Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

August 2012 Archives

Tigers defeat White Sox in series opener

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DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera had three hits including a two-run homer, Delmon Young broke a 4-all tie with a three-run double against reliever Matt Thornton, and the Detroit Tigers defeated the White Sox 7-4 in the opener of an important three-game series on Friday night.

The Sox had five hits against five Tigers pitchers, including a home run and double by A.J. Pierzynski, and couldn't take advantage of five walks and two hit batsmen. Going into the game with a major-league leading .291 batting average with runners in scoring position, the Sox went 0-for-12 in those situations. The Sox left 12 runners on base.

Here are the opportunities that came and went:
Runners at first and second with one out in the first inning -- no runs.
Bases loaded with no outs after one run scored during the third -- no more runs.
First and second after a pair of two-out walks in the fifth -- no runs.
Runner at third with one out in seventh -- no runs.

Sore-ankled third baseman Miguel Cabrera made two errors and second baseman Omar Infante had a shaky defensive game. That, in addition to the walks, opened the door for the Sox, but all they could muster besides Pierzynski's extra-base hits were infield singles by Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez and a line single by Adam Dunn.

Jake Peavy (9-10) gave up a two-run homer to Cabrera and a solo shot to Jhonny Peralta among nine hits allowed in six-plus innings, leaving after he walked Andy Dirks and gave up a line single by Cabrera and the score tied 4-4.

Enter left-hander Matt Thornton, who, pitching for the first time in seven days, hit Prince Fielder with a pitch to load the bases for Delmon Young. Fielder was upset about getting hit, which didn't make much sense since it loaded the bases for right-handed hitting Delmon Young - who lined a three-run double to left-center to give the Tigers a three-run lead.

The loss, the Sox' fourth in their last five games, trimmed their lead in the AL Central to two games. They face pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander on Saturday and Sunday as the Tigers look for the sweep that would put them in a first-place tie.

Manto: White Sox' Ramirez becoming a better hitter

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DETROIT -- One of the White Sox' biggest who'd-a-thunk-it stats is Alexei Ramirez's 62 RBI, only because he had two more than cleanup man Paul Konerko going into Friday's game against the Detroit Tigers. Ramirez has been steady with 77, 68, 70 and 70 RBI in his four seasons on the South Side.

Hitting coach Jeff Manto said Ramirez is becoming a better hitter, though.

"Lately he doesn't give bats away,'' Manto said. "He'll take a swing that's out of sorts and next thing he has a double. He's shrunk down his swing a whole bunch. He's not swinging for a home run. He's accepting the single.''

After hitting 21, 15, 18 and 15 homers, Ramirez has eight with a month left.

"That's OK,'' Manto said. "His home runs are down, his RBI are up. He's learning how to hit without the power, which is good. Taking the ball the other way, pulling when you have something to pull and knowing how to hit in the count. Early in the season he was just trying to hit home runs. Now that he's shut his swing down and moving the ball over the field, he knows he doesn't have to drive the ball. We have guys that do that.''

Manto said it takes a "knack" and "a special person" to drive in runs. His only explanation for Konerko having 60 is Adam Dunn, who had 38 home runs and 88 RBI batting in front of him.

"Dunner is driving in so many runs that Paulie is coming up with nobody on,'' Manto said.

#GetUrBlackOn

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A lot of people have been asking about the #GetUrBlackOn shirts. Here is a release from Jake Peavy's foundation:

From the Jake Peavy Foundation

#GetUrBlackOn is a rally call meant to unite and excite all White Sox fans to support the team, have fun and help a number of charities.

Jake and Adam have introduced a #GetUrBlackOn t-shirt that is available at www.JakePeavy44.com and at the Grandstand Store near the ballpark. Each week Jakes posts a picture on twitter of a teammate or coach wearing a #GetUrBlackOn shirt. The first picture was of Adam Dunn, followed by Kevin Youkilis and manager Robin Ventura.

All proceeds go to charity.

White Sox offering ticket specials for Twins, Royals, Tigers

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From White Sox Media Relations

The White Sox are offering fans several ticket specials for the next homestand at U.S. Cellular Field with games vs. Minnesota (September 3-5), Kansas City (September 7-9) and Detroit (September 10-13), as the team enters the final stretch of the 2012 regular season.

The next White Sox homestand includes two Value Mondays (September 3 vs. Minnesota and September 10 vs. Detroit) with tickets as low as $7 in the upper deck and lower level tickets starting at $17.

The remainder of the Minnesota series features lower reserved seats as low as $20 per ticket and tickets in the upper reserved as low as $9. The upper reserved ticket offer ($9/ticket) will be available for eight of 10 games on the homestand (with the exception of the two Value Mondays).

Additionally, lower reserved seats for the Minnesota and Detroit series are available for as low as $18, when fans purchase tickets for more than one game in either series (excludes Value Mondays). For more information on the offer visit whitesox.com/soxsave.

Tickets to all 10 games of the homestand are available online at whitesox.com and at the U.S. Cellular Field ticket office.

Orioles take 3 of 4 from White Sox

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BALTIMORE -- Taylor Teagarden and Adam Jones homered in a four-run fourth inning against rookie left-hander Jose Quintana, lefty Zach Britton kept the Sox bats in check, and the Orioles defeated the Sox 5-3 on Thursday afternoon.

Quintana allowed five runs on seven hits over 3 1/3 innings. The Sox bullpen held the Orioles to one hit after Quintana left, and the Sox made it interesting for a moment in the ninth after Alexei Ramirez drove in two runs with a single against Orioles closer Jim Johnson.

Johnson struck out Gordon Beckham to end the game.

Ramirez has 62 RBI, two more than Sox cleanup man Paul Konerko.

The Orioles won three of four games against the Sox, who open a three-game series against the Detrot Tigers in Detroit on Friday night.

Britton improved to 4-1.

Lopez gets two hits in White Sox debut

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BALTIMORE -- Veteran Jose Lopez was called up from AAA Charlotte and inserted into the White Sox lineup for Thursday's series finale against the Baltimore Orioles (Channel 9, 670-AM, 11:35 a.m.).

Lopez went 2-for-4 including a double, batting second and playing third base. Kevin Youkilis, who has been playing with a sore knee, gets the day off.

"Youk's knee has kind of been barking the last couple of days,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "Just clean it up and have him ready for [Friday when the Sox open a three-game series in Detroit].''

The 28-year-old Lopez, who had 25 homers and 96 RBI for the Seattle Mariners in 2009, can play second and third base. He batted .306 with a homer and 10 RBI for Charlotte.

Lopez said he's comfortable playing third or second base.

"Wherever they put me,'' he said.

"It's something I'm used to,'' he said of jumping into the lineup his first day. "It's like jumping into the fire when I was in Cleveland. They brought me down and brought me up the first day in the lineup. I'm used to it now."

Dylan Axelrod was temporarily sent to AA Birmingham after pitching the Sox to an 8-1 victory on Wednesday night. He will return and is expected to start for the Sox on Monday night against the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field.

White Sox, Axelrod turn back Orioles

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BALTIMORE -- Dylan Axelrod allowed three hits over 7 1/3 innings, Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez had productive nights with three hits apiece, and the White Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-1 on Wednesday.

The Sox, who lost the first two games of their series at Camden Yards, can even the series on Thursday afternoon before they play a key weekend series against the Tigers in Detroit. The Sox (72-57) led the Tigers by two games in the American League Central going into Wednesday.

