Chicago White Sox: Scott Carroll

Sox still working on learning curve

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
12:16
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Nearly four months into a transition season, the Chicago White Sox are still working on consistency.

When one part of their game is hot, all other areas seem to retreat, making it more than obvious why they are sitting at 48-53 on the year and have not been as high as .500 since June 11, when they were 33-33.

[+] EnlargeScott Carroll
Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY SportsScott Carroll pitched decently Tuesday, but things caught up to him eventually in a home loss to the Royals.
After June 11, the club went through its roughest stretch of the season, immediately losing four consecutive before ultimately dropping nine out of 11 games and 11 out of 14.

The White Sox are better after pulling out of their tailspin with three consecutive victories at Toronto to end June, but a serious win streak has continued to escape the club.

On Tuesday, in a 7-1 defeat to the Kansas City Royals, there was no part of the White Sox's game that stood out. A lackluster offense was to be expected with Jose Abreu getting a day off, and the team is still trying to get a handle on the back end of the rotation.

Scott Carroll got his first start of the second half, and, while he was solid through five innings, things finally caught up to him in the sixth, when the Royals broke loose.

The White Sox started the day a mere 5½ games out of the final wild-card spot, but their focus is better spent on matching up starting pitching with solid offense, great defense and smart baserunning for an extended period.

"We've played relatively well all season, but it seems like bad luck came our way or we've struggled in certain situations," Adam Eaton said. "But if we can have one good month where we catch fire …"

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Rapid Reaction: Royals 7, White Sox 1

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


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.

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 3, Royals 1

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
10:16
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


CHICAGO -- The White Sox nailed down the series opener with a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday and are 3-1 on the homestand.

How it happened: The White Sox put their first four batters of the game on base, scored twice in the opening inning and starter Chris Sale made it stand up. Adam Dunn had a two-run single just to the left of the defensive shift to bring home both first-inning runs. Sale gave up just one run on seven hits over seven innings. Dunn scored an insurance run in the sixth inning on a fly ball to shallow right field by Gordon Beckham.

What it means: Sale wasn’t as dominating as he has been in the past, but he still had plenty in the tank to dispatch the Royals. Now 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA, Sale continues his march toward Cy Young Award recognition, despite missing a month with a sore muscle in his left arm. It was Sale's first start since pitching in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Outside the box: The White Sox had their chances to blow things open but couldn’t get the key hits they needed. The White Sox not only left eight runners on base, they were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Tyler Flowers missed a three-run home by inches when his towering drive was just foul down the left-field line. Jose Abreu managed to hit a double to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and give him a hit in 30 of his last 31 contests.

Offbeat: Once Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie got a rough first inning out of his system, he was off and running; he gave up two runs and hit two White Sox batters with pitches in the opening frame. In the top of the second, Sale hit Danny Valencia with a pitch on the knuckles. It was the sixth time Sale has hit a batter this season.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Scott Carroll (4-5, 4.19 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in the middle game of the series. The Royals will counter with left-hander Bruce Chen (1-2, 6.46) in the 7:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Series preview: Royals at White Sox

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
11:22
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox will return to American League Central play this week, set on tracking down not one, but two break-even points in the standings.

The White Sox will play host to the Kansas City Royals for a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field starting Monday night with a 17-21 record in division play and a 47-51 overall record.

Monday's game is the start of a 13-game run all against AL Central rivals. After the Royals, the White Sox will head to Minnesota and Detroit, before coming home to start August with a series against the Twins.

The White Sox are currently nine games behind the first-place Tigers in the AL Central, but are just two games behind the third-place Royals. The Cleveland Indians are 5 1/2 games behind the Tigers in second place.

"(Division games) are very important, and we see it as such, especially when you're playing with guys ahead of you," leadoff man Adam Eaton said. "I'm not sure where we rank right now, but they're very important, and we'll continue to battle day in and day out and take the same approach as we did today, yesterday and the day before: Good pitching and timely hitting."

John Danks had a rocky start Sunday against the Houston Astros, but likes the team's chances in the kickoff game against division foes Monday.

"We've got to win all the games we can," Danks said. "We've dug a little hole in the first half. There's plenty of baseball left, but we've got to get on a roll. We've got the right guy going Monday."

That "right guy" is left-hander Chris Sale, who will bring an 8-1 record and a 2.08 ERA into his first start since appearing in last week's All-Star Game.

