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July 2012 Archives

MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Francisco Liriano pitched six strong innings in his White Sox debut against his former team, A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run, tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning, and the Sox held on for a 4-3 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.

Pierzynski also scored the tying run in the seventh inning. The Sox catcher was by a Nick Blackburn pitch with two outs, advanced to second on Dayan Viciedo's single and scored on Alexei Ramirez's single to left.

Viciedo drove in the Sox' first run with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Alex Rios. Rios, who had doubled in the second, singled before Pierzynski's homer. It was Pierzynski's second home run in two nights against his former team and the 18th of the season, tying his career high.

"I figured I gave them one yesterday and maybe I could get one back for us today,'' said Pierzynski, whose throwing error in the ninth inning Tuesday set up the winning run for the Twins.

Liriano allowed four hits and walked four while striking out eight. Both runs came in the sixth inning without the Twins hitting a ball out of the infield against him. Liriano walked two and gave up infield singles in the sixth to Darin Mastroianni and Danny Valencia. Liriano, who was 3-10 with the Twins, received a no-decision.

"Minnesota finally got a dose of what we've been seeing for seven years and how hard it is to hit him when he throws it over the plate,'' Pierzynski said of Liriano, whose known as a pitcher with great stuff but inconsistent command. "He was a little excited or nervous, it was a different feeling for him I'm sure since he had never been on this side. I'm happy he got the first one out of the way and now he can settle in.''

Jesse Crain, also a former Twin, pitched a scoreless seventh. Matt Thornton (3-6) pitched a perfect eighth and Addison Reed gave up an RBI single to Denard Span (4-for-5) in the ninth before getting Joe Mauer on a grounder to first baseman Paul Konerko to end the game.

Konerko bobbled Mauer's grounder, then stumbled before flipping to Reed, who made a barehand grab for the putout.

Sox manager Robin Ventura was more than satisfied with Liriano's contribution. As of now, the Sox have six starters with Liriano.

"He pitched great,'' Ventura said. "I thought he's doing what we got him to do. For a team that has seen him and knows him very well, he came out and pitched well even though the circumstances were probably a little odd for him to go out in our uniform and pitch here.

"He was just pitching. You never know what's going to happen with a guy going to a new team. He just goes out and competes and none of the other stuff comes with him.''

Pierzynski said Liriano's slider looked every bit as tough from behind the plate as it did from the batter's box.

"It's just throwing strikes,'' Pierzynski said. "The bottom line is he has to throw it over the plate, and if he does he's good. Facing him especially as a lefty you can feel helpless up there. After the game he apologized to me for being wild. I said 'Dude you're fine.' You're great. Don't apologize to me.''


White Sox' Danks to have season-ending surgery

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox announced that left-hander John Danks will have exploratory surgery on his left shoulder on Monday, ending his season.

Danks has not pitched for the Sox since May 19 against the Cubs. He threw four innings in a minor league rehab assignment for AAA Charlotte on June 12 but wasn't right shortly after that start.

The White Sox Opening Day starter, Danks signed a five-year, $65 million extension during the off-season.

Last Friday, the Sox altered his throwing program in a last-ditch attempt at getting him back before the season ends.

"It's tough,'' Danks said Tuesday. "Obviously, this whole time, this has been the absolute last resort. We've been going on eight, weeks, and we haven't made improvements that we hoped and thought would be making. You do what you got to do. And we got to the point where we couldn't think but help start thinking about next year and cutting our losses this year and try to be ready by spring.''

A team of four doctors led by Tony Romeo and Greg Nicholson will perform the surgery at Rush Hospital. They will explore and determine what needs to be repaired.

The injury has been described as a strain. Trainer Herm Schneider said that MRI readings make it appear as though the strain has been healed, however. So it's obvious there is another, unknown issue.

The first-place Sox played the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday with a 1 1/2 game lead on the Tigers in the AL Central.

"These guys are playing well enough this year without me and getting [Francisco] Liriano [in a trade with the Twins] certainly helps and I definitely think there's plenty here now that me being out isn't going to kill this team. I'll be a cheerleader for the next two months, three months hopefully."

"It's disappointing for him, I know that,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "But in the long run, you find out what it is and take care of it. That's the biggest thing.

"With the way he was feeling and the timing of it, it's time to go in and find out what it is and take care of it.''

White Sox stand pat on deadline day

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MINNEAPOLIS - Whatever cell-phone minutes White Sox general manager Ken Williams had left on his phone after pulling off three trades in the last few weeks have been banked and may be used in August, when trades can be made if players clear waivers.
The deadline for non-waiver deals passed at 3 p.m. Tuesday with the White Sox standing pat after adding three significant pieces: third baseman Kevin Youkilis on June 24, reliever Brett Myers on July 22 and left-handed starter Francisco Liriano on Sunday.
The Sox have no glaring hole in their everyday lineup and have six starters with Liriano. Williams explored possibilities of upgrading the rotation and strengthening the bench.
"You never really know how close you are to anything because there are so many balls in the air ... there were some interesting discussions but nothing close,'' Williams said.
Williams said his adrenaline flowed on the last day as it always does, hoping to making a significant deal. Overall, he was happy with the three players he acquired.
"At various times you get frustrated in that war room, you keep pushing, pushing and pushing and you forget some things have come about. But here it is, at the deadline and your adrenaline is flowing and you always want to make that impact move.
"At this point it's come and gone. I'm going home to get some sleep.
"We've given it all we have and exhausted ourselves in the quest to make us as good as we can be. We have to be satisfied with that. Hopefully that's enough and hopefully the players see that.''
The Sox, who have been in first place for 61 days this season, lead the Detroit Tigers by 1 1/2 games in the AL Central.
"We're in a good situation,'' Williams said. "We've addressed a number of holes we had and at the same time we have a young nucleus mixed in with veterans.
"We feel good about the whole situation.''




Fun and Dunn: White Sox slugger is homer-happy

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MINNEAPOLIS -- As major-league home-run leader Adam Dunn inches closer to No. 400 in his career, it's difficult to gauge how many more he'll hit before his career is over.
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"Hopefully a lot,'' Dunn said. "There's not a number that sticks out, but I'd like to play long enough where you can sit back and go, 'That was good.' Obviously, 400 is a ton of home runs, but I'd like to have more.''

How long he plays is the key, and that depends solely on one thing: How long the game stays fun for the big 32-year-old Texan.

"I don't know because my dad told me this a long time ago: As soon as you stop having fun, it's time to stop,'' Dunn said before the Sox opened a three-game series against the Twins with a 7-6 loss on Monday night. "If I come here tomorrow and it feels like work as opposed to something I really love doing every day, I'll walk into [manager Robin Ventura's office] -- I promise you I will -- and say, 'I'm done; I can't do this any more.' ''

Dunn hit his 31st of the season and 396th of his career Saturday against the Rangers. Not being a numbers-cruncher or stat-tracker, he said he knows he's close to 400 but doesn't know how close.

"I'm not going to sit here and say I don't care about it because I do,'' he said. "But it's not like this is my last year and my lifelong dream is to hit 400 homers. I have a lot more to go, I hope.''

Dunn hit his 199th and 200th homers on Opening Day 2007 against the Cubs in Cincinnati and his 300th on July 4, 2009, into the second deck at Nationals Park as a Washington National. As significant to him was his 385th this season because he surpassed Sox first-base coach Harold Baines with that one.

"That was really cool because I always loved Harold Baines,'' Dunn said. "I wanted that ball, and he signed it and personalized it to me, which was really cool.''

Dunn is on pace for 50 this year, one more than Albert Belle's franchise record set in 1996. Reaching 500 for his career is close to a sure thing if Dunn stays healthy, and he could approach that before his contract runs out with the Sox at the end of 2015. Entering 600 territory is possible if Dunn plays six more seasons and averages 30. But he'd have to age well.

And he can't stop enjoying the game.

"I don't see that happening for a long time,'' Dunn said. "Especially now with what we have in place here. I love coming to the ballpark. This is as much fun as I can remember having in baseball.''

Dunn's fun comes from winning -- he played on mostly losing teams before signing with the Sox before the 2011 season -- but that's not where it ends. For him, the joy is in competing.

"When you're in the field or hitting,'' Dunn said, ''it's three hours of competition. You vs. the pitcher, one-on-one. That's something you can't get anywhere else. Whenever that becomes not enjoyable, I'm done.''

Twins beat White Sox on walkoff sac fly in 9th

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins quickly erased a four-run first by the White Sox with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning against rookie left-hander Jose Quintana, and went on to a 7-6 walkoff victory on Monday night.

The Twins scored the winning run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Jamey Carroll with no outs against Sox reliever Brett Myers.

Danny Valencia led off the ninth with a single to left. Brian Dozier laid down a sacrifice bunt and was safe when catcher A.J. Pierzynski's throw to second baseman Gordon Beckham covering first was high, sending pinch runner Alexi Casilla to third and Dozier to second. With the infield drawn in, Carroll then flied to Alex Rios in right field, scoring Casilla.

Twins starter Cole De Vries gave up four singles before A.J. Pierzynski - back in the lineup after missing five games with a strained right oblique - hit a 413-foot, three-run homer to give the Sox a 4-0 lead.

Quintana couldn't hold the lead against the Twins, who got six hits the first time through the lineup and scored four times in the bottom of the first. The Twins scored two more in the third on an RBI single by Ryan Doumit and a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia. After that, Quintana -- who allowed 10 hits -- faced the minimum through the seventh, his last inning.

Alejandro De Aza, returning to the lineup after missing two games with a sore left wrist, had four singles in his first five at-bats, including a game-tying RBI poke to center in the eighth that scored Alexei Ramirez.


White Sox winning streak ends at 5

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Scott Feldman held the hot-hitting White Sox to seven hits and no runs over eight innings, and the Rangers scratched out two runs against Gavin Floyd to stop the Sox' five-game winning streak with a 2-0 victory on Sunday.
Floyd (8-9) threw 64 strikes and 46 balls over his 110-pitch outing that lasted 6 2/3 innings in 100-plus degree heat. It was his third straight start in which he allowed two runs or less, but this one was far from a masterpiece.
Floyd walked five, hit a batter and allowed seven hits, managing to avoid greater damage than two runs allowed by escaping bases-loaded jams in the first two innings. For all the traffic around him, the Rangers still needed an error by shortstop Alexei Ramirez to get Josh Hamilton (walk) in from third in the third and a double-clutch before a throw home by first baseman Adam Dunn to allow Nelson Cruz (double) to score from third in the fifth.
Floyd, perhaps thinking he was short on time, didn't look Cruz back to third on Michael Young's tap in front of the mound. As Dunn was taking Floyd's throw, Cruz broke home but Dunn couldn't get a grip on the ball and his throw to catcher Tyler Flowers was low and late.
The Sox (55-46), who averaged eight runs a game while batting .305 with 12 homers during their five-game winning streak, got two runners to second base against Feldman -- who came in with a 4-6 record and 5.36 ERA.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for the save as the Rangers (59-41) salvaged the third game of a three-game series.
The Sox' lead over the Detroit Tigers in the Al Central shrunk to 1 1/2 games.