Axelrod was sent to AA Birmingham after the game but will return to the Sox next week when rosters are expanded. The Sox are expected to bring up veteran infielder Jose Lopez Thursday. Catcher Tyler Flowers is expected to go on a brief paternity leave, so the Sox will bring a catcher up from the minors as well.

Beckham doubled in a run in the fourth, and, after Tyler Flowers bunted Dayan Viciedo and Ramirez to third and second in the sixth, lined a single past drawn-in shortstop J.J. Hardy to drive in the Sox' sixth and seventh runs.

"It's all about me figuring it out, figuring out what to do to help us win games right now,'' Beckham said. "Now it's crunch time.''

After Alex Rios drove in two runs with a double against new Orioles starter Joe Saunders in the first, Ramirez drove in two more with the first of his three singles. Ramirez's 60 RBI are tied with cleanup man Paul Konerko.

The four-spot in the top of the first gave Sox starter Dylan Axelrod a comfortable lead to work with, and the recent AAA callup did not disappoint. Axelrod allowed one run on three hits over 7 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out five.


No plans to give White Sox' Sale extra rest: Cooper

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BALTIMORE - For now, there is no plan to give Chris Sale an extra rest.

The White Sox ace got an abbreviated one in his abbreviated start Tuesday by throwing only 75 pitches and getting lifted after four innings trailing the Orioles 4-0. Although his two-seam fastball averaged around 90 mph, he was able to reach back for 94 and he said he felt good.

He just had a bad night.

"Babe Ruth had a bad freaking day once in while,'' pitching coach Don Cooper said.

"With all the questions on Chris and health and everything that's gone on... every time he has a bad outing these questions are going to come up? Ooh. Can he have a tough game?''

Cooper noticed that Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver and Stephen Strasburg had sub-par to rough games Tuesday as well. CC Sabathia had a bad game Wednesday.

"We're in a pennant race and we're going to go for it and we're going to run him out there,'' Cooper said. "If more happens later that makes us think we need to give him an extra day or two we might do it but right now that's not on our minds.''

Sale (15-5) has a 3.90 ERA since he received a 12-day rest after the All-Star break.

Sale leaves after four; White Sox lose 6-0

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BALTIMORE - A 6-0 loss to the Orioles on Chris Sale night was not the shot in the arm the White Sox wanted as a precursor to Sale's upcoming start against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

The last thing anyone expected from Sale was a four-inning, 75-pitch outing that ended with Philip Humber somewhat surprisingly taking the mound to start the fifth inning.

But that was the scene at Camden Yards on Tuesday night, where the Sox lineup had nothing in the way of support for Sale, anyway. Their only hit against Orioles starter Chris Tillman was an infield nubber by Dayan Viciedo in the fifth inning that shortstop J.J. Hardy tried to barehand to no avail. Had Hardy used his glove, he might have had a shot at Viciedo.

All that really mattered to the Sox (71-57) was their second straight loss to the Orioles (71-57). They'll need to win Wednesday and Thursday to split a four-game series before they meet the Tigers in an American League Central battle for first place.

Sale's night started out well enough with four strikeouts of the first six Orioles he faced. But with two out in the second inning, Nate McLouth blooped a single and Sale loaded the bases by walking the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, Manny Machado and Robert Andino. Nick Markakis then clearned the bases with a double to deep center to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

After allowing a walk and then getting Matt Wieters to hit into a double play in the third, Sale gave up a home run to Lew Ford to make it 4-0. It was Ford's second home run in two nights and his second in five years.

In the fourth, Sale gave up two hits without allowing a run. His night was over after 75 pitches (46 for strikes), six hits and three walks allowed and five strikeouts.

The logic in getting Sale out of the game rather than leave him in with the Sox chasing a four-run deficit looked sound while Tillman was mowing down the Sox lineup.


Sale leaves game after four innings

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BALTIMORE -- White Sox ace Chris Sale was removed from the game against the Orioles after four innings on Tuesday night.

There was no immediate word from the Sox on whether Sale was injured. He allowed four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out five. He allowed a three-run double to Nick Markakis in the second inning and a home run to Lew Ford in the third.

Sale threw 75 pitches, 46 for strikes.

He was replaced by right-hander Philip Humber.

Sale's night started out well enough with four strikeouts of the first six Orioles he faced. But with two out in the second inning, Nate McLouth blooped a single and Sale loaded the bases by walking the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, Manny Machado and Robert Andino. Markakis then cleared the bases with a double to deep center to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

After allowing a walk and then getting Matt Wieters to hit into a double play in the third, Sale gave up a home run to Ford to make it 4-0. It was Ford's second home run in two nights and his second in five years.
In the fourth, Sale gave up two hits without allowing a run. His night was over after 75 pitches (46 for strikes), six hits and three walks allowed and five strikeouts.

On Sunday in Detroit, Sale is scheduled to face the Tigers and Justin Verlander. So there was some logic in getting Sale out of the game rather than leave him in with the Sox chasing a four-run deficit and scratching out nothing more than an infield hit by Dayan Viciedo in the first six innings against Orioles starter Chris Tillman.


White Sox recall Axelrod; Floyd goes on DL

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BALTIMORE -- To make room for Wednesday's starting pitcher Dylan Axelrod, the White Sox placed right-hander Gavin Floyd on the disabled list for the second time in two months on Tuesday.

The DL move is retroactive to August 27. Floyd has a right elbow flexor strain.

Axelrod, 27, was recalled from AAA Charlotte, where he was 7-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 starts.

The Sox also assigned center fielder and leadoff man Alejandro De Aza (sore ribs) to Charlotte for an injury rehabilitation assignment.

The 29-year-old Floyd is 9-9 with a 4.55 ERA over 15 starts. He left his last start Sunday against the Mariners after two innings. Floyd went on the disabled list from July 17-23 (retroactive to July 8) with the same issue. It was his first DL stint as a major leaguer.

Four of Axelrod's last five starts with the Knights have been good. He allowed no more than one run in four of the five.

Orioles, McLouth halt White Sox win streak at six

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BALTIMORE -- Nate McLouth's two-run homer in the eighth inning against reliever Brett Myers erased a one-run White Sox lead, lifting the Orioles to a 4-3 victory on Monday night.

The defeat ended the White Sox winning streak at six. Their lead in the AL Central over the Detroit Tigers, who were idle, was trimmed to two games.

Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer for the Sox in the sixth inning against O's starter Wei-Yin Chen. Adam Dunn's infield single with Dewayne Wise on third in the eighth gave the Sox a 3-2 lead.

Jim Johnson retired Gordon Beckham on a grounder to shortstop with Alexei Ramirez on second to end the game.

White Sox move back Peavy to face Tigers

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BALTIMORE - The White Sox are loading up for the Detroit Tigers.

With Gavin Floyd unavailable for his scheduled turn Friday because of a sore right elbow, Jake Peavy will skip the Orioles on Wednesday and face the Tigers in the crucial three-game series opener at Comerica Park.

"You want the guys you've been counting on, your best guys going, to take your best shot,'' manager Robin Ventura said.

The Sox went into Monday's game against the Orioles with a 2 1/2 game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central. Francisco Liriano will start Saturday against red-hot Max Scherzer, and Chris Sale will oppose Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander in the Tigers series finale Sunday night on ESPN.

An MRI taken Monday revealed that Floyd has a muscle strain and no structural damage in the elbow.