HEAD TO HEAD



The White Sox's Alexei Ramirez is just 8-for-45 (.178) against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie in his career, while Adam Eaton is 3-for-7 (.429) with two walks. ... If it seems that Royals starter Bruce Chen is always matched up against the White Sox, he must feel the same way. The left-hander's 124 2/3 innings against the White Sox are easily his most against any team and his 3.47 ERA is third-best among AL clubs, trailing only his 3.46 mark against the Tampa Bay Rays and his 2.97 number against the Toronto Blue Jays. ... Ramirez feasts on Royals starter James Shields, going 20-for-48 (.417) against him in his career with two home runs. ... The Royals' Mike Moustakas is just 4-for-20 (.200) in his career against Sale, but Alcides Escobar is 15-for-39 (.385). ... White Sox starter, and Kansas City-area native, Scott Carroll has faced the Royals twice, giving up six runs and eight hits in a no-decision in May and then giving up one run in a three-inning relief appearance in June. ... The Royals' Billy Butler might hit Sale well (14-for-37 with three home runs), but he doesn't do that much against White Sox starter Jose Quintana (5-for-24, no home runs).

NOTES

Jose Abreu has hit safely in 29 of his past 30 games and is batting .353 over that stretch. He is also on an 11-game hitting streak where he is batting .400 (18-for-45). ... Eaton is on a modest seven-game hitting streak where he is 12-for-28 (.429), and has three multi-hit efforts over his past five games. ... The White Sox's pitching staff is coming off a game where it matched a season high by allowing 17 hits. It also happened May 13 against the Oakland Athletics. ... The White Sox are just 3-5 over their past eight games. ... Conor Gillaspie is batting .419 (13-for-31) with four doubles, three home runs, six RBIs and nine runs scored over his past nine games. ... The Royals opened the second half by getting swept over the weekend in a three-game series at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. ... Guthrie, who starts the series opener for the Royals, has a 10.43 ERA over his past three outings.

PITCHING MATCHUPS



Monday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (8-1, 2.08 ERA) vs. Royals RH Jeremy Guthrie (5-8, 4.56), 7:10 p.m. CST
Tuesday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (4-5, 4.19) vs. Royals LH Bruce Chen (1-2, 6.46), 7:10 p.m. CST
Wednesday: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.26) vs. Royals RH James Shields (9-5, 3.70), 1:10 p.m. CST

Sale not listed for Astros series

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
3:19
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox announced their rotation for the opening series of the second half this weekend against the Houston Astros, and Chris Sale was not among those listed.

The White Sox will go with left-hander Jose Quintana opposite Astros right-hander Scott Feldman in Friday's second-half opener at home, while right-hander Hector Noesi will face off against left-hander Dallas Keuchel on Saturday. In Sunday's series finale, left-hander John Danks will pitch against Astros right-hander Jarred Cosart.

Sale, who pitched one inning in Tuesday's All-Star Game, will get some extra rest before returning to action. He presumably will pitch Monday at home in the series opener against the Kansas City Royals, while Scott Carroll pitches Tuesday.

The decision to give Sale some extra rest was not the only influence on how the second-half rotation was lined up. Even before the first half ended, manager Robin Ventura said he wanted to break up his three best starters -- Sale, Quintana and Danks -- who were pitching on consecutive days.

Because the bullpen is potentially used more on days that Noesi and Carroll pitch, Ventura wanted to give his relievers a built-in break instead of having them taxed on consecutive days.

Sox offer a tip of the cap to Sale's ASG bid

July, 9, 2014
Jul 9
6:17
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Sometimes an attorney’s hunch can lead to a triumphant legal battle for a client, and other times it just might be the difference in getting somebody to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

When Los Angeles attorney Ryan McClellend came up with the prototype for a Doodle Hat in 2009, he had the thought that he might be in possession of the next pop culture fad.

[+] EnlargeCap
Doug Padilla/ESPNJose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez show off their support for Chris Sale on their Doodle Hats, special caps designed to allow the wearer to create his own message.
Five years later, and with a little help from Chicago White Sox players, he just might be right.

Doodle Hats are being used by White Sox players this week to help Chris Sale's All-Star Game bid. Sale is in the five-man Final Vote to decide the American League’s last roster spot.

Quite simply, Doddle Hats are baseball-style caps with a white patent-leather front that allows the wearer to create any message that comes to mind with a dry-erase marker. They can then erase that message and create a new one when the mood strikes.