ARLINGTON, Texas -- Francisco Liriano would welcome an opportunity to face the Twins. It will happen in his first start for the White Sox on Tuesday.

"Would love to,'' Liriano said Sunday from Minneapolis, where he will join the White Sox on Monday when the Sox open a three-game series against the Twins.

Jose Quintana will pitch Monday, Liriano Tuesday and Jake Peavy on Wednesday. The Sox traded infielder Eduardo Escobar and minor-league pitcher Pedro Hernandez to the Twins for Liriano on Saturday night.

"I was very surprised,'' Liriano said. "I knew I would probably be traded but I didn't expect to go to the White Sox. That's part of baseball.''

Liriano will go into what for the short term will be a six-man rotation, giving an extra day of rest to all the starters.

"Our guys have been going at it full tilt,'' Williams said. "We needed a veteran presence.''

Sale, in his first season as a starter, and Ventura both acknowledged that Sale is experiencing some "fatigue."

"It's just something that comes up,'' Sale said. "Going through a little dead-arm period, I guess. Nothing terrible. We all feel this will benefit us, and myself getting a few extra days off so the last couple months we can really make a push and get after it.''

The Sox purchased the contract of AAA shortstop Rey Olmeda, a 31-year-old veteran, to fill Escobar's role.
Williams said another move is possible before Tuesday's trade deadline.

White Sox not done making moves

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- With 13 pitchers on their 25-man roster after the trade for left-hander Francisco Liriano on Saturday night, the White Sox will make a player move before they close out their series against the Texas Rangers Sunday night.

Utility man Eduardo Escobar was dealt to the Minnesota Twins along with minor-league lefty Pedro Hernandez for Liriano, leaving the Sox without a backup to shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Ray Olmedo is batting .273 for AAA Charlotte and is probably the best bet, unless the Sox make another deal. Ramirez sat out Saturday with a sore left wrist.

A relief pitcher, perhaps rookie left-hander Leyson Septimo, would be sent down to make room for an infielder.

Liriano was scheduled to pitch for the Twins on Sunday, so he could step into the Sox rotation as soon as Monday at a familiar place -- Target Field in Minneapolis, where the Sox open a three-game series.

Jose Quintana, Jake Peavy and Chris Sale are scheduled for the Minnesota series, but the Sox will likely push one or all of them back as they continue to monitor their starting pitchers' workloads. Sale and Quintana, a rookie, are dealing with the rigors of starting for the first time, and Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber have had recent stints on the disabled list. Peavy, two years removed from major surgery, wouldn't be opposed to an extra day, either.

So the possibility of a six-man rotation, or some form of it as the Sox exercised last season, is a possibility. Pitching coach Don Cooper acknowledged that after the trade was announced Saturday night.

Liriano, 28, has a 4.33 career ERA and a 5.31 ERA this season. After a bad started that earned him a demotion to the bullpen, Liriano has a 3.68 ERA and 79 strikeouts with 29 walks in 66 innings since coming back to the rotation. He had a 15-strikeout game against the A's, and his only bad start since was against the Sox last week when he was shelled for seven earned runs over 2 2/3 innings. He pitched a no-hitter against the Sox at U.S. Cellular Field last season.

"I'm not thrilled with trading him within the division, obviously," Twins general manager Terry Ryan told Twins reporters. "You guys know where we are in the standings."

Liriano is eligible for free agency after the season.

"They know what they're getting, and I know what we're giving up," Ryan said.

The Sox, who made a trade with their division rival since the first time since 1986, know Liriano well.

"You've seen him pitch well, you've seen him throw a no-hitter,'' first baseman Paul Konerko said. "You've seen the other night, too. Hopefully a change of scenery [is good]. Hopefully that will give him a shot of energy and you see that life on his fastball come back and his slider and all that. We'll have to wait and see.

"We have the guru of pitching Don Cooper that I'm sure will put his stamp on him.

"He doesn't need to come in and throw shutouts. We are swinging the bats pretty well and just come in and give us a chance to win. That's all we are looking for.''

The Sox, Blue Jays, Angels and Braves, Cardinals and Orioles were said to be interested in acquiring Liriano before Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline.

"They've been interested," Ryan said. "I think it's safe to say that he's thrown pretty well up until the other time, the last outing.

"There were many clubs interested in him, as we talked about. Everybody seems to be looking for pitching."

GM Williams: Liriano 'excited' to join White Sox

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The White Sox acquired left-handed starting pitcher Francisco Liriano from the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night in exchange for infielder Eduardo Escobar and minor-league left-hander Pedro Hernandez.

Liriano, who pitched a no-hitter against the Sox last season, will move into the rotation.

Liriano, 28, is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA over 100 innings with 109 strikeouts in 22 games for the Twins in 2012. He ranks third in the American League in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.81 and has limited lefties to a .195 average. He lost his last start on July 23 against the Sox, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings after posting a 2.84 ERA with 77 strikeouts in his previous 10 outings.

"We have working the phones for weeks trying make the team as strong and as resilient as possible for the stretch run,'' general manager Ken Williams said. "Due to circumstances we thought bringing in another starter was imperative to combat the two-month grind ahead and hopefully beyond. In talking to Liriano, he is excited and motivated to get after it and join us for this run.''

Robin Ventura didn't specify plans for Liriano, except to say he'll be in the rotation. Pitching coach Don Cooper didn't rule out the possibility of Liriano fitting in as a sixth starter.

"That's certainly a possibility,'' Cooper said. "It's all a possibility and we haven't gotten there yet.

"It's a nice addition, obviously. A guy who has had some success. Good arm, left-hander, all of those things. And he has got experience. So where to plug him in, where we do and all of those things are yet to be talked about.''

"I've played with Franky and he's a great teammate,'' said Sox pitcher Philip Humber, who pitched six strong innings in the Sox' 5-2 victory against the Rangers. "He's one of those guys who makes the guys around him better by the way he works hard. Everyone knows he has got great stuff.''

Escobar played shortstop for the Sox Saturday night, hitting two doubles.

Ventura: Escobar "like a little brother or son"

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The White Sox acquired left-handed starting pitcher Francisco Liriano from the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night in exchange for infielder Eduardo Escobar and minor-league left-hander Pedro Hernandez.

Liriano, 28, will be a free agent after the season. He is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA over 100 innings with 109 strikeouts in 22 games for the Twins in 2012 and ranks third in the American League in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.81 while has shown flashes of success over his career, making the All-Star team as a rookie in 2006 and winning Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2010. He pitched a no-hitter against the Sox last season.

Liriano also lost his last start on July 23 against the Sox, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings after posting a 2.84 ERA with 77 strikeouts in his previous 10 outings.

Sox manager Robin Ventura, while pleased to have an addition to his pitching staff, was fond of Escobar and found it difficult to say goodbye after the Sox defeated the Rangers 5-2. The Sox clubhouse was somber after losing a well-liked teammate.

"You do everything you possibly can to make us better pitching wise,'' Ventura said. "But it's tough after a good win like this because Escobar is a big part of what we're doing. It's more than numbers and how he plays - it's everybody living together a long time. It's a tough one team-wise.

"He's kind of like the little brother or a son. He's taking it hard. It's part of baseball. It happens to a lot of people. But it will make us better.''

Escobar, the only backup shortstop to Alexei Ramirez, will need to be replaced. A roster move is expected Sunday, with a pitcher sent to the minors to make room for another infielder. He will report to the Twins' AAA club in Rochester.

"He fit in great,'' captain Paul Konerko said. "Esco is a team favorite, no doubt. He's done everything the team has asked of him this year and been a real positive guy with a lot of energy. Everybody loves Esco so it's tough losing him.

"It's a huge move for him personally. It hurts to lose him. We are happy to strengthen the pitching. I think that will be good. But I know everybody is feeling for Esco right now.''

Sox general manager Ken Williams, who came up short in an a dogged effort to get Zack Greinke from the Brewers, settled for Liriano, whose credentials pale in comparison but figures to bolster the rotation nonetheless.

"He's been good and that's part of Kenny trying to find something to push us over the top,'' Ventura said.

The 28-year-old Liriano, a who pitched a no-hitter against the Sox last season, is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA over 100 innings with 109 strikeouts in 22 games for the Twins in 2012. He ranks third in the AL in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.81. He lost his last start on July 23 against the Sox, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings after posting a 2.84 ERA with 77 strikeouts in his previous 10 outings.

Liriano was a Twins All-Star as a rookie in 2006 and was the AL Comeback player of the Year in 2010. He has two postseason appearances, including a start against the Yankees in Game 1 of the 2010 ALDS.

Escobar, 23, played shortstop for the Sox Saturday night, hitting two doubles. He batted .207 with three RBI in 36 games. Hernandez made his major-league debut for the Sox in a start on at Boston on July 18, allowing eight runs on 12 hits over four innings. He was sent back to AAA after the start.

White Sox, Humber turn back Rangers

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Philip Humber pitched six strong innings, Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn homered, and the depleted White Sox defeated the Texas Rangers 5-2 on Saturday night for their fifth straight victory.

The first-place Sox, who widened their lead on the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central to 2 ½ games, haven't lost since getting swept in a three-game series in Detroit last weekend.

Konerko hit his 17th homer with Dunn on first to give the Sox a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Eduardo Escobar, starting at short in place of sore-wristed Alexei Ramirez, had two doubles and an RBI. And Jordan Danks, filling in for the other sore-wristed Sox, Alejandro De Aza, singled and scored and made a very good running catch near the wall in left-center.

But the most significant individual highlight was the six strong innings from Humber, who bounced back from a rough outing against the Tigers by holding the Rangers to one run on four hits. Humber (5-5) strck out four and walked two.

Jesse Crain left Humber baserunners on the corners in the seventh by getting two strikeouts, then watching left fielder Dayan Viciedo make a sliding catch of Ian Kinsler's blooper.

The Sox (55-45) have had their way with the two-time defending AL champion Rangers, beating them five straight times and in six of eight this season.

Dunn's homer against Matt Harrison (12-6) was his 11th this season against a left-hander. He hit 11 combined against righties and lefties last season. Dunn leads the majors with 31 homers this year.

