six wins in their past eight contests.

“They’ve been fighting like this for a while,” Ventura said. “I think offensively just grinding out at-bats and being able to put it together. I think even if you get down they’re still feeling like they have a shot, and I think as soon as a guy gets on they feel like stuff’s going to happen. That’s the good stuff. It becomes a bit contagious and guys that have scuffled for a while ... this is fun to actually be able to do it.”

Though Chicago still sits two games below .500 and 5½ games out of the final wild-card spot with five teams ahead of them, no one in the clubhouse seems to be losing faith in their ability to make a run.

“I don’t have the prescience to tell you where this season is going to take us,” Sale said. “But as long as we come in every day and we work hard and play like we played tonight and string some stuff together, I don’t see why we couldn’t be there with anybody else.”

Series preview: Twins at White Sox

August, 1, 2014
Aug 1
4:21
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- They say the major leagues is extremely difficult, but Minnesota Twins starter Logan Darnell must think it’s downright unforgiving at this point.

The Twins’ left-hander will make his second career start (third appearance) Friday at U.S. Cellular Field and will have to face off against Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale for a second consecutive time.

The first meeting went predictably enough: Sale struck out 12 over eight scoreless innings, while Darnell gave up seven runs on 11 hits over five innings in his debut. Darnell, a Tennessee native, was a sixth-round draft pick of the Twins in 2010.

Sale has two months remaining in his Cy Young award push. He will enter Friday night’s game at U.S. Cellular Field with a 10-1 record and a 1.88 ERA. Sale is one of just three starters in baseball with a sub-2.00 ERA, along with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (1.71) and the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright (1.92).

Sale is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA over his last seven starts and is 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 7-0 strikeouts over his last eight starts at home.

The lefty is the first White Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle in the 20005 championship season to open a season 10-1 for the White Sox. In addition to leading the American League in ERA and win percentage (.909), he also leads in WHIP (0.86) and opponents’ batting average (.194).

HEAD TO HEAD


The White Sox’s Tyler Flowers, Conor Gillaspie, Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez all had two hits against Darnell last Saturday. … After just seven career starts, the Twins’ Yohan Pino has already found a team he matched up well against in the White Sox. Pino has given up a combined four runs over 13 innings in two starts against the White Sox, and the Twins won both games. … Twins starter Kyle Gibson has not faced the White Sox this season, but last season he held them to three runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings of an eventual Minnesota victory. … Sale is 2-0 in two starts against the Twins this year, posting a 1.76 ERA. … In two appearances against the Twins this season (one start, one in relief) White Sox starter Scott Carroll has given up just one run and six hits over 9 2/3 innings. … The Twins’ Josh Willingham is 9-for-18 with three home runs in his career against White Sox starter Jose Quintana, but Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe are a combined 2-for-16 (.125) against the lefty.

NOTES


Jose Abreu has a 20-game hitting streak and has a hit in 38 of his last 39 games. Over that 39-game stretch, he has a .365 batting average (57-for-156), a .415 on-base percentage, 14 doubles, 12 home runs and 32 RBIs. … When Konerko reached the 4,000 total bases mark Thursday at Detroit, he became the 83rd player in major league history to accomplish the feat. … Abreu and Adam Eaton are both coming off a game when they reached base in all five trips to the plate. Eaton is batting a robust .441 (15-for-34) during a modest seven-game hitting streak. … White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper rejoined the team Friday after missing the road trip because he had vertigo. … Ronald Belisario might have flamed out in his brief stint as closer, but he does have 26 scoreless appearances this season. … Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki was signed to a two-year contract extension Thursday for $12 million, with a vesting option for 2017. … The Twins are 4-9 since the start of the second half, while the White Sox are 8-5.

PITCHING MATCHUPS


Friday: White Sox LHP Chris Sale (10-1, 1.88 ERA) vs. Twins LHP Logan Darnell (0-1, 7.88), 7:10 p.m. CST
Saturday: White Sox RHP Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.29) vs. Twins RHP Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.38), 6:10 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.15) vs. Twins RHP Kyle Gibson (9-8, 3.94), 1:10 p.m. CST

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.12 158 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAC. Gillaspie .305
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 93
RJ. Abreu 67
OPSJ. Abreu .962
ERAC. Sale 2.12
SOC. Sale 158