Consider it social media that doesn’t need an Internet connection.

The hats, which are listed at $19.95 plus shipping and handling on the doodlehats.com website, have been worth their weight in gold for the Sale marketing campaign, as the left-hander was leading the voting after the first round of poll results were released Tuesday.

Voting continues until Thursday afternoon at mlb.com and whitesox.com.

It’ not a coincidence that Doodle Hats found their way into the White Sox clubhouse. Pitcher Scott Carroll is an investor in the product, as is his close friend Blake Wollard. McClellend is married to Wollard’s sister.

“When my brother-in-law invented them, I thought he was pretty crazy,” Wollard said.

The White Sox essentially felt that it would be crazy not to use any tool at their disposal to help Sale become an All-Star for the third consecutive year.

Not long after Carroll made his major league debut in late April, he had a box of Doodle Hats shipped from the company’s Kansas City headquarters – which doubles as the basement of McClellend’s home – to the clubhouse. Carroll put one hat in each player’s locker.

All was quiet, though, until Sale stepped forward. During his postgame interview after his June 18 victory over the San Francisco Giants, Sale wrote a phone number on his Doodle Hat with two words “call me.”

The phone number was Carroll’s, and the rookie pitcher learned his lesson: Paying your dues in a big league clubhouse takes on many forms.

If fielding random phone calls from strangers for the next few days was a chore, there was one valuable component about it all. Doodle Hats got their first spike in popularity, especially after Carroll changed his voice mail message to direct callers to the Doodle Hats website.

“The clubhouse prank obviously helped,” Wollard said. “And to be honest, the most laughs were coming from Kansas City because knowing Scott as well as we do, that prank couldn’t have happened to a better guy. We were really enjoying it.”

(Read full post)

Series preview: White Sox at Red Sox

July, 7, 2014
Jul 7
1:37
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
There is no time like the present for the Chicago White Sox to solve their recent matchup issues against the Boston Red Sox.

The White Sox will head to Fenway Park for a four-game series starting Monday night, knowing they have lost 14 of the last 19 games to the defending World Series champions.

The White Sox starters have been solid the last time through the rotation, although the weakest link of the bunch starts Monday as Scott Carroll takes the mound. Carroll, who has never faced the Red Sox, is just 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA over his seven starts this season and is 0-3 with a 6.30 ERA on the road.

If the White Sox can get through Carroll's start on Monday there could be smooth sailing ahead. John Danks, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Noesi combined to deliver a 0.87 ERA and a .190 opponents' batting average over the past four games.

Sale's start Wednesday has some added intrigue. The last time he faced the Red Sox in April, he gave up just one run over seven innings and threw 127 pitches. The bad news was that he not only lost the game, but went on the disabled list after that with a sore arm.

Of further added interest is that Wednesday's start will come one day before online voting ends for the final American League All-Star roster spot. Sale is in consideration for the spot with four other pitchers: Houston's Dallas Keuchel, Cleveland's Corey Kluber, the Los Angeles Angels' Garrett Richards and the Tigers' Rick Porcello.

HEAD TO HEAD

Paul Konerko is 7-for-15 (.467) with a home run in his career against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, but probably won't start against the right-hander Monday. Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez each have a home run against Buchholz. ... No White Sox player has more than one at-bat against Tuesday's Red Sox starter Brandon Workman. ... Konerko likely will start Thursday since he is 10-for-28 (.357) in his career against Red Sox starter Jon Lester, with three home runs. ... Scott Carroll, who starts for the White Sox on Monday, has never faced the Red Sox. ... The Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia is just 3-for-20 (.150) against John Danks, who starts for the White Sox on Tuesday. ... Members of the Red Sox's 40-man roster are batting a combined 4-for-41 (.098) against Sale, who starts for the White Sox on Wednesday. ... The Red Sox's Will Middlebrooks, David Ortiz and Pedroia are a combined 2-for-14 (.143) against Jose Quintana, who will start for the White Sox on Thursday.

NOTES



The White Sox's pitching staff has recorded two shutouts this season, with both coming in the past seven games. ... After struggling at the start of the previous road trip, the White Sox have won six of their last nine games. ... The White Sox bullpen has a 2.63 ERA over the last eight games, all while adjusting to a closer-by committee situation. ... The White Sox have a 27-24 record against teams above .500, while posting a 15-23 record against teams that are under .500, and the Red Sox are 10 games under at 39-49. ... The White Sox's offense had just two hits in Sunday's victory and have just six hits over their past two games (23 innings). ... In 13 2/3 innings since coming off the disabled list, Buchholz has allowed five runs in two starts for the Red Sox.