The Sox haven't decided who will start Wednesday against the Orioles. Long reliever and former starter Philip Humber is a good possibility. Lefty Hector Santiago, who pitched four-plus innings against the Mariners on Sunday, is also an option, manager Robin Ventura said. Dylan Axelrod was scratched from his start at AAA Charlotte, so he is also a possibility to face Baltimore on Wednesday.
Peavy doesn't need the extra rest but two extra days won't hurt him at this point in the season.

"It helps,'' Ventura said. "He's proved over the year that's a good couple days to give him. The opportunity is available to have two long guys [against the Orioles] ... [and having Peavy] going against a team you're battling. There are a lot of positives the way I look at it.''

Floyd won't have to go on the disabled list because the September 1 roster expansion date is around the corner. He should be well enough to contribute in September in some capacity, although a second flareup of his elbow is worrisome. He went on the disabled list for the first time in his career in early July.

"The part that concerns you is he already had the DL stint before,'' Ventura said. "Once he starts saying it wasn't feeling right, you just don't like to send him back out there. It concerns you enough when you're dealing with a guy's future.''

Viciedo returns to White Sox lineup

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BALTIMORE -- Left fielder Dayan Viciedo, who has been nursing a sore right shoulder, returns to the White Sox lineup when the open a four-game series against the Orioles on Monday night.

Viciedo missed the last two games. He was a late scratch before Saturday's game against the Mariners.

The Sox lineup against Orioles lefthander Wei-Yin Chin: Dewaye Wise CF, Kevin Youkilis 3B, Adam Dunn 1B, Paul Konerko DH, Alex Rios RF, A.J. Pierzynski C, Viciedo LF Alexei Ramirez SS, Gordon Beckham 2B.


Completing a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners Sunday with their 4-3 rain-interrupted victory was the best news for the White Sox.
But losing starter Gavin Floyd to a possible elbow injury left a cloud as dismal as the weather.
The long day which started with a near two-hour rain delay and ended with another 1 hour 55 minute delay before being called was a success because of Tyler Flowers' heroics again in the seventh inning.
His two-out, two-run homer gave the Sox the lead two batters before the rain came that eventually ended the contest.
But afterward, manager Robin Ventura said Floyd would miss at least one start after leaving Sunday's game after only two innings with right elbow discomfort.
``I wouldn't be surprised,'' Ventura said of missing a start. ``You'd assume that, with him coming out after less than three innings.''
Floyd already spent 15 days on the disabled list in July--the first of his career--with what was described as elbow tendinitis, Floyd saying Sunday he felt the same pain.
He will undergo medical tests today in Chicago while the team heads to Baltimore for the start of a four-game series and seven-game road trip.
``The first inning was fine. It felt a little like what I had been dealing with,'' Floyd said. ``But then it kind of went back to where it was before I went on the DL.
``Obviously it's one of those things that could get worse. We'll do what we need to do as far as tests. Hopefully it's the same thing [tendinitis] and will only need a little break.''
Ventura said Floyd wanted to continue pitching, ``but I didn't want him going back out there and something would happen. It's one of those `better to be safe than sorry' situations.''
For as ominous as Floyd's condition might be, the Sox bullpen again came through, with Hector Santiago working four innings and giving up only a two-run homer to Casper Wells before Nate Jones (7-0) pitched what was the last inning.
``The pitchers did a great job again and Flo hung with it and hit the big two-run homer,'' Ventura said. ``You don't draw this up. The guys battled.''
The Sox trailed 3-2 in the seventh with two outs and Jordan Danks on base after a walk when the umpires halted play temporarily. They called in the grounds crew to spread drying compound on the soaked infield, pitcher's mound and batter's box.
That took six minutes.
When Seattle starter Kevin Millwood (4-11) returned without throwing any warm-up pitches, Flowers belted an 0-1 pitch out of the park.
``I was just trying to hit it hard,'' Flowers said. ``A.J. [Pierzynski] was saying later it wouldn't count [if the game was suspended]. I don't know if he was just messing with me. We found out after the delay that it would count.''
It gave the Sox their sixth straight victory and maintained their 2 ½ game lead in the American League Central over the Detroit Tigers.
Ray Olmedo and Dewayne Wise followed Flowers with singles before the umpires halted play.
``We forget that luck is a factor,'' Paul Konerko said.
``There are a lot of games left, and we know there will be grueling games,'' he added. ``It's only going to get tougher as we get closer, so we just have to keep doing what we're doing.''
The sweep of the Yankees and Mariners gave the Sox their seventh perfect home stand of six or more games in franchise history and first since July, 2010.
NOTES: The Sox bullpen has worked five innings or more in 12 games this season and has a 2.87 ERA in those games (23 earned runs/72 innings) with 63 strikeouts.
The Sox have homered in 21 of their last 22 games at home and in 42 of their 64 home games so far.


Umpire Jim Joyce may have been trying to act as peacemaker Saturday in separating White Sox manager Robin Ventura from umpire Lance Barrett after he ejected catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
But rules say no physical contact is allowed on an umpire, which could mean a suspension for the Sox manager.
``I had no issue with what Jim was doing. He's doing his job and I'm doing mine,'' Ventura said Sunday. ``I even told him that I don't want to bump you. He said `you're not bumping me.' If was more of a dance than a bump.''
Ventura will await MLB's decision on any fine or suspension. Barrett ejected Pierzynski in the third inning after apparently arguing a ball call. Ventura rushed to Pierzynski's defense, leading to his ejection, the third of the season.
Sox starter Jose Quintana seemed to turn around after the ejection, getting his first two strikeouts after a three-run first inning.
Ventura was more impressed at how the rookie regained his composure overall.
``You're talking about tough kids with the ability to bounce back,'' he said. ``That first inning was tough and he didn't have the location he wanted. But he's been that way the whole time he's been up here. He's been able to bounce back and grind it out.
``You look at a kid like him and I'm sure he hasn't had an easy day in his whole life. It's kind of his makeup.''


EXTRA GEAR
Ray Olmedo was at second base in Sunday's lineup with Gordon Beckham getting a day off. The infield is where Olmedo is most comfortable--but he has a catcher's mitt and shin guard gear now as well.
Olmedo is the emergency back-up catcher and was ready Saturday in case he was needed behind Tyler Flowers. Flowers went into the game after Pierzynski was ejected.
``You never say `no' to baseball, never,'' he said.
Olmedo has played in the outfield as well, but he has been catching in the bullpen at times since joining the Sox July 29 from Class AAA Charlotte.
``He was putting on his gear when I was walking around in the clubhouse,'' Ventura said. ``It's one thing on paper. It's a whole other thing to see him walking around in the gear.''


VICIEDO UPDATE
Dayan Viciedo was still getting treatment on his right shoulder Sunday after feeling discomfort before Saturday's game.
``I can hit but not throw,'' he said, adding he was hopeful about playing again Monday.
``I don't like putting him right back in [the lineup],'' Ventura said. ``I don't think it's serious but we'll give him some time with [trainer] Herm [Schneider.]''
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Crazy Clothes Time

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The trip to Baltimore and Detroit will see the White Sox dressing in ``far out'' 1970s attire for the trip, their first ``funny attire'' episode that most teams have during a season.
``It was hatched a while ago,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ``They're in need of some loosening of the restraints right now. So they're dressing in some loud-mouth clothing.
``I haven't worn any of that--but I'm wearing it today,'' he said. ``They made sure I wasn't missing out. Nobody is missing out.''
Ventura said the antics are part of baseball tradition.
``Even [when I played] we did stuff like this, whether it's rookie stuff or guys doing stuff. We always [did.] It's fun to just be able to do it and loosen them up and let them have a little fun.''
Outlandish pants seemed to be the prevailing attire.
``You know we're all fans because anytime you get out of wearing a suit, we're up for it,'' Paul Konerko said. ``It's pretty light and everybody's having a good time with it. I just went with the opposite of what I would normally do,'' he said of his black checkered pants. ``If we had more time to really accessorize and get into it, I might have come up with something better. I think everybody was on short notice so we did the best we could. The pants themselves are pretty loud. It's all in good fun.''