White Sox defeat Rangers in series opener

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer early and Alexei Ramirez hit one late. In between, Chris Sale strung together five scoreless innings after a shaky first as the White Sox defeated the Texas Rangers 9-5 to take the first game of a six-game road trip.

The Sox (54-45) gained a game in the AL Central standings on the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, who both lost. The first-place Sox lead the Tigers by 1 1/2 games.

Youkilis homered against Yu Darvish in the second, his sixth long ball for the Sox. Alejandro De Aza -- who left the game after colliding with Ramirez in the outfield -- singled in two runs.

Leading 6-5 in the ninth, the Sox added three runs on an RBI double by Alex Rios and Ramirez's homer against reliever Alexi Ogando.

Sale (12-3) allowed five runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.


Change of plans for White Sox' John Danks

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ARLINGTON, Texas - The White Sox are speeding up the process in hopes of getting left-hander John Danks back on the mound. The Opening Day starter who hasn't pitched since May 19 is skipping long-toss work and throwing from the mound only.

Danks threw 30 pitches off the mound Friday in Day 1 of the new plan.

"It goes back to the spring training type deal where we're having to condense some of it and push it, take some of the longer throws out and get ready to be on the mound,'' Danks said. "That's all I need to be ready for.''

"We're going to carry this out the rest of the trip and see where this takes us,'' pitching coach Don Cooper said. "And then we'll talk again and see what we need to do then.

"It's all in an attempt to see if he can help us sometime before the season is over."

Time is not on Danks' side.

"It's getting to that point where it's going to have happen pretty fast for him to be able to go down and have a rehab assignment and feel strong enough where he can come in here and pitch,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "So, it's getting closer and closer to that time, and if not, you kind of look toward next year.''

Danks was assured by team doctors and training staff that the plan has no risks.

"Obviously it would be ideal if we had longer time to build up arm strength but we don't have that time,'' said Danks, who signed a five-year, $65 million contract this past offseason. "I'm on board. Kind of willing to do anything at this point to get back and this is what we come up with.''

Danks was disappointed that he didn't feel stronger throwing Friday.

"Nonetheless I was able to get through it,'' he said. "Again, part of the process. I've been assured the injury, I can push it more than I might want to. I've been assured I can't hurt it. As long as I can get the strength back and get to where I can be effective, I'm willing to try it.''

He described his current arm strength as "not great.''

"I thought today would be a little better than it was but I was told that's all part of it,'' Danks said. "Would have like to have been able to push it a little further than I did, but it was still kind of right there where I've been. I didn't take any steps back, at least.''

Cooper said ate August, "maybe early September" is a target date for a Danks appearance.

"And then, if it's not early September, maybe it's the start of 2013. Nobody really knows,'' Cooper said. "That's going to unfold in front of us, one way or another."

Pierzynski expected back Sunday

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- A.J. Pierzynski is out of the starting lineup for Friday night's game against the Texas Rangers.

The White Sox catcher missed the last two games of the Sox' series against the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday and Wednesday with a minor right oblique strain.

Tyler Flowers will catch Chris Sale Friday night and bat eighth. Piersynski is available as a backup and is expected to play during the series, most likely Sunday against Rangers starter Scott Feldman.

With left-hander Matt Harrison starting on Saturday, Pierzynski will likely take another day off.

"It's just a case of not pushing it,'' Ventura said. "He could play but with two months left we don't want to lose him for two weeks.''

Pierzynski hit in the cage Friday and said it was "100 times better.''

"We felt give it another day or two and that way I'll be a lot closer to 100 percent, based on the way it's responded the last two days,'' Pierzynski said.

"I can catch fine. I can throw fine. I did a full workout today. I've done everything. The only time I fee it is when I swing. It's not unmanageable, it's not unbearable. It's just better to be safe than sorry and have it continue to get better rather than something crazy happen.''

White Sox complete sweep of Twins

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Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios each hit two-run homers against Twins starter Nick Blackburn, and Viciedo added a two-run single and a double as the White Sox completed a three-game sweep of Minnesota with a 8-2 victory on Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Jake Peavy, who had received 11 runs of support over his last seven starts, received eight in the first five innings. Peavy escaped a bases-loaded jam with one run scored in the first and struck out three in a row in the fourth after the Twins put runners on second and third.

Peavy (8-7) threw 121 pitches on a sweltering afternoon before 32,261 fans, allowing one earned run over six innings. He struck out six, walked two and gave up six hits. Rookie left-hander Leyson Septimo pitched two perfect innings in relief.

Rebounding from a 3-7 road trip that concluded with a three-game sweep by the charging Detroit Tigers which knocked them out of first place, the Sox (53-45) put themselves in position to regain the top spot by themselves in the AL Central with Wednesday's victory. The Tigers, who began the day tied with the Sox for first place, play the Indians in Cleveland Wednesday night.

The victory completed the Sox' seventh sweep of the season, their sixth of three games or more.

White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis left the game in the fourth inning with a sprained left ankle. Youkilis appeared to turn the ankle while rounding first base on an RBI single in the third inning. Youkilis stayed in the game and played a half inning in the field before being pinch-hit for by Eduardo Escobar.

The Sox had 12 hits, including a double and single by Alexei Ramirez. Paul Konerko singled and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

The Sox swept the Twins (40-58) at U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since June, 2008.


Outfielder Jared Mitchell, who was the White Sox first pick in the 2009 amateur draft, has been promoted to Class AAA Charlotte. Mitchell had been named a Southern League All-Star playing with Class AA Birmingham and was hitting .240 with 13 doubles, 13 triples, 10 homers and 54 RBI in 94 games at Birmingham.

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was out of the lineup Tuesday after suffering a minor strain in his right oblique. The ``very minor'' strain occurred Monday night against the Minnesota Twins, with manager Robin Ventura saying the catcher could still work behind the plate but was bothered swinging a bat.
``We don't want it to get any worse,'' Ventura said.
Tyler Flowers was in Pierzynski's place Tuesday. The Sox and Twins play a day game Wednesday in the series finale and have an off day Thursday before beginning a six-game road trip. Pierzynski might miss Wednesday's game as well, Ventura indicated.

White Sox general manager Ken Williams spent the All Star break on a vacation to Egypt with his friend, CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin. Williams managed to watch part of his team's first game against Kansas City on his Sling box device in a cab enroute to the Cairo airport.
But the other ``baseball'' he saw was unexpected--an etching on a temple at least 4,000 years old in Aswan of a man with what appeared to be a ball and a bat.
``I kidded the guys that maybe Abner Doubleday wasn't the guy [who invented baseball],'' Williams said.

Would the White Sox have liked a shot at acquiring Ichiro Suzuki from Seattle?
It would seem so, based on the reaction of Sox general manager Ken Williams upon learning the New York Yankees apparently were about to acquire the veteran Mariners All-Star outfielder.
Williams expressed surprise when reports came out in late afternoon that the deal was pending or had been made. ``I don't believe it,'' he said, indicating Seattle had let it be known Suzuki, the veteran leadoff man and single season hits leader, was not available.
The Yankees acquired Suzuki late Monday for two minor league righthanded pitchers.

Tigers complete sweep of White Sox

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DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera hit two of the Tigers' four homers against White Sox starter Philip Humber, and Detroit held on for a 6-4 win to complete a series sweep at Comerica Park on Sunday afternoon.

Alex Rios and Kevin Youkilis homered for the Sox, who lost their fifth game in a row and finished with a 3-7 record on a road trip through Kansas City, Boston and Detroit. The Tigers, who lead the Sox by one and a half games in the American League Central, have won 13 of their last 15.

Humber (4-5) allowed six runs on seven hits in three innings.

Sox relief pitchers Hector Santiago (3 1/3 innings), Nate Jones (2/3 of an inning) and Donnie Veal (one inning) combined for five innings of hitless relief.

Tigers surge past White Sox into first place

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DETROIT -- Brennan Boesch hit a three-run homer against White Sox ace Chris Sale, and right-hander Rick Porcello held a slumping lineup to five singles in the Tigers' 7-1 victory that dropped the Sox out of first place in the American League Central.

Before the game, the Sox acquired veteran right-hander Brett Myers in a trade for two minor leaguers and a player to be named later, a move that should strengthen a bullpen that also welcomed the return of right-hander Jesse Crain from the disabled list.

Sale 911-3) gave up five runs on seven hits over a seven-inning, 90-pitch outing. All of Detroit's runs were scored with two outs.

The Sox' run came on a bloop single to right field by Dayan Viciedo. The Sox' other hits were also opposite-field singles by Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.

The Tigers have won 12 of 14 while the Sox have lost four straight and six of their last eight games. The fell out of first place for the first time since June 23.

Sale was 8-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his previous 10 starts. The five runs allowed matched his season high when he gave up five to the Dodgers in Los Angeles on June 15.

The Tigers tacked on two runs against Dylan Axelrod in the eighth inning. Austin Jackson, who hit a two-run double against Sale in the fifth to give Detroit a 2-1 lead, drove in two with a double against Axelrod.

Porcello (7-5) was replaced by Joaquin Benoit after giving up singles to Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza to start the ninth. Kevin Youkilis, who is hitless in his last 11 at-bats with five strikeouts, hit into a double play and Adam Dunn struck out to end the game.

White Sox acquire right-hander Brett Myers

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DETROIT - The White acquired right-handed pitcher Brett Myers and cash considerations from the Houston Astros on Saturday. The Sox gave up two prospects and a player to be named later.

The Sox gave up right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich, left-handed pitcher Blair Walters and a player to be named later.

Myers, 31, is 0-4 with a 3.52 ERA and 19 saves over 35 games this season with Houston. He ranks third in the National League in save percentage (90.5, 19-21) and is tied for sixth in saves.

White Sox general manager Ken Williams said that Myers was added for bullpen depth, not to close games despite his experience in the closer's role.

"He's going to join the bullpen. Ultimately the ninth inning is [manager] Robin Ventura's call,'' Williams said.

"I felt the men in that clubhouse deserved a little help. This is in no way anyone wavering on our confidence in Addison Reed. But it's got to the point where it's time to make a push.''


Myers' career record over 11 seasons with the Phillies and Astros is 94-89 with a 4.22 ERA and 40 saves over 342 career games. He has started 249 games.

Heidenreich is 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA over 18 starts with Class A Winston-Salem and Class AA Birmingham. He was an 11th-round draft pick in 2009.

Walters, is 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA over 18 starts with Class A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. He was an 11th-round pick in 2011.