PITCHING MATCHUPS



Monday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (2-5, 5.05 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Clay Buchholz (3-4, 6.22), 6:10 p.m. CST
Tuesday: White Sox LH John Danks (7-6, 4.12) vs. Red Sox RH Brandon Workman (1-2, 4.17), 6:10 p.m. CST
Wednesday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (8-1, 2.16) vs. TBA, 6:10 p.m. CST
Thursday: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.20) vs. Red Sox LH Jon Lester (9-7, 2.73), 3:05 p.m. CST

Extra Bases: Sox carrying road baggage

July, 7, 2014
Jul 7
8:00
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox will head out on the road one more time before the All-Star break, with the knowledge that visiting ballparks haven’t been too kind to them this season.

The White Sox are 18-26 on the road this season but have actually won three consecutive games, all at Toronto, on their most recent trip. Although that sounds like a turnaround could be coming, remember that Chicago lost 10 of 11 road games before that.

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The White Sox open things Monday night with four games against the Boston Red Sox, the defending World Series champions. It hasn’t gone as planned this season for the Red Sox, who are 39-49 overall and 21-24 at Fenway Park.

The White Sox then close out the first half with three games at Cleveland. The Indians are 43-44, two games better than the 42-47 White Sox in the American League Central standings.

If matchups against two teams under .500 sound enticing, they shouldn’t. The White Sox are just 15-23 against teams with losing records -- and 27-24 against teams above .500.

If the Sox want to have any road success, they better solve the offensive doldrums that plagued them over the weekend. In their past two games, they managed just six hits, and they had just three over their past 14 innings. It's hard to imagine that without a blown save Saturday they would have actually had a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners.

Read all about it: Here is the Rapid Reaction from Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Seattle. ... Two White Sox players were named to the American League All-Star team, while one has a chance in the online final vote. ... Former waiver-wire pickup Hector Noesi held his former team in check Sunday.

Keep an eye on this: Scott Carroll, who is scheduled to start for the White Sox on Monday, has never faced the Red Sox and is 0-3 with a 6.30 ERA in four road starts.

Question of the day: Should Paul Konerko be getting more time in the designated-hitter spot, even against right-handed pitchers?

Rotation challenges exposed in twin bill

July, 2, 2014
Jul 2
12:07
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The two weak links that have been in the Chicago White Sox's starting rotation since the season started were both exposed in one evening Tuesday.

Hector Noesi and Scott Carroll were asked to get the best of the Los Angeles Angels in a doubleheader, and neither could come through, with walks playing a huge factor.

Noesi walked seven over five innings in his Game 1 defeat, while Carroll walked three, but two of those came to start the seventh inning when the Angels eventually added an insurance run that helped them to a sweep.

[+] EnlargeHector Noesi
Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY SportsHector Noesi walked seven over five innings in his Game 1 defeat.
The Angels won the opener 8-4 and took the second game 7-5.

When the season started, Erik Johnson and Felipe Paulino were supposed to be the rotation answers, but both fell flat. Since then, Noesi, Carroll and Andre Rienzo have all been given the chance to start, while Charlie Leesman has even gotten one turn.

Noesi has done the best with his opportunity, but his outing Tuesday shows that he remains a work in progress after pitching out of the bullpen before stretching out his pitch count on the fly as a starter with the White Sox.

Manager Robin Ventura was asked if the team is playing catch-up ever since Johnson and Paulino started slowly.

“Today it looks like that but Hector has thrown well for us his last few starts,” Ventura said. “That fifth sport has rotated around with Scotty and Rienzo. You have to make do; you have to find somebody to do it. It’s that simple.”

Noesi had actually gone 2-1 with a 3.59 ERA over his past six starts, but was nowhere near that form Tuesday, even though he held the Angels hitless through the first four innings and ended up striking out seven.

“I didn't really feel my release point, you know,” Noesi said. “Seven walks you can see, that's my first time doing that. I was trying to do my best.”

Ventura said he has no plans to remove Carroll from the rotation after the right-hander returned to a starting role just last week.

“I definitely want to take control of that spot and show them that I have the ability and talent to do so,” Carroll said. “I made really good pitches early on in the game. Sometimes the ball just doesn't go your way. I'm going to continue to work hard and train to be better next time.”