White Sox broadcaster Ken ``Hawk'' Harrelson, who was chided earlier this season for criticizing an umpire on the air, had another episode of unkind words Saturday for umpire Lance Barrett after he ejected catcher A.J. Pierzynski and manager Robin Ventura.
But Harrelson and team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Sunday had no comment on the incident.
Reinsdorf and commissioner Bud Selig reprimanded Harrelson after his May 30 tirade against umpire Mark Wegner, who tossed pitcher Jose Quintana after he threw behind Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist.
Harrelson later apologized to Wegner.
Harrelson declined to talk about the incident on Sunday.
The veteran Sox announcer said Saturday Barrett ``has been absolutely brutal. Brutal. He's terrible. This is one of those games wehre the film is going back to the American League office to show how bad he is.''
Harrelson said Barrett was showing favoritism to Mariners pitcher Blake Beavan, saying Barrett ``had two different strike zones. He's got a two-foot for Beavan and he's got a 10-inch for the White Sox. What does that tell you?
``This might be as bad as a two innings as I've ever seen from a guy behind the plate...so he's bad, so he throws out our catcher and our manager because he's brutal.''
Harrelson's earlier tirade against Wegner accused the umpire of ``not knowing anything about baseball'' and also calling the umpire's actions ``brutal.''


White Sox manager Robin Ventura considered Friday's comeback ninth inning victory over Seattle the kind of thing that could be ``a momentum builder.''
But Ventura found an old-fashion way Saturday to motivate his team when it trailed 3-1 early.
He got ejected, along with catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
And as soon as he did in the third inning, starter Jose Quintana's wildness disappeared, Pierzynski's back-up Tyler Flowers delivered two key hits and the Sox went on to a 5-4 victory.
``Isn't that how every game is supposed to go?'' said a smiling bench coach Mark Parent, who took the reins when home plate umpire Lance Barrett booted Ventura after he came to the defense of Pierzynski.
Pierzynski was thumbed for arguing a ball call to Justin Smoak, though he never turned from his crouch to face the umpire.
``I didn't see A.J. show him up more than just talking to him, although you don't know what he said,'' said Parent, a former catcher.
More important was what the incident seemed to trigger in the Sox, who won their fifth straight in another come from behind effort.
``It was kind of fun to see Robin get that mad,'' Pierzynski said after his sixth career ejection.
``I don't know if it's a lift, but it becomes different,'' said Ventura, who was tossed for the third time this season. ``It was a good night for Flowers and one of those games where Q kept battling and that's good.''
The Mariners batted around against Quintana in the first, the Sox lefty giving up all four of his walks around two hits--the big blow a three-run homer by Kyle Seager.
Seager homered again in the ninth off Addison Reed (24th save) but the Mariners did nothing in between against Nate Jones (6-0), Matt Thornton and Brett Myers.
After throwing 42 pitches in the first, Quintana retired 11 straight and gave up only three more hits.
And his first strikeout came against Smoak immediately after the ejections.
``It energized me a bit,'' he said of the ejections. ``To be honest, I don't know what it was in the first. I was trying to throw strikes and it wasn't happening.
``A.J. and Robin stuck up for me and the team,' he added.
Flowers delivered as much with a homer (5th) leading the sixth off Blake Beavan (8-8) that tied the score before Alexei Ramirez doubled and later scored to give the Sox the lead.
Flowers had a perfectly laid bunt single in the eighth that advanced Alex Rios (double), Rios scoring what began the deciding run on a sacrifice fly from Ramirez.
``I'm always ready to come in, but not usually that early,' Flowers said. ``It was a little different for sure, but it all worked out and we got the win. That's the most important thing.''
The outcome preserved the Sox 2 ½ game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.
The Sox bench played a role in left field as well after Dayan Viciedo was scratched at game time with right shoulder soreness. Jordan Danks took his place.
``The guys are ready to play whenever they come in,'' Parent said of the bench. ``They pay attention.''
Parent said.
``The energy was definitely high in the dugout,'' Flowers said. ``But at the same time we had the spark from before the game. These are big games now, especially against a gritty team like Seattle. Maybe it helped. Maybe it didn't. We got the win.''
NOTES: Viciedo said after the game he was feeling better and probably will be available to play Sunday. Viciedo felt the discomfort during batting practice, but Parent said he was available by late in the game if he had been needed.

The playoff race ratchets up starting Monday when the White Sox begin a seven-game road trip to Baltimore and then Detroit. It begins a closing 36-game stretch when they will have only two scheduled off days.
That will make it difficult to incorporate extra time off for first-year starters Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, but manager Robin Ventura said it wouldn't be ruled out if necessary.
``It might happen, but we'll go by how [Sale] feels and how he's throwing,''' he said. ``Quintana is in the same category as Sale. It's the first time in this extended part of the season [with minor league seasons ending in early September.]''
Sale has made 22 starts while Quintana was making his 16th on Saturday.

CLOSE THE BOOK
Addison Reed has been so good as the Sox closer that his blown save Friday in a wild ninth inning against Seattle was as surprising as the team blowing a five-run lead.
``No reliever is 100 percent. That's just part of the job,'' Ventura said. ``No one ends up with a 0.00 ERA. That's the way the game is.
``It's not easy doing what Reed's doing. He'll be out there again. I've seen Mariano Rivera blow a few, too.''
Reed's blown save Friday was only the fourth in 27 opportunities. His 23 saves entering Saturday's game lead all rookies and already are the most ever by a Sox rookie.

LEFT TO BE DUNN
Adam Dunn continues to lead the majors with 38 home runs entering Saturday as he attempts to become the first Sox player to win the major league home run crown in a season. Bill Melton (1971) and Dick Allen (1972 and 1974) were American League winners.
He had his 33rd career multi-homer game on Friday but eighth against a lefthander (Jason Vargas).
``You don't face a lot of left-handed starters usually, and left-handed relievers you usually see once because they're brought in to try to get you out,'' he said.
``I wasn't here last year, but he's been able to put last year behind him,'' Ventura said. ``He's a good player, he's athletic. He came to spring training ready. And he's a good team player. A lot of guys in that clubhouse are supportive of him because of how he handled things. He's an important piece of the puzzle.''