White Sox' Dunn has bunt in the oven

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DETROIT -- Home-run hitter Adam Dunn showed bunt leading off the ninth against Jose Valverde on Friday with the Sox trailing by two runs.

It was the right place at the right time but it wasn't the right pitch from Valverde, who came in low and inside.

"It's the perfect spot, actually,'' the 6-6 Dunn said. "If the first pitch would have been a strike I would have.''

When the count got to 2-0, Dunn decided to take a pitch hoping to go 3-0.

"Then I got 2-1 and thought if I foul one off I'm 2-2 and that puts that [Valverde] split in play.''

"I told him he was chicken,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "He should try it, at least once. For me, there's nobody over there so he either pushes it foul or gets a hit. Even if he hits a home run it doesn't matter, we still have to get two.''

The shifts played against Dunn leave almost the entire left side undefended. Dunn has had more than a few hits taken away because of it.

"You don't get any hits on the ground no matter how hard you hit it,'' he said. "I don't think anybody really hits the ball on the ground the other way, unless you're weak.''

Dunn said the last time he bunted for a hit was when he was with the Washington Nationals in 2010.

Crain activated; Floyd set to start Monday

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DETROIT -- The White Sox bullpen received a significant boost on Saturday with the addition of right-hander Jesse Crain, who was activated from the disabled list.

The 31-year-old Crain has been on the DL since July 4 (retroactive to June 24) with a right posterior shoulder strain.

Manager Robin Ventura said that right-hander Gavin Floyd (elbow tendinits) will likely be actived in time to start against the Minnesota Twins on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Right-hander pitcher Brian Omogrosso was optioned to AAA Charlotte to make room for Crain, who is 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA over 22 2/3 innings. Crain also was on the disabled list from April 27-May 14 with a strained right oblique.

Omogrosso, 27, was 0-0 with a 4.26 in five appearances.

Tigers defeat White Sox 4-2

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DETROIT -- The Tigers answered Alejandro De Aza's two-run homer in the top of the third inning against Justin Verlander with three runs in the bottom of the frame, and Detroit held on for a 4-2 victory on Friday night.

Verlander was strong after the third. He allowed four hits and walked two while striking out six.

Jake Peavy allowed four runs over seven innings.

The Tigers cut the Sox lead in the American League Central to one half game.

White Sox' Floyd appears ready for Monday return

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DETROIT - Gavin Floyd's side session on Friday opened the door for the right-hander's return to the rotation Monday when the White Sox open a three-game series at home against the Minnesota Twins.

Floyd threw all of his pitches in a 40-50 pitch workout. Pitching coach Don Cooper described it as "a strong one.''

"He seems like he's ready to go,'' Cooper said.

Floyd went on the disabled list for the first time in his career with elbow tendinitis on July 17 retroactive to July 8.

"I think he's going to be OK because it went very well,'' Cooper said. "[Trainer] Herm [Schneider] and him took the time to work on it and he's feeling better. He looks good.''

If Floyd feels good Saturday, he'll likely get the go-ahead for Monday.

"Compared to the last time I was off the mound, it feels a ton better,'' Floyd said. "If I have to deal with whatever the mild soreness I do feel, I can do that as needed. Tendinitis takes time to get out of there. I felt 99 percent. So, I felt real good to be able to let it go and not feel or be apprehensive.

"I'm ready to go,'' Floyd said. "I'm ready to go whenever they put me out there.''

White Sox' Reed: "Quintana threw his butt off"

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BOSTON -- Cody Ross hit a three-run homer against White Sox closer Addison Reed with one out in the ninth inning to give the Red Sox a 3-1 victory on Thursday night.

Rookie Jose Quintana pitched eight scoreless innings and left with a 1-0 lead, turning it over to the Sox bullpen that failed him for the second time when he handed it a 1-0 lead in the ninth this season.

Quintana became the first pitcher since 1900 to record three scoreless outings of eight innings and not get a decision.
His three starts of eight scoreless innings or more this season are tied for the second most in baseball behind Felix Hernandez.

The last rookie to have at least three outings of eight scoreless innings or more was Justin Verlander in 2006; the last White Sox rookie was Britt Burns in 1980.

"It's unfortunate,'' Reed said. "[Quintana] threw his ass off and there's nothing else he could have done. He did everything. It sucks we didn't come out with a win."

Here's how it unraveled in the ninth: Carl Crawford singled to lead off against left-handed reliever Matt Thornton. Dustin Pedroia hit a potential double play ball to third baseman Eduardo Escobar, who hesitated briefly and was unable to start a double play. The Sox settled for a force out. After Adrian Gonzalez singled against Thornton, Ross delivered the homer against Reed.

Manager Robin Ventura considered starting Quintana in the ninth but the lefty had extended himself in the seventh and ninth innings, pitching out of trouble.

"You can go back out there with him, but you are eventually going to go to those [bullpen] guys anyway if he gets in trouble,'' Ventura said. "So you go to the guys who are fresh.''

The Dodgers game on June 17 in Los Angeles, which the Sox lost after Quintana was pulled leading 1-0, did cross Ventura's mind.

"Yeah, it is similar,'' he said. "But he did his job and he got out of some tough spots. So, that's my call to take him out and bring somebody else in.''

Quintana seemed to take the outcome in stride. He said he felt strong after eight but understands the manager's decisions.

"It happens. That's just the game of baseball,'' he said. "So, just go out there and play it.

"That's the manager's choice. It's one of those that this is going to happen. It won't be the first or the last time. It's just something that some days you have some good outings and some days you don't. You have to go out there and keep playing.''

Alex Rios scored Adam Dunn with a sacrifice fly in the fourth for the White Sox run.

Two nights after getting his first stolen base of the year, Dunn led off the fourth with his 74th walk of the season and motored to third on Paul Konerko's single to right in the fourth inning. He scored on Rios' sacrifice fly to right for a 1-0 White Sox lead.

Quintana allowed five hits and no walks while striking out two.

Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz allowed one run on six hits over eight innings, walking one and striking out six.

Youkilis not starting in series finale

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BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis will not be in the starting lineup Thursday night as the White Sox close out a four-game series at Fenway Park. Eduardo Escobar will play third and bat ninth.

Alexei Ramirez is batting second in Youkilis' usual spot.

Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana will start against Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz.

Youkilis has 18 RBI in 19 games since coming to the White Sox from Boston in a trade on June 24. It was not immediately known why Youkilis, who had been slowed by back problems earlier this season, is not starting.

Hernandez returns to AAA after Bosox rout White Sox

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BOSTON -- Left-hander Pedro Hernandez was roughed up for eight runs on 12 hits in his major-league debut, and the Boston Red Sox rolled to a 10-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday at Fenway Park.

Hernandez, the 10th pitcher to start a game for the Sox this season and the ninth rookie to pitch, was brought up from AAA Charlotte to fill a void in the starting rotation left by Gavin Floyd's move to the disabled list on Monday. In a move that was planned in advance, Hernandez was returned to Charlotte after the game to make room for left-handed reliever Donnie Veal, who has 19 games of major-league experience with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cody Ross hit two three-run homers against Hernandez, and Adrian Gonzalez added a solo shot after Ross' second blast. All three homers cleared the Green Monster in left field. Ross also doubled off the wall.

"Cody Ross had a big night there,'' White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "He got a couple pitches to hit and didn't miss them and two three-run homers is big. It went sideways quick, but their guy [Felix Doubrant] threw well. Even if they only might have scored three, four or five, he was pretty tough.''

The Sox were held to four hits.

"It wasn't a heartbreaker. It's just crumple it up, throw it out and see if we can get tomorrow's for the split,'' Konerko said.

The division-leading Sox (50-41) lost ground in the American League Central to the Detroit Tigers, whose victory against the Angels pulled them to within 2 1/2 games of the Sox. The fourth and final game of the series is Thursday night.

Konerko, playing in his 2,000th game in a White Sox uniform, singled in the Sox' run with an opposite field single in the first inning against Boston starter Felix Doubrant (10-4).

Konerko took some pride in the milestone.

"Definitely,'' he said. "That's not something you enjoy now. I certainly didn't enjoy that game too much. But I think in today's game, you don't see too many guys get to that mark with a team or even a 1,000 games because of the way guys move around with trades and free agency. So I'm definitely proud of that. It takes me wanting to be here and the team wanting me to be here too. It's definitely kind of cool and hopefully I've got a few more left in me.''

Hernandez, 23, was acquired along with pitching prospect Simon Castro from the Padres during the off-season in a trade for outfielder Carlos Quentin. He was 7-2 with a 2.90 ERA between AA Birmingham and Nashville.

"Yeah, early little shots were kind of getting through and then Ross got him twice,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "Other than that, he was throwing strikes like you want him to do. They just have a good hitting team.''

"I got to give [Ross] credit for being a good batter,'' Hernandez said. "It's one of those I felt like I threw him a good pitch, and that's what he did. Just one of those where he got it out of the park.

"It's a bittersweet experience. It's one of those where you come up here and really get to see the talent of the players. I was happy to be here, but by the same token, I'm sad I didn't help the team. So it's something you learn from and keep going from there."

Red Sox rout rookie Hernandez, White Sox

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BOSTON -- Left-hander Pedro Hernandez was roughed up for eight runs on 12 hits in his major-league debut, and the Boston Red Sox rolled to a 10-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday at Fenway Park.

Hernandez, the 10th pitcher to start a game for the Sox this season and the ninth rookie to pitch, was brought up from AAA Charlotte to fill a void in the starting rotation left by Gavin Floyd's move to the disabled list on Monday.

Cody Ross hit two three-run homers against Hernandez, and Adrian Gonzalez added a solo shot after Ross' second blast. All three homers cleared the Green Monster in left field.

The division-leading Sox (50-41) lost ground in the American League Central to the Detroit Tigers, whose victory against the Angels pulled them to within 2 1/2 games of the Sox.

Paul Konerko, playing in his 2,000th game in a White Sox uniform, singled in the Sox' run with an opposite field single in the first inning against Boston starter Felix Doubrant (10-4).

The White Sox were held to four hits. The fourth and final game of the series is Thursday night.

Hernandez, 23, was acquired along with pitching prospect Simon Castro from the Padres during the off-season in a trade for outfielder Carlos Quentin. He was 7-2 with a 2.90 ERA between AA Birmingham and Nashville.

Youkilis, Humber lead White Sox past Red Sox

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BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run homer, and Philip Humber gave up two runs over six innings in the White Sox' 7-5 victory against the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

Youkilis, returning to Boston for the White Sox' four-game series after his trade to Chicago on June 24, also walked and scored the Sox' first run.