It’s not like the White Sox have a bunch of starting options right now, so the best way to get the most out of the guys they have is to cut down on the combined 10 walks issued by Tuesday’s starters.

“That’s a point where all you’re doing is giving them free baserunners,” Ventura said. "You want to make them work for [it], and you’re not. The intention has to be if you’re giving up runs you can’t make it too easy. On our side, we realize how tough it is if you’re not going well. You’ve got to throw strikes.”

Rapid Reaction: Angels 7, White Sox 5 (Game 2)

July, 1, 2014
Jul 1
11:03
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox were swept in a doubleheader against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, dropping Game 2 by a 7-5 score.

How it happened: White Sox starter Scott Carroll gave up three runs in the second inning and the White Sox never recovered. Conor Gillaspie and Dayan Viciedo hit home runs to help a comeback bid that ultimately fell short. Gillaspie also added an RBI single. Carroll gave up seven runs on 10 hits over six innings with three walks.

What it means: The White Sox have been unable to solve the riddle that is the Angels this season. After getting swept in a series in Anaheim, California, in early June, the White Sox dropped Tuesday’s doubleheader to go 0-5 against the Angels, with Wednesday’s game the last of the season between the two teams. The entire American League West has once again been a problem for the White Sox, who now have a 3-11 record against that division.

Outside the box: With a first-inning single, Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 16 games. It is now the longest active hitting streak in the major leagues. The streak also matches the previous longest hitting streak from a White Sox rookie, set by Ross Gload to end the 2004 season.

Offbeat: Despite a standout offensive season in which he has batted over .300 all year, Gillaspie has not shown much power. Tuesday’s home run in Game 2 was his first of the season. He does have two triples and 19 doubles. Gillaspie hit 13 home runs in 134 games last season.

Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (7-6, 4.26 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the finale of the three-game series. The Angels will counter with left-hander Tyler Skaggs (4-4, 4.34) in the 7:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.

Rapid Reaction: Angels 8, White Sox 4 (Game 1)

July, 1, 2014
Jul 1
7:21
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox dropped the opener of a doubleheader, a three-game series and a six-game homestand with an 8-4 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels.

How it happened: White Sox starter Hector Noesi went on a rocky ride, delivering four hitless innings but walking seven with seven strikeouts. He ended up allowing five runs in five innings. The White Sox took an early 3-0 lead on Jose Abreu’s 26th home run, but Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton all added home runs for the Angels. Angels starter Garrett Richards settled down to give up three runs on two hits over eight innings with nine strikeouts.

What it means: After Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks, the White Sox’s rotation offers little stability. Noesi has been a nice find off the waiver wire, but it’s clear that the back end of the rotation is an area the White Sox will look to shore up moving forward. While it has been impressive to see how Noesi turned himself from a reliever to a starter on the fly, it’s hard to expect consistency on an outing-by-outing basis.

Outside the box: Abreu became the first player in major league history to hit 26 home runs in his first 70 games. He entered leading the major leagues in slugging percentage (.625), home run ratio (10.88) and RBI ratio (4.25). He also moved back into a tie for the AL home run lead with the Orioles’ Nelson Cruz.

Offbeat: Trout, Pujols and Hamilton are supposed to be the power hitters who put a charge in the Angels, but the combination hasn’t always worked in conjunction for various reasons that include injury and inconsistencies. Tuesday was just the second time that all three hit home runs in the same game. They also did it against the Kansas City Royals in a May game last season.

Up next: In the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the White Sox will send right-hander Scott Carroll (2-4, 4.76 ERA) to the mound to face Angels right-hander Jered Weaver (8-6, 3.33).

Rain forces White Sox-Angels twin bill

June, 30, 2014
Jun 30
8:00
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The opener to the Chicago White Sox's six-game homestand will have to wait a day after Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels was postponed by rain.

The teams are now scheduled to play a straight doubleheader starting at 4:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday.

Scheduled starting pitchers Hector Noesi of the White Sox and Garrett Richards of the Angels will now pitch in Tuesday's first game. In Game 2, the White Sox’s Scott Carroll will face off against the Angels’ Jered Weaver.

The Angels will make one rotation change. Instead of starting right-hander Matt Shoemaker in Wednesday's game, they will go with left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who is coming off the disabled list. The White Sox are staying with John Danks for Wednesday's game.