FINDING HIS SWING
Gordon Beckham was 6-for-13 in the first four games of the home stand, including a double, home run, two RBI and five runs scored. He entered the stretch having hit only 8-for-52 (.159) in his prior 16 games.
``He's had some key hits, and his defense has been great all year,'' Ventura said. ``He's been a little inconsistent offensively. He'll have a spurt where he does well and this has been a pretty good stretch for him.
``He's hit the ball well and not gotten anything out of it. But he had a big home run against the Yankees and got us back into it [Friday night in the ninth.] Those can be positives. What energizes him is knowing he is contributing.''
-30-


White Sox team captain Paul Konerko has the same daily mantra when questioners surround him about the state of his team as the heat builds toward post-season hopes.
``Just don't get ahead of yourself,'' he repeated Friday. ``Don't think about a series a week from now and let today's game get away from you.''
Things almost got away from the Sox Friday in a wild ninth inning against the hot Seattle Mariners. But after letting the Mariners come back from a 7-2 ninth inning hole to take an 8-7 lead, the Sox prevailed with their own dramatics.
Konerko's drive to the wall in center field fell between colliding outfielders Michael Saunders and Eric Thames allowing Dewayne Wise to score the winning run in a 9-8 thriller.
``It's not easy. There are no pushovers and you have to play nine innings,'' Konerko said.
``It all happened so fast,'' he added of the wild Mariners ninth when 10 men went to the plate and scored six runs. ``But when Gordon [Beckham] got on [with an infield single off Tom Wilhelmsen] you think `we can tie this up.' ''
The Sox went on to win for their fourth in a row while ending the Mariners own streak of eight consecutive wins.
The victory moved the Sox 2 ½ games ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.
The victory went to Addison Reed (3-1), who also had a blown save as the third pitcher in the ninth.
``That wasn't our best,'' Beckham said of the ninth that saw the Mariners cash in with four hits and three walks. ``It's one of those things in baseball you never know. That's a game where we're ahead [7-2] and on paper we should win. If we had lost that game it would have been a big blow.''
Beckham started the comeback with an infield single that shortstop Brendan Ryan couldn't handle. ``To be honest, I was just trying to get on, and that's not the easiest thing to do because the inning had been so long.''
The Sox were cruising with a comfortable 7-2 lead in the ninth, ready to help hard-luck starter Jake Peavy notch a much-needed victory.
Philip Humber--who had perfect game credentials against the Mariners--started the ninth but quickly gave up a home run to Jesus Montero. He retired Eric Thames but walked Justin Smoak.
Manager Robin Ventura called on lefty Donnie Veal to face Trayvon Robinson, who already had homered in the game off Peavy. Robinson doubled this time, sending Ventura to the mound again for closer Addison Reed.
Reed walked Brendan Ryan, gave up a single to Dustin Ackley and walked Michael Saunders to load the bases and put 25,058 at U. S. Cellular Field on edge.
Kyle Seager's sacrifice fly scored another run, but John Jaso's single and Alex Rios' throwing error from right field put the Mariners ahead 8-7.
``We didn't do anything well,'' said Youkilis, who drove in the tying run. ``We can't have innings like that late in a game. It was a great win in the end. First place teams win games like that. We handled adversity.''
Peavy for once had a feast of run support with a pair of Adam Dunn homers and a two-run homer from Alexei Ramirez--but he wasn't involved in the decision.
``I was watching from in [the clubhouse],'' he said. ``It wasn't a good atmosphere, obviously, but that's what this team has been about all year--never say die.''
Peavy is only 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA in his last six starts when he has received little run support.
``He pitched great,'' catcher A.J. Pierzynski said of Peavy's seven innings allowing only two runs. ``It's a shame he couldn't get a win when we actually scored him some runs.
``From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs in about a two-minute span,'' he added of the outcome. ``We feel bad because of the way we blew it, but you feel great because of the way we won it.''
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Playoff Plans

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The reality of what goes into the planning of post-season baseball means the White Sox already are in working mode for October.
Every department has begun preparing for post-season play, including the ticket office. Preliminary information has gone out already about purchasing post-season tickets, with promotional ideas tied in now toward season ticket purchases for 2013. The campaigns are expected to offer the chance to purchase post-season tickets for this year to those who commit to buying tickets for next season.
With an added wild card in each league this year, the Sox are among a number of teams that are in preparation mode. Eight teams in the American League are vying for one of the five post-season berths.

White Sox' Sale tough to hit ... and catch

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Tyler Flowers says Chris Sale is the toughest White Sox pitcher to catch.

And it's not because he's wild. Sale's one walk in the Sox' 2-1 win against the Yankees on Wednesday night was his 36th in 153 innings.

Hearing A.J. Pierzynski describe Sale's stuff on Wednesday, he would probably second Flowers' view.

"He throws pitches and I don't know half of the time what's coming,'' Pierzynski said. "Sometimes I'll call a fastball, you guys get on his velocity sometimes. ... Sometimes, I'll call one and he'll throw it 85 and then next one will be 94. One cuts, one sinks, one goes straight. It's just kind of a guessing game for me out there also. He threw the ball great, he's been throwing the ball great all year. I'm sure happy we decided to keep him as a starter.''

Flowers said Sale is tough to handle because he hides the ball so well and he delivers from difficult angles. Plus, his slider has so much movement. Hitters deal with the same challenges facing him. Sale gave up three hits, one a homer to Derek Jeter for the Yankees' only run.

"He made really one mistake and that was the ball Jeter hit,'' Pierzynski said. "The way he's swinging, you can just tell Derek's feeling it right now and you could just tell he was going to try to hit a homer and he threw one up and he hit it out. Other than that, he was down all night and he had a great slider. He was super aggressive, he had a good changeup going, he moved the ball in and out, kept guys off of it, threw it high when we wanted it high, low when we wanted it low and he just pitched great.''

Sale, who struck out 13 and walked one, pitched on four days rest for the second straight start. His next start, in Baltimore on Tuesday, will come on five days rest. After that, he'll face the Tigers in Detroit on four days.

"We always feel we have a great chance to win when Chris goes out there,'' manager Robin Ventura said.

White Sox complete sweep of Yankees

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Chris Sale held the New York Yankees to three hits over 7 2/3 innings, and Alex Rios broke a tie with his 20th home run of the season as the White Sox completed a three-game series sweep with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Sale improved to 15-4 while lowering his ERA to 2.65 as the Sox swept the Yankees for the first time at home since 1991. Sale struck out 13 and walked one in one of his best performances of the season.
In a year highlighted by bounce-back seasons from Rios, Adam Dunn and Jake Peavy, the Sox (68-55) have shown a knack for rebounding after tough losses. Before the Yankees came to town, they were swept by the Royals in Kansas City.
The victory preserved the AL Central leaders' two-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
The Sox scored a run in the third when Gordon Beckham led off against Phil Hughes with a double, advanced to third on Dewayne Wise's bunt single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Youkilis.
The Yankees tied it on Derek Jeter's homer in the sixth, giving Jeter a home run in three consecutive games for the first time during his career.
Rios broke the tie in the sixth, leaving the rest to Sale and reliever Brett Myers and Addison Reed.
With his pitch count at 109 and Jeter coming to bat with two outs in the eighth and nobody on, Sale was lifted after striking out Casey McGehee and Ichiro Suzuki. Myers got the third out with help from Beckham, who made a tough play ranging to his left for Jeter's grounder in the hole.
Reed got the last three outs for his 23rd save.

Youkilis slam carries White Sox past Yankees

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Kevin Youkilis hit a tiebreaking grand slam, and Francisco Liriano pitched six strong innings to lead the White Sox to a 7-3 victory against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.

The Sox won their second in a row against the AL East leaders after being on the losing end of troubling three-game series sweep in Kansas City over the weekend.

Paul Konerko hit a game-tying home run in the fourth, Dewayne Wise had a career-high four hits and A.J. Pierzynski drove in Alex Rios (triple) with a sacrifice fly and tripled and scored on Gordon Beckham's second single of the night.

Konerko and Youkilis homered against Yankees starter Ivan Nova (11-7).