Youkilis unloaded against Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester in the fourth inning with Dayan Viciedo and Gordon Beckham on second and third. It looked as though Lester was issuing a semi-intentional walk running the count to 3-0 with left-handed hitting Adam Dunn on deck, but he took it to 3-2 before Youkilis hit his fourth homer since the trade.

Humber (4-4) made his 13th start but his first since June 16, returning from a sting on the disabled list with a tender elbow. With John Danks on the DL and Gavin Floyd going there Tuesday with elbow tendinitis, Humber's encouraging return served as a shot in the arm for a rotation that welcomes yet another rookie (left-hander Pedro Hernandez) for a spot start Wednesday night.

After giving up two runs on three singles to Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez in the first, Humber settled into a good rhythm. He finished with five scoreless innings, allowing three hits in that span. He walked none and struck out three in a 104-pitch effort.

After White Sox rookie right-hander Brian Omogrosso pitched a perfect seventh, left-hander Matt Thornton gave up three runs in the eighth, two on Kelly Shoppach's pinch homer.

Addison Reed pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 17 opportunities. Alex Rios made a nice running catch in right center on Jacoby Ellsbury's liner to end the game.

Call-up Hernandez to start for White Sox Wednesday

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BOSTON -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura confirmed that left-hander Pedro Hernandez will start Wednesday night's game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Hernandez, acquired during the off-season along with Simon Castro in the trade for All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, will make be called up from AAA Charlotte to make his major-league debut.

Hernandez allowed five runs on 12 hits over 12 innings at Charlotte after going 7-2 with a 2.75 ERA at AA Birmingham.

The Sox will make a roster move before Wednesday's game. Hernandez will be the 10th rookie pitcher and 12th rookie overall on the 25-man roster.

"He and [Jose Quintana] were in the same role [during spring training],'' manager Robin Ventura said. "You kind of hope to catch lightning twice, really.''

Quintana will pitch Thursday in the finale of the four-game series. Jake Peavy (Friday), Chris Sale (Saturday) and Dylan Axelrod (Sunday) are lined up to face the Tigers in Detroit this weekend.


White Sox place Floyd on disabled list

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BOSTON -- The White Sox placed right-handed pitcher Gavin Floyd on the 15-day disabled listwith right elbow tendinitis on Tuesday.

Philip Humber, who starts tonight's game against the Red Sox, was reinstated from the DL.

It's Floyd's first trip to the disabled list in his 11-year professional career. The move is retroactive to July 8.

Floyd is 7-8 with a 4.54 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 17 starts. He is 3-1 with a 1.37 ERA over his last four starts. He wasn't overly concerned about the soreness on Monday, when he said he was hoping to avoid the DL.

"We are thankful it's nothing serious, but I want to get back out there,'' he said.

The soreness first occurred while he was throwing during the All-Star break.

"I took two days off and I threw, played catch. It was there,'' he said. "The next day I felt better, but the next day I threw a bullpen and it wasn't, I was a little concerned.''

White Sox' Humber returns to face Red Sox; Ortiz out

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BOSTON -- Philip Humber returns to the White Sox rotation tonight, and not a moment too soon.

The Sox rotation has been depleted by loss of John Danks with a shoulder injury, Humber's elbow flexor strain and -- the latest this week -- Gavin Floyd's elbow that could land him on the disabled list. Humber has been on the DL list since June 17.

"It's not fun being on the sidelines,'' Humber said. "I'm excited to get back. There's been a lot of hard work to get back and ready to help the team win.''

One Red Sox hitter Humber won't have to worry about is slugger David Ortiz, who appeared to strain his right Achilles rounding the bases on Adrian Gonzalez's home run on Monday night. Manager Bobby Valentine said Ortiz, who was scheduled for an MRI on Monday, could be out "a few days."

Humber's last rehab assignment, at AA Birmingham on Thursday, was crisp. He gave up two hits and no walks in six innings.

"In a rehab situation the main thing is to be healthy and build arm strength but at the same time it's nice to have a good performance, especially the last one to leave yourself with a nice taste in your mouth,'' Humber said. "Hopefully it's something to build off of coming back here.''

Humber hadn't pitched well since his perfect game in Seattle on April 21, posting a 7.47 ERA since then. His record is 3-4 with a 6.01 ERA. On some nights, the snap on his breaking pitches wasn't the same since the perfecto. A tender elbow/forearm area will cause that.

When Humber went down, the Sox were three games above .500. Today, they're nine over, and Humber is eager to be involved.

"It's been fun to watch but it's going to be more fun to be a part of,'' he said.

Thanks to Jose Quintana's performance in Danks' place, the Sox so far haven't lost ground. Another starter, Dylan Axelrod, has had strong outings in New York and Boston, including Monday night's gem (a no-decision in the Red Sox' 5-1 victory).

"Teams that go to the playoffs, it takes more than 25 guys,'' Humber said. "There are going to be bumps along the way when guys have to step up. The guys who've had the opportunities have done a great job. To see guys succeed, it's cool to watch. And young guys bring energy, too. They've not only kept us where we're at but moved us forward a little bit.''

Humber will be opposed by Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester.

The White Sox will send a pitcher to AAA Nashville before the game to make room for Humber.

Walks, Gonzalez home run doom White Sox, Septimo

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BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run, tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning against rookie left-hander Leyson Septimo, leading the Red Sox to a 5-1 victory against the White Sox on Monday night.

Dylan Axelrod pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball for the White Sox, striking out a career-high eight and walking none. Septimo walked Carl Crawford and David Ortiz to open the eighth before Gonzalez hit the home run.

Kevin Youkilis, playing his first game as a visitor at Fenway Park, had two doubles and a single and scored the White Sox only run.

Youkilis alertly manufactured the Sox' run in the first by going from first to third on Adam Dunn's grounder to the right side. Will Middlebrooks, playing in the shortstop area on the Dunn shift, lost a foot race to third with Youkilis, who came all the way around and scored on first baseman Gonzalez's errant throw across the infield.

White Sox hold on, defeat Royals

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chris Sale pitched eight more strong innings, and Adam Dunn homered for the third consecutive game in the series as the White Sox held on for a 2-1 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his 14th save after blowing a save opportunity in the Sox' 9-8 win over the Royals in 14 innings on Friday. Sale (11-2, 2.11) allowed 10 hits. He walked one and struck out four.

The Sox won their fourth straight series.

The Sox were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Youkilis issues 'no comment' on Valentine

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A day before he returns to Boston, White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis declined to comment about the latest jab from his former manager, Bobby Valentine.

Told that Valentine blamed him for his strained relationship with Youkilis before he was traded to the White Sox, Youkilis said, "I got nothing about any of that stuff. I'm over all the Boston thing of this year. There is a lot of great past history. But the focus is on the White Sox.''

Valentine on Sunday morning alluded to a comment he made on April 15, saying "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason."

On Sunday, Valentine said, "I think the comment I made early, he made a big issue out of, and I don't think he ever wanted to get over it.''

Youkilis was angered at the time by that comment and met with Valentine and Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington to discuss it.

A fan favorite in Red Sox nation, Youkilis wrote a letter thanking the fans of Boston for years of support. It was published Sunday on ESPN.com.

"You want to thank everyone, teammates and all the people who've helped me along the way,'' Youkilis said Sunday. "You just want to let the fans know they were great years.''

Floyd has MRI on elbow

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Right-hander Gavin Floyd is the latest White Sox pitcher to be set back by injury. Floyd went back to Chicago for an MRI, which showed no structural damage.

Manager Robin Ventura said Floyd has tendinitis in the right elbow/forearm area. He was scheduled to start Monday but is now tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, although that seems unlikely.

Dylan Axelrod will start Monday in Boston and Philip Humber will pitch Tuesday.

"Gavin was complaining about general soreness,'' Ventura said. "He got checked out OK and everything looks fine but he does have tendinitis.

"It shouldn't be a DL (disabled list) but you never know when he gets back to see how much soreness he has.''

Royals, Escobar turn back White Sox, Peavy

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alcides Escobar doubled his home run output for the season in one game against All-Star Jake Peavy, and the Kansas City Royals held on to defeat the White Sox 6-3 on Saturday night at Kaufman Stadium.

Escobar, who came into the game with two homers, hit a two-run shot to left field in the third inning to break a 1-1 tie and added a solo shot to left in the seventh to snap a 3-all tie.

White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn hit his 27th homer against Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar. Alejandro De Aza had an RBI double in the third and a triple in the fifth, and Dayan Viciedo hit an RBI triple in the sixth.

Trailing 4-3 and having thrown 111 pitches through seven innings, Peavy started the eighth and gave up consecutive singles to Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur to start the inning. Hector Santiago finished the inning, but not before Peavy was charged with three more runs.

In seven-plus innings, Peavy gave up six runs on a season-high 12 hits and one walk. He struck out five.

The Sox did not lose ground in the American League Central as the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians both lost. The Indians trail the first-place Sox by three games, the Tigers trail by three and a half.


White Sox' Rios focused on approach, not mechanics

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Rios is a standup guy.

After he and Adam Dunn struggled miserably last season, they arrived at spring training with no excuses, ready to work with new hitting coach Jeff Manto and get things fixed.

"They took responsibility,'' Manto said.

Rios, who ushered in the the second half with a 411-foot home run and a double to the wall in his first at-bats after the All-Star break in the White Sox' 14-inning, 9-8 win against the Royals on Friday night, is standing up at the plate, too. While much is made of Rios getting out of his crouch and switching to a more upright stance, he and Manto say Rios' turnaround stems from his approach, not his stance or mechanics.

"The more we talked about hitting, the more he evolved into what you're seeing today,'' Manto said. "It was never 'you should do this' or 'you should do that.' It was an evolution of discussions. Now where he's set up, it matches the approach that he has. For some time he had the right approach but not the right stance for what he wanted to do.

"He's such a good player, and he watches. He knows what he's doing. He knows exactly what his plan is and he sticks with it.''

Rios (13 homers, 50 RBI) is leading the American League in hitting since May 29. A former All-Star who had the numbers to be one this week but wasn't, batted .227 with 13 homers and 44 RBI last year. He struggled from beginning almost to the end.

"I knew something was wrong last year, but I was focusing on things that I didn't have to focus on,'' Rios said. "I put too much effort on things that I didn't have to, like mechanics. That was my whole fight.''

Rios was going so good before the break, he almost hated to see it come along. But he, like almost every other player, has minor aches (Rios has ongoing foot issues), so he welcomed the rest. He said he didn't look at the break as a pause. He called it a "continuation.''