The White Sox are coming off an 11-game road trip, their longest of the season, and are set to play the Angels for three games and the Seattle Mariners for three starting Friday. After struggling to start the trip, the White Sox won their final three games, all at Toronto.

Series preview: Angels at White Sox

June, 30, 2014
Jun 30
11:58
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Despite coming off a road trip that was an overall struggle with a 4-7 record, the Chicago White Sox managed to gain a little momentum heading into a six-game homestand.

They will open a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field against the Los Angeles Angels having won each of the last three games at Toronto, including a 4-0 victory Sunday against former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle, who entered the contest with 10 victories, one off the American League lead.

The White Sox have fought inconsistency all season while compiling a 39-44 record, not uncommon for a team that had a roster rebuild in the offseason. The White Sox have had stretches where the offense was strong, the pitching staff was dominating and the bullpen was solid, but have yet to put all phases of their game together at the same time.

Of concern for a second consecutive season is a defense that is 27th out of 30 major league teams with 58 errors, and 25th in fielding percentage (.982).

Even when the bullpen was having success it was never completely settled in the closer’s role. Matt Lindstrom struggled early and when he finally started to turn things around, he was lost for an extended period with an ankle injury. Ronald Belisario, who was shaky as Lindstrom’s replacement, has been removed from the role.

The White Sox are set to go with a closer-by-committee situation, but that is a delicate proposition since it pulls pitchers like Zach Putnam, Daniel Webb and Jake Petricka from spots where they have been able to establish themselves.

Despite losing two out of three games at Kansas City this weekend, the Angels have won eight of their last 11.

HEAD TO HEAD

Adam Dunn has a home run against every Angels starter in the upcoming series. ... Dayan Viciedo is 2-for-2 against Angels starter Garrett Richards in his career. ... Paul Konerko doesn’t start often these days, and he certainly isn’t expected to play Tuesday against Angels starter Jered Weaver since he is 2-for-22 (.091) against the right-hander. ... Members of the White Sox roster are a combined 9-for-23 (.409) with three doubles and a home run against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker. ... No Angels batter has a home run off White Sox starter Hector Noesi in 47 at-bats, while Albert Pujols is just 1-for-9 against the right-hander. ... White Sox pitcher Scott Carroll gave up just one run on two hits over 4 1/3 innings in an extended relief outing June 6 against the Angels. ... The Angels’ Erick Aybar is just 3-for-23 (.130) against White Sox starter John Danks, but Josh Hamilton is 7-for-16 (.438) with a home run in the lefty-lefty matchup.

NOTES


When the Angels swept a three-game series in California, June 6-8, they outscored the White Sox 19-11. ... A total of 10 of the last 12 White Sox games have been decided by two runs or less. ... The White Sox are 21-18 in home games, but have gone 18-26 in games on the road after posting a 4-7 mark on their just-concluded three-city road trip to Minnesota, Baltimore and Toronto. ... The White Sox are just 3-9 against American League West teams this season. ... The White Sox are an even 13-13 during the first game of a series this year and are 9-14-2 in overall series this season. ... Pujols has a swollen lymph gland in the area of his right groin, but is expected to be in the lineup. ... The Angels have won six of their last eight games at U.S. Cellular Field. ... Richards, who will start for the Angels on Monday night, is 4-0 in five June starts with a 1.05 ERA.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Monday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.07 ERA) vs. Angels RH Garrett Richards (8-2, 2.76), 7:10 p.m. CST
Tuesday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (2-4, 4.76) vs. Angels RH Jered Weaver (8-6, 3.33), 7:10 p.m. CST
Wednesday: White Sox LH John Danks (7-6, 4.26) vs. Angels RH Matt Shoemaker (5-2, 4.50), 7:10 p.m. CST

Stock watch: Abreu's charge continues

June, 30, 2014
Jun 30
11:08
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Jose AbreuAP Photo/Jeff HaynesJose Abreu reached 25 home runs in fewer games than anyone in major league history.

RISING


Streaking
Jose Abreu, first base: Nearly three months into the season and the rookie continues to look like a veteran. Abreu is currently riding a 14-game hitting streak, with six home runs and 13 RBIs over that stretch. He is also batting .351 (20-for-57) over that time. Entering Sunday’s game he was the only player in major league history to hit 25 home runs over his first 68 big league games.