Liriano made his fifth start for the Sox and his fourth in which he allowed two runs or less. He gave up six hits and three walks while striking out seven.

After he gave up a leadoff home run to Russell Martin in the seventh, Jesse Crain combined with Matt Thornton and Brett Myers (ninth) to pitch hitless relief the rest of the way.

The Sox held on to their two-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

A Yankee Goes Home

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Chicago native Curtis Granderson has planned a hometown treat for his New York Yankees treammates on Wednesday--a catered clubhouse feast courtesy of the Fifty/50 sports-themed restaurant on West Division St. in which Granderson is an investor.
``They're excited. I told them some good food is coming,'' Granderson said.
Granderson already has delivered for the Yankees in big ways.
The product of Thornton Fractional South and UIC ranks fourth in the majors in home runs with 32, with 11 homers off left-handed pitching--he bats left-handed. He has a major league-high 27 homers off left-handed pitching since the start of 2011.
Granderson, 31, is the first Yankees outfielder to hit at least 30 homers in consecutive seasons since Dave Winfield in 1982 and 1983, according to Elias, Inc. He has hit at least 20 homers at home in each of the last two seasons, becoming the first Yankee left-handed hitter to do so since Bill Dickey in 1937-38.
``He's done well for us,'' manager Joe Girardi said of Granderson, in his third season with the Yankees after six with the Detroit Tigers, the organization that drafted him. ``You look at the runs scored and the number of home runs. We have a lot of tough left-handed pitchers in our division, so it's not like he hasn't faced them.''
Granderson will face Sox lefty Chris Sale on Wednesday, a first-time meeting between the two.
``I don't like to watch video on a pitcher because the angles may not be the best. I can't do anything until I step into the box and see him. The test comes in facing him,'' Granderson said.
Granderson still makes his home in the Chicago area, and family and friends always are on hand when he is in town. On Monday, a contingency from UIC attended the game.
``It's always good to come back home,'' he said. ``The fact I went to high school and college here, a lot of [friends] happen to be Cubs or White Sox fans, so there's always a good buzz coming home.''

De Aza goes on disabled list; Danks recalled

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The White Sox placed center fielder and leadoff man Alejandro De Aza on the 15-day disabled list with bruised left ribs and recalled outfielder Jordan Danks from Class AAA Charlotte on Tuesday.

The DL move is retroactive to August 18.

Danks, 26, is hitting .317 with eight home runs for Charlotte. He has reached base safely in 30 consecutive games. He was optioned August 12, two days after hitting a game-ending home run against the A's at U.S. Cellular Field.

De Aza is hitting .281 with six home runs, 44 RBI, 73 runs scored and 21 stolen bases in 111 games this season. Dewayne Wise, who was called up when Danks went down, has been a capable replacement for De Aza. Wise hit a two-run homer in the Sox' 9-6 win against the Yankees on Monday night.

De Aza sustained the injury sliding into second base in Kansas City over the weekend.

The White Sox rallied in a seesaw game against the New York Yankees Monday for an 9-6 victory, ending a three-game losing streak and increasing their American League Central lead over the idle Detroit Tigers to two games.
Only 27,561 were at U.S. Cellular Field for the first of three games between American League division leaders. They saw the Sox rally from an early 3-0 deficit with a five-run fifth inning chasing starter Freddy Garcia. The Yankees sent Sox starter Gavin Floyd to the showers in the third in his shortest outing of the season (2 1/3 innings.)
The Sox had home runs from Dewayne Wise, Gordon Beckham and Adam Dunn in the victory, the homers among 13 hits for the Sox.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter homered in the sixth, part of a four-hit night for the Yankees captain.
The game saw each team use six pitchers.


Two former New York Yankees are in the news for different reasons: Melky Cabrera and Roger Clemens.
Manager Joe Girardi had a cryptic ``no comment'' when asked about Cabrera, who was suspended for 50 games last week after testing positive for testosterone.
But he did comment on news that Clemens, 50, would be pitching this weekend for an independent minor league team near his Houston home.
``The guy loves to play. He still feels he can pitch. God bless him. He's always loved to play and kept coming back [after injuries in his career.]''
Clemens was acquitted recently in a high profile trial alleging he lied to Congress about steroid use. He is scheduled to pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.


The White Sox have led the American League Central for 81 days and every day since July 24. But general manager Ken Williams deflected talk of post-season honors going his way just yet.
``It's not going to happen. If you don't win it when you win a World Series, you ain't going to win it,'' he said of not winning the general manager of the year honor in 2005 when the Sox were champs. ``If I wasn't listening to all the things people were saying about the outlook for this season [being] less than bright, then I'm certainly not going to listen now [to talk of winning the honor]. And I don't have time to listen now when we're in a fight of our lives with Detroit [for the division.]
``One bad week and I'll be back to being the village idiot pretty quickly,'' he said.

De Aza out again

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Alejandro De Aza was out of the White Sox lineup again Monday, the third game he will miss because of back stiffness, with manager Robin Ventura acknowledging his center fielder could be headed to the disabled list if he doesn't improve soon.
``A decision will have to be made quickly if he'll be [unable] to go,'' Ventura said before the start of the three-game series against the New York Yankees. ``He's been big for us and a great center fielder.''
Ventura said the team is prepared to recall a player should De Aza not be available soon. Outfielder Jordan Danks would see a likely candidate should a move be required.
Dewayne Wise took De Aza's place in center field and leading off.
Meanwhile, Kevin Youkilis, who also missed Sunday's game, was in the lineup Monday.
The Sox are carrying 13 pitchers, which has also shortened Ventura's bench.

White Sox swept away in KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals completed a three-game sweep of the White Sox with a 5-2 victory on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

Jeremy Guthrie took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Sox, who finished with three hits. Both Sox runs in the eighth were unearned.

The Sox maintained their 1 1/2 game lead in the AL Central, thanks to the Detroit Tigers' loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

Jose Quintana allowed two runs in seven innings.

White Sox' De Aza, Youkilis sit out with injuries

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The White Sox are a little banged up. Alejandro De Aza and Kevin Youkilis both did not start against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, De Aza for the second consecutive day with soreness in his left oblique/rib cage area and Youkilis with a sore right knee.

"No improvement,'' De Aza said Sunday. "Right now I'm still feeling it so I don't know [when I'll play again].''

Youkilis' knee has sidelined him before.

"I'm just trying to battle through something that's been barking a little bit,'' Youkilis said.

With 13 pitchers, it leaves Ventura's bench ultra-thin, although he said De Aza and Youkilis could have played in an emergency.

"There other guys with little tweaks you'd like to give a day off here and and you're just not able to,'' Ventura said. "Just have to gut it out.''

White Sox lose despite Dunn's 400th

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Adam Dunn knew No. 400 was coming. He just wanted it to mean something.
For a few brief moments, it did.
Dunn launched an 428-foot, opposite-field blast into the Kauffman Stadium fountain with Kevin Youkilis on first base in the eighth inning to bring the Sox to within a run. But after Brett Myers retired the first two batters in their eighth, they reeled off four straight hits, including a three-run blast by Mike Moustakas to put the finishing touch on a 9-4 victory.
It was a night of milestones, highs and lows for the Sox, who committed a season high four errors behind Jake Peavy.

Dunn hits 400th home run

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KANSAS CITY -- Adam Dunn wanted his 400th career homer to be meaningful, and he got his wish.