"When you're going good your confidence level is high and when your confidence is high you'll have more success,'' Rios said. "First half, second half, I have to keep doing the same things I was doing. I see it as a continuation, not a pause.''

And Rios will continue to keep the mechanics of hitting simple. That approach is obviously working.

"To tell you the truth, I'm just focusing on my approach,'' Rios said. "I'm not looking at my mechanics. I don't even want to think about mechanics, or how I'm standing or anything. I don't want to get in that hole again.

"Just keeping it simple. Try to get good pitches to hit and stick with your plan at the plate. I don't want to change the plan after two pitches. See it through the whole at-bat, and whatever happens, happens.''

Another game-winner for Youkilis in White Sox marathon

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After 18 pitchers, 14 innings, almost five and a half hours, two renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and a 14-pitch plate appearance by Kevin Youkilis, the White Sox claimed a 9-8 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

Make that Saturday morning. That's when Youkilis hit a sacrifice fly to center field against lefthander Everett Teaford (1-3), the ninth pitcher used by the Royals, to score Gordon Beckham from third. Youkilis fouled off a long series of pitches to collect a game-winning RBI for the fifth time since joining the White Sox. The game ended after 12:30 a.m.

"He's done it before and you expect it,'' manager Robin Ventura said of Youkilis, who has five game-winning RBI in 14 games with the White Sox.

Dylan Axelrod (1-2), one of nine Sox pitchers and eight rookie pitchers used, worked the last two innings for the win. Tentatively scheduled to start against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, Axelrod may miss that start with Philip Humber pitching instead, Ventura said.

Eighteen pitchers were used in all, tying a Sox record.

Beckham's soft liner down the right-field line fell for a double and scored pinch runner Jordan Danks from second base in the top of the 12th to give the White Sox an 8-7 lead. The Royals tied it in the bottom of the inning on Alex Gordon's RBI groundout that scored Jeff Francouer, who led off the inning with a double against Sox closer Addison Reed.

"They battled back, we kept battling back,'' Beckham said. "It was a pretty unbelievable game. It was definitely a good win.''

The Sox (48-38) left 15 runners on base, the Royals (37-48) left 13.

"Both teams leaving 15 something on, it's crazy,'' Ventura said. "But guys were battling, so it's a nice win.''

In a drawn-out marathon that lasted five hours, 23 minutes, the Sox forced extra innings on A.J. Pierzynski's ninth-inning single that scored Youkilis from third. Right fielder Francouer prevented it from being a two-run single by throwing out pinch runner Orlando Hudson at home on a close play to keep the score tied. Pierzynski had a potential RBI taken away in the 13th when he hit a ground-rule double with Orlando Hudson on first. Hudson likely would have scored had the ball not bounced over the right-field fence.

"There were so many times when I felt that game was over,'' Beckham said. "You see situations playing out that are good or not good for us. It just kept going.''

Alcides Escobar's two-run triple off Nate Jones in the eighth gave the Royals a 7-6 lead.

The Sox looked like they would make quick work of the Royals when they handed standout rookie Jose Quintana a 3-0 lead in the first inning on 400-plus-foot homers by Adam Dunn -- his 26th -- and Alex Rios (13th). But Quintana, who entered with a 2.04 ERA, was not on top of his game. He gave up eight hits, including homers to Mike Moustakas and Francouer on 1-2 counts, and lasted five innings. Quintana left with a 6-5 lead thanks to a two-out, three-run homer by Dayan Viciedo off lefty starter Bruce Chen in the fifth.

Dunn led off the inning with a single and Pierzynski kept it going with a two-out single.

Beckham's two-out double, against Royals lefhander Tim Collins, was his first hit of the night. Danks was running for Viciedo, who walked.

Axelrod thought he might be needed as the game progressed.

"It was kind of going that way around the seventh inning,'' Axelrod said. "We had used quite a few guys already. Just like weird thoughts started entering my mind, like it might happen. And then once Hector went in, I asked [pitching coach Don Cooper], 'should I go down there? You think you guys are going to need me?' And he said, 'yeah. Go get your spikes and head down after the next half(inning).' So I did that. It's just how the game went, so I went down there."

The game reminded Axelrod of his college days Cal-Irvine in 2007.

"I actually played in the longest College World Series game in history,'' Axelrod said. "It went 14 innings and 5 ½ hours and it was the same situation. I pitched four innings and finished the game and I was like the last guy with no one else left. It was similar to that."

The Sox opened an important 10-game road trip that continues with four in Boston and concludes next weekend with three in Detroit. Manager Robin Ventura, a proponent all season of infield practice before each series, worked his team out hours before Friday's game to open the second half.

"They might have been sitting on a couch for a while,'' Ventura said.

"Four days is a long time and if you are not prepared to feel that same urgency of effort and everything else, then you kind of start going in the wrong direction. It's more about getting out here and making sure the mindset is right and then just play.''


Ventura on Danks: "You have to prepare for the worst"

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's getting to the point where manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper must be wondering if John Danks will pitch again this season.

"I hope so,'' Ventura said before the White Sox opened the unofficial second half against the Royals on Friday night, "but we've had to think of anything. Right now the way I look at it, I hope he's coming back but you have to prepare for the worst. And keep going. I'm hoping I'm wrong.''

Danks, the team's Opening Day starter who signed a five-year, $65 million extension last off-season, is with the team on the road trip, continuing with the treatment he took through the All-Star break for his left shoulder. He said he's "losing his mind" from the boredom of not pitching, and that he doesn't fault Cooper for saying he's "not on the radar" right now.

On the positive side Danks said his shoulder "is progressing. Everything looks like it's healing the way we want it to, just not as quick as we wanted it to or thought it would. We have to deal with it.''

Cooper said he didn't mean to be harsh. He was only matter-of-factly saying his plate is full with the 12 pitchers on the roster to take care of.

"That's the first I've heard that to be honest with you,'' Danks said. "But I can't fault him for that. I'm not even going on a rehab assignment just yet. So I don't, it doesn't bother me that he said that. That's where we are at right now. We don't know. We all expected to be back well before today, so it is what it is. We are doing everything we know to do to get back. It's just we are at the mercy of my shoulder like we've been saying this whole time.''

Danks (3-4, 5.70) hasn't pitched since facing the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 19. Jose Quintana's emergence in his absence has helped keep the team in first place in the AL Central.

"At least there's something to look forward to when you come to the ballpark every day,'' he said. "For me personally, it has been a long boring, I'm losing my mind. I really am. I want to be out there. I think you guys know that. I'm not enjoying this, but it is what it is. It's part of the game and I have to deal with it.

"Everything is good. It is progressing. Everything looks like it's healing the way we want it to, just not as quick as we wanted it to or thought it would. We have to deal with it.''

Asked if would do anything different in hindsight -- perhaps backing off when he was pitching through soreness -- Danks said, "Everybody does that.''

"I've done that every year I've been here. There are times where you would like to admit that you don't feel great going into a game. But everybody has dealt with that. There wasn't anything I was doing out of the ordinary that led up to the injury. It was, it just happened. I don't even know a specific pitch. It was just the next day. It just felt bad.

"But no, there's no regrets. Anything before I got hurt or even while I've been hurt, this is so new to me, I'm just kind of trusting everyone that has been through it. I personally don't have any regrets at all. I'd do it again tomorrow. I'd go out there and push myself again and I have full belief like the other umpteen times I've done it, it will be fine. For whatever reason, this time it wasn't ok. Nobody is going to feel great going into every start. That's just how it works.''

White Sox recall Marinez from AAA Charlotte

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One of the players obtained as compensation from the Miami Marlins for manager Ozzie Guillen will be wearing a White Sox uniform on Friday night.

Right-hander Jhan Marinez, who has pitched 13 consecutive scoreless innings over his last six outings at AAA Charlotte, was recalled before the Sox opened a three-game series against the Royals.

Marinez takes the roster spot of right-hander Deunte Heath, who was optioned to Charlotte on Sunday.

Marinez, 23, is 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 26 relief appearances with Charlotte. His .182 opponents batting average ranks third in the International Leage.

Marinez was acquired on September 29, 2011 as part of the compensation for the Marlins agreeing to terms with Guillen.

Marinez wear uniform No. 57. He's is 11th rookie to appear on the 25-man roster this season, and the ninth pitcher. The Sox will likely make another roster move when right-hander Philip Humber comes off the disabled list, possibly on Tuesday.

Humber ready for return to White Sox; Danks not close

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Philip Humber is ready to rejoin the White Sox rotation.

The right-hander pitched six strong innings for AA Birmingham on Thursday night in his third rehab start since going on the disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain. On four days rest, he could pitch for the Sox against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.

Humber allowed two hits and retired the final 16 batters he faced in his six-inning outing against Tennessee. He struck out five and walked none.

The AL Central-leading Sox will open a tough 10-game road trip with a three-game series in Kansas City on Friday with rookie lethander Jose Quintana on the mound. Jake Peavy is scheduled to pitch Saturday, followed by Chris Sale on Sunday. Gavin Floyd will start the opener of a four-game series in Boston on Monday night.

Quintana (4-1, 2.04) has been outstanding filling in for Opening Day starter John Danks, who hasn't pitched since late May because of a sore shoulder and isn't expected back any time soon.

"John is not feeling so hot, his shoulder is not feeling so good, we've made minimal progress with it and from my standpoint -- I don't mean this fully, I love John -- he's not on my radar right now," pitching coach Don Cooper told WSCR-AM 670 on Thursday. "I mean, we've got 12 other guys that force your attention and until John gets close and John gets going, he's kind of out of my mind and I don't mean that in a bad way."

Two weeks ago, Cooper said he was hoping for Danks to return by the third week of July. But that's not going to happen.

"We would love to have John back, but that doesn't look like that's happening in the next two-to-three weeks at least, so we got our hands full and we got a job ahead of us with what we've got going on," Cooper said.

When Humber returns, rookie Dylan Axelrod will likely return to the bullpen. The Sox have an open roster spot after sending rookie right-hander Deunte Heath back to AAA Charlotte.

Humber's rehab start postponed

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Philip Humber's scheduled minor-league rehab start for the Class AA Birmingham Barons on Wednesday was postponed by rain.

If Humber pitches in Thursday's rescheduled doubleheader, he would have four days rest before a possible start for the White Sox against the Red Sox in Boston on Tuesday night.

Humber, who is 3-4 with a 6.01 ERA, has made two minor-league starts while recovering from a right elbow flexor strain.

The Sox resume play after the All-Star break with a three-game series starting Friday in Kansas City.

White Sox' Youkilis named Player of Week

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White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who batted .478 with three homers and 10 RBI in his last six games, was named American League Player of the Week on Monday.