Left-handed bats: Leadoff man Adam Eaton has delivered a hot streak to coincide with Abreu’s run, batting .375 (21-for-56) over his last 15 games, with a .462 on-base percentage. Neither Alejandro De Aza or Adam Dunn started Sunday in Toronto against Mark Buehrle, but De Aza is batting .365 (23-for-63) with six doubles over his last 20 games, while Dunn has four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 19 games.

Hector Noesi, starting pitcher: The right-hander heads into Monday’s start against the Los Angeles Angels with a 2-1 record and a 3.44 ERA over his last six outings. He has pitched at least seven innings three times over that stretch. All this from a pitcher who was claimed off waivers in April as a reliever. Since the White Sox acquired him, Noesi has lowered his ERA from 14.21 to 5.07.

FALLING


Slumping
Fifth starter: An 8.87 ERA over his last five starts got Andre Rienzo kicked out of the starting rotation and into the bullpen. His replacement, Scott Carroll, didn’t fare much better. Carroll took a spin in Rienzo’s rotation spot on Thursday at Toronto and gave up five runs on nine hits over five innings. The last time the White Sox won a game with Rienzo or Carroll starting was May 20.

Ronald Belisario, relief pitcher: Since taking over the closer role on May 20, the right-hander has posted an 8.76 ERA over 14 appearances (12 1/3 innings). Just how hard has Belisario been getting hit since switching into his new role? Opposing hitters have a .457 batting average on balls in play against him since his move to closer. Before the move, that number was .250.

Conor Gillaspie, third base: The lone lefty bat not delivering of late, Gillaspie has gone hitless in his last 12 at-bats. He got a much-needed break against the lefty Buehrle on Sunday. Gillaspie is also 1-for-17 over his last four games, but still will carry a .317 batting average into the homestand. It has been one of his few dry spells this season after already delivering hitting streaks of 11, 10, eight, seven and six games.

Brazil favored by Rienzo, Sox to win Cup

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
7:28
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- On the eve of soccer’s World Cup, a random sampling of Chicago White Sox players revealed that Brazil is the favored team in the clubhouse.

Of the 22 White Sox players asked, eight picked the host country to win the tournament that begins Thursday when Brazil plays Croatia.

[+] EnlargeAndre Rienzo
Doug PadillaWho do you think Sao Paolo native Andre Rienzo is backing in the World Cup?
The biggest Brazil supporter is, of course, pitcher and Sao Paolo native Andre Rienzo, who played in a soccer academy in his home country until he was 16 before switching his primary focus to baseball.

“It’s huge in Brazil right now,” Rienzo said. “There are parties and people like it and people want to go see the games happen. I hope Brazil wins because it is in Brazil. If Brazil does not win, they will go and have trouble.”

Aside from the White Sox players who hail from the United States, the only other player from a World Cup-qualifying country is Jose Quintana, a Columbia native. Quintana and Alejandro De Aza were the only players to pick Columbia. De Aza is from the Dominican Republic, which isn’t represented on the pitch, but his wife being from Columbia influenced his decision.

Four players selected the United States to win it all, although those selects were more by default from players who wanted to stay loyal to their home country. Adam Eaton acted disinterested, then was spotted wearing a U.S. soccer jersey; perhaps he had more interest than he was willing to admit.

Two players that selected Brazil -- Zach Putnam and Paul Konerko -- said they were doing it in support of Rienzo.

Alexei Ramirez is from Cuba, but he is an ardent Argentina supporter, going as far as to put his Lionel Messi Argentina jersey in front of Rienzo’s face while he was doing an interview.

“I have a deal with Alexei that if Brazil wins he has to go get a Brazil shirt and get a picture,” Rienzo said. “If Argentina wins, I have to get a picture with an Argentina jersey. I hope Brazil, because if I take a picture with a shirt from Argentina, people in Brazil will kill me.”

Jose Abreu picked France, Scott Carroll picked the Netherlands, Chris Sale picked England and Adrian Nieto was the only White Sox player to select defending-champion Spain. Adam Dunn tried to pick three teams -- England, Spain and Brazil -- before finally settling with the home country.

Gordon Beckham and Moises Sierra declined to pick a champion. Beckham said he doesn’t follow the sport closely enough to make an informed opinion, while Sierra said he wasn’t interested because his native Dominican Republic was not participating.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.03 110 102
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .292
HRJ. Abreu 29
RBIJ. Abreu 74
RJ. Abreu 52
OPSJ. Abreu .959
ERAC. Sale 2.03
SOJ. Quintana 118