Dunn hit his milestone blast in the eighth inning against Royals left-hander Tim Collins to pull the Sox to within 5-4 in the eighth inning of their game at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday night. The ball was hit to left-center field and traveled 428 feet.

The homer came after Kevin Youkilis singled for his 1,000th career hit.

Paul Konerko hit his 400th earlier this season. Dunn and Konerko are the first set of teammates to hit 400 in the same season.

Dunn leads the majors with 35 home runs this season.

"Hopefully [No. 400] happens in a big situation --- a meaningful home run and not just a homer that doesn't mean anything,'' Dunn said this week.

White Sox' De Aza likely out for rest of series

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KANSAS CITY - Center fielder and leadoff man Alejandro De Aza has a sore back that will keep him out of Sunday's game. De Aza walked gingerly up the dugout steps before watching his teammates take batting practice before Saturday's game. Dewayne Wise took De Aza's place.

De Aza came up sore between his back and left oblique, he said, after sliding into second base during the third inning Friday. He came out in the eighth. A pennant race is no time to break down, but manager Robin Ventura said he isn't overly concerned about De Aza's second back issue in three weeks.

"Not too much,'' Ventura said. "It was something that was cramping up on him. I think it's more of being on the turf in Toronto. Dewayne's filled in great, so we'll give him a couple days.

"It could be a combination of things but he was starting to get that with the turf. [Trainer] Herm's [Schneider] working on him, so, trust that.''

With 13 pitchers, Ventura had A.J. Pierzynski and Ray Olmedo on his bench.

"It is nice having 13 pitchers until something like this happens and then you feel short,'' Ventura said.

Konerko homers in return to White Sox lineup

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KANSAS CITY - The White Sox are getting the band together for their postseason run.

Paul Konerko returned from the disabled list and hit a home run in his second at-bat in the fourth inning on Friday night as the Sox opened a three-game series against the Royals in Konerko's first game since suffering a concussion on Aug. 7.

Opening Day closer Hector Santiago rejoined the team after making three starts for AAA Charlotte. Off the 25-man roster are utility man Orlando Hudson (left foot contusion) and left-handed reliever Leyson Septimo (left biceps inflammation). Both went on the disabled list with injuries that may be more convenient than severe, as the Sox avoided losing Septimo on waivers.

Hudson, who fouled a pitch off his toe on Wednesday and was in serious pain at the time, was improved Thursday. His contributions have been limited and he's been something of a forgotten man since Kevin Youkilis arrived. Hudson is batting .182 with one home run and 11 RBI over 36 games.

Septimo was 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA over 12 appearances in his first major league stint.

Santiago (four saves), who surrendered the closer's to another rookie, Addison Reed, was 1-0 with no runs allowed over three starts (14.2 innings) with Charlotte.

The best news for the Sox, though, was Konerko's return. He is batting fourth and will be the designated hitter Friday and at least with Adam Dunn continuing to play first base.

"There were no problems,'' Konerko said of the tests taken for clearance to play. "A lot of people say you'll know right away because once you start doing it you feel sick or you feel real out of sorts once you start doing that and I didn't have much of that. They felt it was OK and cleared me to go.''

The Royals' Jarrod Dyson made contact with Konerko's head near the right temple area, while running out a ground ball. Konerko called it a clean play.

"When he first hit me, the main thing with this one is, it goes to show you if you know impact is coming, everybody in here has been hit, I've been hit a handful of times in the face with a pitch, but on all those occasions I knew it was coming. I had a chance to brace,'' Konerko said. "This one I thought I had about another half-second or second before the runner would be up on me and as soon as I was thinking that is when I got hit. I had no time to brace.''

Konerko said he turned a corner on Sunday. Friday is the first day he's eligible to return.

"Sunday was the break where I felt like this was more like myself,'' he said. "I still had some symptoms where my head was sore, my eyes still felt strained. That was another thing: as I moved my eyes back and forth it hurt to move them back. But I felt like more motivated and part of the world.

"The first three days after, it's a very depressing. Now I have kind of a look and having had one of these, those guys that have been out for months and miss a whole bunch of time, I have a new respect for those guys if that's what they were feeling for that long of a time. It's a very peculiar feeling. It's very depressing. You feel not yourself. You almost feel, you don't care about anything. You're so depressed and unmotivated to do anything. You have no energy, no anything. I felt Sunday was the first day where I felt like I had more spring in my step.''

Five homers power White Sox past Blue Jays

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TORONTO - As Day 1 of the Adam Dunn 400th-homer watch came and went without incident, five other White Sox showed Dunn how it's done.

Dewayne Wise, Dayan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers, Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez each homered to produce the Sox' runs in a 7-2 victory on Thursday night.

While none were milestone material, each was noteworthy. Wise hit his second in as many nights, Viciedo lined a tracer that got over the left-field fence in the blink of an eye, Flowers' was lifted an estimated 462 feet almost to the third outfield deck of Rogers Centre and Rios' was a three-run shot that broke the game open in the eighth.

The Sox (65-52) won three of four from the injury-plagued Jays (55-63) in Toronto, where they hadn't won a series since the 2005 World Series championship season. They left Toronto a season-high 13 games over .500 and leading the second-place Detroit Tigers by 2 ½ games in the AL Central.

"Apparently it's very meaningful because there are a lot of guys who are giddy,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "It's a tough place to play.

"I don't know whether they're shocked but they're overly happy. A.J. [Pierzynski] was bouncing around in here scratching his head. This has been a house of horrors for him.''

Ventura gives Beckham another rest

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TORONTO - Gordon Beckham, 0-for-8 in the series and batting .171 over his last 41 games, didn't start for the second straight game on Thursday night. Manager Robin Ventura gave Beckham another seat by playing Ray Olmedo at second on Thursday.

"I'd like to be out there playing,'' said Beckham when asked if he thought he could use a day off. "The only way you can get better is to get out there.''

Beckham said his body "feels fine" but Ventura said his swing looks "tired."

"It's that time of year when you need a little break,'' Ventura said. "You can't see the end yet. This is a tough time of the year.''

When Orlando Hudson fouled a pitch off his toe on Wednesday, Beckham replaced him so his day off was history. As for the tired swing, Beckham said he hadn't heard that from the manager.

The frustration has been evident after recent bats.

"It does wear on me a little bit,'' he said. "It is what it is. We're in a race so there's no time to worry about whether I'm fighting the swing or whatever. I just have to start finding some holes and have better at-bats.''

Ventura gave Alejandro De Aza the night off, starting Dewayne Wise in center field.

Olmedo made his first major-league start at second base since 2006.

Three homers power White Sox to victory

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TORONTO - Outfielder Dewayne Wise, who made a memory for White Sox fans when he saved Mark Buehrle's perfect game with a spectacular catch, is turning out to be quite the catch in his second tour on the South Side.

Scooped up by general manager Ken Williams after the Yankees let him go on Aug. 3, Wise had two hits, including a home run and four RBI in the Sox' 9-5 victory on Wednesday night. Wise is 6-for-18 with six RBI in four starts.

Adam Dunn hit his third homer of the series, a tiebreaking three-run blast to right as the first hitter to face reliever Brad Lincoln in the seventh, and Dayan Viciedo added a two-run homer to right field against Lincoln four batters later.

Gavin Floyd (9-9) had a relatively light workday, throwing 92 pitches over six innings and getting relief from left-hander Donnie Veal after the Sox built the lead to 9-4. Floyd would take one pitch back, a hanging slider that Kelly Johnson jumped on for a three-run homer in the sixth.