Youkilis, 33, was 11-for-23 (.478) with seven runs scored, a .571 on-base percentage and .913 slugging percentage as the White Sox went 5-1 on a homestand against the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.

Youkilis, 33, hit safely and had an RBI in each game last week, including game-winners in each of the Rangers games and on Saturday against the Blue Jays.

Youkilis is batting .347 (17-49) with three homers and 14 RBI in 13 games with the Sox, who acquired him from the Boston Red Sox with cash on June 24 for infielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart.

White Sox set rotation for Kansas City

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Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana will pitch for the White Sox when they open their weekend series on Friday in Kansas City. Quintana will be followed by Jake Peavy on Saturday and Chris Sale on Sunday.

The Sox (47-38) come out of the All-Star break that extends through Thursday leading the Cleveland Indians by 3 games and the Detroit Tigers by 3 1/2 in the American League Central. After sweeping a three-game series from two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers, the Sox won two of three games against the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend.

The Sox open a 10-game road trip in Kansas City against the Royals after the break, followed by four games against the Boston Red Sox and three against the Tigers. Gavin Floyd will likely start the first game of the Red Sox series on July 16, a game that will also mark the return to Fenway Park of White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Sale, who is expected to pitch an inning in the All-Star Game in Kansas City on Tuesday, was skipped over his last start to extend his rest period going into the second half. Sale, a starting pitcher for the first time in his young career, would have 11 days between starts. Quintana and Peavy will each have seven days rest, although Peavy might pitch in the All-Star Game. He was added to the team on Sunday to replace C.J. Wilson.

By holding Sale till Sunday, the rotation sets up for Sale to face the Tigers in the series opener against Justin Verlander on July 20. Sale would be followed by Floyd and the fifth starter, possibly Philip Humber if he comes off the disabled list as expected.

ROBIN FLIES AWAY

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura planned to leave soon after Sunday's game for his California home and the four-day All-Star break. He leaves with a positive feeling about his first months as a major league manager.
``You're happy with it,'' he said of the first place White Sox. ``The effort the guys bring every day, the young guys and what they've brought--it's not always a negative to bring in young guys who infuse energy for the veterans.''
Ventura always defects credit for the team's first-half performance, saying his coaching staff--Mark Parent, Joe McEwing, Jeff Manto, Don Cooper, Harold Baines and Juan Nieves--have been keys.
Asked what his toughest decisions of the first half were, he cited pitching changes--but not just for taking someone out.
``That's always the hardest because you never know what the effect is on the guy when you take him out or leave him in. That's part of the story.''

WHO'S LEFT
Adam Dunn hits only .158 against lefthanders and has 52 strikeouts in 95 at-bats.
But he also has hit seven homers against lefties, which matters to manager Robin Ventura.
``Every time I thought about sitting him, he hit a home run--and he told me that, too,'' Ventura said. ``He walks [16 vs. lefties]. It's not the proto-type for a three-hole hitter, but he does a lot of stuff that's good for us.''
With the addition of Kevin Youkilis, Ventura said he might be more likely to rest Dunn against lefties. Youkilis can play first and Eduardo Escobar third, with Paul Konerko as DH.

HUMBER IMPROVING
Philip Humber returned to the team Saturday after pitching Friday night for Class AAA Charlotte. ``My arm feels great. My fastball command was pretty much where I wanted it to be and I threw sliders for the first time,'' he said. ``I feel like I'm healthy. I don't know what the schedule is going to be now with the All-Star break.''
Ventura said Humber (right elbow flexor strain) probably would make one more rehab start.

NOTES
Orlando Hudson started at second Saturday giving Gordon Beckham a day off.
``I don't necessarily want [Hudson] to sit for three weeks,'' Ventura said. ``It's not easy for a guy who has played every day to be able to accept [a bench role] and actually do it and feel comfortable at it. I went through it. It's still a process for Orlando.''
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White Sox lefty Chris Sale won't start Tuesday's All-Star Game in Kansas City, the decision coming from the White Sox who want to limit Sale's work to one inning--and probably avoid the added publicity work that goes with the starting assignment.
``Darn,'' Sale said with a smile Saturday. ``I mean, it would be something that would be great, but at the same time, I'm not going to sit here and complain about still being a part of the All Star Game but not starting it. It's still an honor to be there.''
The 23-year-old left hander has the second-best ERA in the American League (2.19) and a record of 10-2 in his first season as a starter. He will join Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn at the mid-summer classic.
``It doesn't matter if it's the beginning, the end or somewhere in between,'' he said of his All-Star appearance. ``I'm just excited to be there.'
He admitted the talk of him starting the game had him thinking about the honor.
``It's something that crossed my mind and I thought about a little bit. But at the end of the day, it's just about being a part of the whole process and just having the opportunity to pitch in an All Star Game is enough for me, to be honest.''
Sale will be among the youngest players, and he admitted there will be an element of awe playing beside the game's best.
``You look at the names that are in that clubhouse and I'm going to feel out of place, for sure. Just going in and seeing some of those guys and seeing what they have done and the careers they have put together.
``Not only that, the professionalism that comes with those guys. It will be awing, but I'll try to handle it as best I can and have fun.''
Sale said he's looking forward to watching the Home Run Derby in person.
``That's always been one of my favorite things to watch. I do it every year. It's fun watching guys hitting balls for miles--and not looking back [from the mound.] I can look forward and think `man, that was cool.' ''


Baseball players may not have the reputation of being the most conditioned athletes, but White Sox conditioning director Allen Thomas would beg to differ.
It's because the players are well-conditioned they are able to endure playing in the extreme temperatures in Chicago this week, and in other places during the summer.
``They're used to it. They're conditioned to it,'' he said.
They also pay attention to the training and conditioning staff.
``We tell them `hydrate. Hydrate,'' Thomas said. ``They listen.''
A player like catcher Tyler Flowers lost 15 pounds of water weight playing in Thursday's day game when temperatures touched 102 at U.S. Cellular Field. ``But he probably drank 20 pounds of liquid to replace it,'' Thomas said.
``Herm [trainer Herm Schneider] does a good job of taking care of them, but that's a daily thing,'' Thomas said.
Replacing sodium, potassium and electrolytes that are sweated away is the primary concern, and players will drink great amounts of drink supplements. The Sox also for years have used a beverage development by NASA called appropriately ``The Right Stuff,''
``It was developed because dehydration was one of the first problems for astronauts in space,'' Thomas said.
``But the best thing is still water,'' he said.

White Sox claim lefthander Moskos off waivers

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The White Sox claimed left-hander Daniel Moskos, a former first-round draft pick, off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. Moskos, 26, was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte.

Moskos was 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA over 31 appearances with Pittsburgh last season, his first in the major leagues. He appeared in 14 games with AAA Indianapolis this season, going 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA. He spent a good portion of May on the disabled list. He was designated for assignment on June 26.

Moskos, the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft, was 23-26 with a 4.39 ERA in 169 games over six minor league seasons.

The Sox' 40-man roster stands at 39.

Darvish edges out Peavy for All-Star spot

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White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy finished second to the Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish in the Final Vote for a spot on the American League All-Star team that ended at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Darvish and Cardinals third baseman David Freese are both going to their first All-Star Game, thanks to the fan balloting.

"We knew we had a tough fight ahead of us but I just can't thank the White Sox, friends, family, the fans,'' said Peavy, who has a 2.96 ERA. "The support was overwhelming. It was humbling. It was incredible. We had so much fun with it.''

White Sox sweep Rangers

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Jose Quintana pitched eight innings of two-hit ball, and Kevin Youkilis broke a tie with a home run to give the White Sox a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday afternoon.

The Sox (45-37) completed a three-game sweep in a series matching division leaders.

With a thunderstorm refreshing a crowd that had baked in 100-degree heat, Addison Reed pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

The Sox have won nine of their last 12. Quintana struck out a season and career-high eight while walking one.

Youkilis single in 10th lifts White Sox past Rangers

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Kevin Youkilis singled in Alejandro De Aza with the winning run in the 10th inning on Wednesday night, giving the White Sox a 5-4 victory against the Texas Rangers in a matchup of first-place teams at U.S. Cellular Field.

De Aza walked against Mike Adams and stole second base, setting up Youkilis' heroics. Youkilis also had a strong game in the field at third base.

The Sox scored four in the second, highlighted by Alexei Ramirez's two-run singled that pushed across Alex Rios (double) and A.J. Pierzynski (hit by pitch), who was safe on right fielder David Murphy's throw when he crashed into and through catcher Mike Napoli to reach home plate.

Gordon Beckham followed by driving in Ramirez with a double to give the Sox a 4-3 lead.

Kevin Youkilis had his second good night in a Sox home uniform, making two exceptional plays at third base behind Axelrod in the fifth. Youkilis singled in the fifth and was intentionally walked by lefty Robbie Ross with Ramirez on second and Dunn up, a strategy that worked as Dunn was called out on strikes.

Sox starter Dylan Axelrod gave up three runs in the first after retiring the first two batters. Four consecutive hits, including a two-run double by Michael Young, put the Sox in a 3-0. After the Sox scored four in an entertaining half of the third to give him the lead, Axelrod allowed a homer to Josh Hamilton on an 0-2 pitch.

Axelrod finished well, exiting after 5 2/3 innings and the score tied at 4.

It was the Sox' second win against the Rangers in two nights.

Leyson Septimo, Nate Jones, Matt Thornton and Addison Reed were not scored on in relief.

White Sox rookie count at 10 with callup of Heath

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The White Sox rookie count on the 25-man roster now stands at 10, including eight pitchers. The latest to join the team is right-hander Deunte Heath, who arrived Wednesday to replace veteran Jesse Crain.

Crain went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 24 with a right posterior shoulder strain.

Heath, 26, is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA over 42 1/3 innings with one save and 46 strikeouts in 22 games. Three of his games were starts, including the last two outings in which he threw four innings. That would make him a candidate to start Sunday's game, the Sox' last before the All-Star break.

Heath will wear uniform No. 60. He has no major-league experience.

Crain is 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA. He was on the disabled list from April 27-May 14 with a strained right oblique.

White Sox rout Rangers, 19-2

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Chris Sale, making his final start before his next expected pitching appearance -- at the All-Star Game next Tuesday in Kansas City -- allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings on Tuesday night. Sale improved to 10-2 and lowered his ERA to a glossy 2.19 going into the midsummer classic.

Sale's latest stellar start in a 19-2 Sox victory was overshadowed by a White Sox offense that pounded out 21 hits against Rangers starter Roy Oswalt and the Texas bullpen, including home runs by Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski. Youkilis drove in four runs, and Rios and Pierzynski had three RBI each. Youkilis, Rios, Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez had three hits apiece.

Youkilis, Dunn (25th) and Rios (11th) hit their homers in a four-run first.

It was the first game of a three-game series between division leaders.

White Sox score 16 runs in first five innings

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The White Sox needed only five innings to put their biggest hit ever on the Texas Rangers.

In a battle of division leaders, the Sox erupted for nine runs in the fifth inning to take a 16-0 lead. A.J. Pierzynski's three-run homer and Alex Rios' two-run double highlighted the fifth.

The Sox hit three home runs against Roy Oswalt in the first inning, including a two-run shot by Kevin Youkilis in his first at-bat as a White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Adam Dunn followed with his 25th homer and after Paul Konerko flied to the warning track in center, Rios hit his 11th.

Pierzynski's blast was a welcome sight for those among a big crowd on hand who felt the Sox catcher was slighted by Rangers manager Ron Washington, who chose the Twins' Joe Mauer over him for a spot on the All-Star team.

Pierzynski, who doubled in the first, took a curtain call outside the dugout.

Youkilis: 'Didn't realize White Sox 2nd fiddle to Cubs'

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New guy in town Kevin Youkilis brought up a sore subject with White Sox fans before his first home game as a White Sox on Tuesday: the notion -- or fact -- that Chicago is a Cubs town.

Talking in the Sox dugout before Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers, Youkilis noticed the large media group surrounding him. His first seven games for the Sox were played on the road, where Chicago media was limited to four beat writers and a local TV crew or two.

"I was making a comment, 'There's no media here [on the road],' '' he said. "Well, to my shock there was a lot more today. It's definitely fun and it's kind of cool, too. I didn't realize till now that you're second fiddle to the Cubs so there's not as much news. I kind of knew it but I figured this team's in first place, their team's in last place, I thought we'd get a lot more publicity. But I've been in a place [Boston] where there was way too much so I'd rather be under the radar right now.''

Youkilis homered in his first at-bat Tuesday, a two-run shot in the first inning. He hadn't performed up to expectations, but he has had consistently competitive at-bats. He was 1-for-14 in the Sox series against the Yankees in New York, and he took a .231 average into Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers. The Sox have welcomed his veteran presence and patient approach at the plate.

He said he's glad to be here after the trade from Boston on June 24.

"It's great. I'm excited to be here in the city of Chicago,'' he said. "It's not new territory for me playing here, being here a lot of years playing here.

"Excited to be in first place. I think that's the coolest thing about coming over here.''

Youkilis has fit in well in the clubhouse. He said he enjoys the company of the Sox veterans.

"We have a lot of great guys on this team that love playing the game of baseball. That's the key,'' he said. "You've got to love this game because we're right at the halfway mark. We've got half a season left. When you get to 80 games it almost feels like a full season so we've just got to enjoy it and have fun. I think it'll be a good thing for the city of Chicago if we can do that.''

"If I can take any kind of little tips or pointers from Paulie [Konerko] on hitting that'd be awesome. He's phenomenal at what he does and is a great guy. It's been fun just getting to know him and a bunch of these guys.''

Sale skipping Sunday start with AS Game, 2nd half in mind

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Chris Sale's next appearance after facing the Texas Rangers tonight will probably be in the All-Star Game.

Sale's scheduled turn in the rotation on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays will be skipped as the White Sox follow through on their plan to keep him fresh through his first season as a starter.

"Whether I want to see it or not, it's going to happen,'' Sox general manager Ken Williams said of Sale pitching in Kansas City on July 10.

Sale was named to the All-Star team on Sunday. The Sox are playing Sunday's starter by ear, manager Robin Ventura said. They could make a callup, or, depending on who's fresh with a four-day break following Sunday, use several pitchers.

Sale takes a 9-2 record and 2.27 ERA into Tuesday's game against the Rangers' deep lineup. As for starting the midsummer classic, that won't happen if Williams can help it. Detroit's Justin Verlander is a logical choice, anyway.

"That's something I don't foresee happening,'' Williams said. "So on the front side and back side of [the All-Star Game] he's going to get his rest and catch his third wind and hopefully finish strong.''

White Sox, Cardinals join forces for Peavy, Freese

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From White Sox Media Relations

The White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they are joining forces to urge fans to vote for Jake Peavy and David Freese for the All-Star Game in Kansas City. Both players are on the ballot for the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote sponsored by Firestone underway through Thursday at 3PM.

"We are proud to join forces to urge our fans to vote to send Jake Peavy and David Freese to the 83rd All-Star Game," said Jerry Reinsdorf, Chairman of the White Sox and William DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals in a joint statement announcing the Red, White & You! '12 campaign alliance.

As part of the Final Vote, fans can vote to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the next few days and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 5th. Now in its eight year, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phones.

The alliance is the first for the two clubs who share some of the same geography, and whose fans have some common interests. The unusual baseball alliance captured the attention of the governors of Missouri and Illinois, who are both big baseball fans. Each offered candidate endorsements tailored to walk the diplomatic fine line.

"Jake Peavy is one of the elite pitchers in the game," said Pat Quinn, the Governor of Illinois, "the American League needs to take Jake to Kansas City to battle a formidable National League team."

"David Freese is a Missouri native and hometown hero who belongs at the All-Star Game in Kansas City," said Jay Nixon, the Governor of Missouri. "I urge fans to vote for David Freese Please."

Fans can still vote online at either the White Sox web site (whitesox.com), the Cardinals web site (cardinals.com), or by texting A5 for Jake Peavy to 89269 and N2 for David Freese and until 3:00 p.m. CST Thursday, July 5.

Vote to #TAKEJAKE, get access to White Sox tix, prizes

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White Sox Media Relations

The White Sox are offering fans an opportunity to win prizes if they join the #TakeJake campaign and vote for Jake Peavy in the 2012 MLB Final Vote, sponsored by Firestone.

Everyone who votes, or has voted for Peavy, will automatically be entered into the 2012 Vote Jake Peavy All-Star Game Final Vote Sweepstakes. Five lucky winners will receive a Jake Peavy autographed prize pack and an additional five winners will receive four game tickets and a parking pass to a White Sox home game. The autographed pack includes a jersey, hat and ball, while the tickets are good for any remaining regular season home game.

Everyone who votes, or has voted for Peavy also will receive a code for a special ticket offer to two upcoming White Sox home games. The special offer applies to the Sunday, August 5 game vs. the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Wednesday, August 8 game vs. Kansas City. Lower Reserved and Upper Box seats will be discounted 44 percent (in honor of Peavy's uniform no.) to $23 and $14 for the August 5 game, and $21 and $12 for the August 5 game.

Fans can vote for Peavy online at whitesox.com and mlb.com/vote or by texting A5 to 89269. The 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote ends at 3:00 p.m. CT Thursday, with the results to be announced later that day on mlb.com.

White Sox lose, settle for split with Yankees

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NEW YORK -- Home runs by Robinson Cano and Eric Chavez against Gavin Floyd were more than the White Sox could overcome on Sunday. The two-run shots accounted for all of the Yankees runs in a 4-2 victory.

The Sox (42-37) settled for a series split after winning the first two games at Yankee Stadium on Thursday and Friday. They completed their road trip that started in Minnesota with a 4-3 record.

The Sox offense went silent against Phil Hughes (9-6) after Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rios hit RBI singles in the first. Chavez and Cano halted Gavin Floyd's mini-streak of two superb starts with their two-run homers in the second and third innings.

After Rios' double in the third, 19 of the final 21 Sox hitters were retired by Yankees pitching.

White Sox' Peavy a Final Vote candidate

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NEW YORK -- White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy is a Final Vote candidate for the All-Star Game.

The vote gives fans the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. The balloting has begun and continues through Thursday at 3 p.m. Central time.

The American League candidates are all pitchers: Peavy, Kansas City's Jonathan Broxton, Texas' Yu Darvish, Baltimore's Jason Hammel, and Los Angeles Angels' Ernesto Frier.

Peavy is 6-5 with a 2.96 ERA.

Chris Sale an All-Star

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NEW YORK -- White Sox lefty Chris Sale was named to the American League All-Star team on Sunday.

Sale, who is 9-2 with a 2.27 ERA in his first season as a starting pitcher, was named for the first time.
Sale, a 23-year-old left-hander, responded with handshakes and hugs from teammates with an ear-to-ear smile.

The naming of the AL team is in progress.

White Sox Sale, Konerko, Dunn named to All-Star team

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NEW YORK -- White Sox Chris Sale, Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn were named to the American League All-Star team on Sunday.

Sale, who is 9-2 with a 2.27 ERA in his first season as a starting pitcher, was named for the first time. Konerko is a six-time All-Star first baseman and Dunn, the Sox' designated hitter who has bounced back from his worst season, is a two-time All-Star. Dunn made the National League team with the Cincinnati Reds in 2002.

Pitcher Jake Peavy may have a chance to make the team as a Final Vote candidate.

Konerko, 36, is batting .336 with 14 homers and 45 RBI. He ranks second in the AL in average and on-base percentage (.413). Dunn, 32, is batting .213 with 24 homers and 58 RBI. He ranks third in the AL in homers and fourth in RBI. He leads the league with 64 walks.

Dunn is an early candidate for the Comeback Player of the Year award. He batted .159 with 11 home runs last season. He is tied with Johnny Bench for 56th place all-time with 389 home runs.

Sale, a 23-year-old left-hander, responded with handshakes and hugs from teammates with an ear-to-ear smile.

"It's awesome,'' he said. "It's something I've honestly thought about for a long time since I was a kid, playing baseball, being a fan of baseball. I was kind of speechless. They told me. It was just crazy.''

Sale is 6-0 with a 1.73 ERA over his last six starts. He leads the AL in ERA and is second with a 0.97 WHIP (walks and hits to innings pitched) and opponents batting average (.198).


Danks returns to Chicago for more tests

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NEW YORK -- Left-hander John Danks left the team and returned to Chicago for further tests on his ailing left shoulder.

Danks, who is on the disabled list, will undergo a diagnostic ultrasound and is expected to return to his normal program on Tuesday.

"We want to get him healthy first and it keeps lingering and lingering and you can't look at him as we're counting on him on this [particular] date,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "Every time we've done that, it's been pushed back. Just get him healthy and [Jose Quintana] just stays in that spot."

Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana (3-1, 2.19 ERA) has been more than an adequate replacement in the rotation for Danks, who signed a five-year, $65 million contract extension during the off-season.

"We're fortunate ... with what Q has done,'' Ventura said.

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