Going back to his 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Cubs on June 20, Floyd had had just two starts with four runs or more allowed. He is 5-2 with a 2.83 ERA over his last nine starts, including three scoreless outings

The Sox knew they needed a win to maintain their two-game AL Central lead over the Detroit Tigers, who defeated the Twins on Wednesday afternoon. The Sox (64-52) are three games ahead in the loss column with 46 to play.

Orlando Hudson left the game with a bruise after fouling a pitch off his toe during the sixth inning. X-Rays were negative.

White Sox' Thornton knows what's at stake

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TORONTO -- As a left-handed set-up man, Matt Thornton understands the importance of his role in the Sox' pursuit of getting to the postseason. And he knows his ERA of 4.69 since the end April and his American League high eight losses for relievers - are short of his career standards.

"Relievers are pass or fail. You get the job done or you don't and when I don't get the job done it costs the team games,'' Thornton (4-8) said.

Thornton is throwing more breaking pitches this season than he has in the past, but he said his primary issue is fastball command.

"When I get in trouble is when I don't make pitches with my [mid-90s] fastball when I need to,'' he said.

A 2010 All-Star who set the franchise record with his 425th appearance on June 1, Thornton is a workhorse with 55 this year, tied for third in the AL. Such a workload doesn't allow him side sessions to work on things, so he's forced to tweak and refine while playing catch or warming up.

"I haven't been doing my part over the last little while,'' Thornton said. "It's something I have to continue to work on.''

White Sox 3, Blue Jays 2; recap with quotes

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TORONTO -- Rookie Jose Quintana allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings, and Alejandro De Aza scored the go-ahead run from third on an errant pickoff attempt at first as the White Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Addison Reed recorded the last four outs for his 21st save, tying Salome Barojas' record for saves by a Sox rookie in 1982. The victory was the Sox' fourth in their last 20 games at Rogers Centre.

Quintana (5-2) allowed a run in each of the first two innings before settling down, giving up eight hits and two walks while striking out four. The Sox scored three in the fifth on four singles by A.J. Pierzynski, Dayan Viciedo, De Aza (RBI) and Dewayne Wise (RBI) and starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez's error. Alvarez threw to first to hold Wise, but the throw sailed high and allowed De Aza to score.

Continuing to fill the void left by Opening Day starter John Danks going on the disabled list, Quintana was fortunate to get line-out double play by Edwin Encarnacion in the fifth with two runners on. Third baseman Kevin Youkilis made a lunging catch to his left. After pitching well enough to more than five wins this season but lacking run support, Quintana will take it.

"He's a tough kid,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "He pitched great.

"That was a good all around game, with good defense. A big win.''

Quintana threw 105 pitches. His workload is being monitored in the same manner as Chris Sale's, and he says he feels well enough to finish strong.

"I feel good,'' Quintana said. "I have never pitched this many innings but my arm feels good. I'm putting in the work and I definitely feel I can go the distance.''

De Aza had a rough night Monday, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. He was 1-for-4 with no strikeouts Tuesday.

"Good things happen when you make contact,'' he said.

"When I'm on base I'm just trying to get any chance to get to the next base. I saw his pickoff to first and I saw the first baseman jump and I was ready. When I saw him bend I was going to go anyway. Once I saw him bend I took off. I got a good jump.''

It was Reed's second four-out save. He struck out Kelly Johnson with David Cooper -- who led off the eighth with a double against Matt Thornton -- to end the eighth. Reed also gave up a one-out single in the ninth.

"We've done it before but it's one of those where he knew before that it was thought of,'' said Ventura, who wanted to rest right-hander Jesse Crain.

Ventura shuffles White Sox lineup

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TORONTO -- A night after losing an 11-inning game in which their only runs came via Adam Dunn homers, manager Robin Ventura shuffled the White Sox lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Blue Jays.

Alejandro De Aza is leading off as usual, but Dewayne Wise will bat second with Alex Rios moving up to third and Adam Dunn dropping one spot to fourth. Kevin Youkilis bats fifth.

The Sox rank third in the major leagues with 146 homers.

"We've hit a lot of them and guys might get comfortable trying to do that,'' Ventura said. "We need to generate and manufacture some runs to try and win games. It's too hard to sit there and rely on home runs all the time. It's a way to get some speed up there with Dewayne and De Aza at the top, and Rios.''

Paul Konerko began doing some baseball activities in Chicago on Tuesday and could return from a concussion as soon as Friday. The absence of the regular cleanup hitter also played a part in the change. Rios has hit fifth all season and moved to fourth when Konerko went out last week.

Ventura downplayed the changes and said the players had little reaction when it was posted. He didn't see a need to discuss it with any of them beforehand, he said.

"Just a chance to kind of change it a little, we'll probably go back to what people are used to when Paulie gets back,'' Ventura said.
"With Paulie being out you kind of move things around, get Rios up, a little more speed at the top. Let guys run a little bit in front of Rios and Adam and see what happens.''

Wise gives Ventura more speed behind De Aza, whose 0-for-5 Monday exposed a soft spot in the order when the leadoff man doesn't get on base.

"Yeah, running a little more,'' Ventura said. "A lot of things can happen when guys are moving around. It gives us that flexibility.

"You get Dewayne up there, another guy similar to [De Aza]. If DeAza wasn't getting on you're not going to steal anything until you get down to Rios. If Rios got on with Adam and Paulie in front of him, he isn't going anywhere. Now he has the freedom to be able to steal.''

Jays 3, White Sox 2: Recap, with quotes

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TORONTO -- Adam Dunn hit two home runs, including a 469-foot bomb to center field and a game-tying opposite-field shot leading off the ninth, but the Toronto Blue Jays pushed across a run in the bottom of the 11th inning to defeat the White Sox 3-2 on Monday night.
David Cooper singled sharply to right field against Nate Jones to drive in Kelly Johnson with the winning run. Johnson had walked on four pitches from lefty Leyson Septimo (0-2), who faced one batter.
Dunn ended a 13-game homer drought, his longest this season, and hit the 1,000 milestone for RBI. He has 78 this season.
"That was a big one in the ninth but we have to get something else going besides waiting for home runs,'' manager Robin Ventura said.
The Sox had seven hits and struck out 16 times. Starter Carlos Villanueva struck out eight and reliever Steve Delebar had six, including four in the 10th inning because of a dropped third strike.
"You always tip your cap to a guy who is pitching like that but you want your guys to be better,'' Ventura said. "Didn't look fluid or anything so you hope it gets better.''
The Sox made the right move by calling up a 13th pitcher, Donnie Veal. Brett Myers, Jesse Crain, Septimo and Jones all pitched in relief.
Sox starter Jake Peavy gave up two runs over eight innings, once again coming away without a victory despite pitching well enough to win. Edwin Encarnicion singled in ninth-place hitter Anthoy Gose after Peavy hit Gose and then Kelly Johnson two batters later.
Moises Sierra hit his first homer leading off the seventh.
"He pitched great,'' Ventura said. "He battles and for one reason or another we don't score runs for him. He always goes out there knowing each pitch can cost him. We have to do a better job giving him more room to pitch with.''
In the Jays' 11th, Septimo walked Johnson, and Edwin Encarnacion singled to right against Jones, sending Johnson to third and setting up Cooper's walk-off smash to right.
"You don't want to see that any time,'' Ventura said of Septimo's four-pitch walk. "Bad time for it.''
Had the Sox mounted more offense than what Dunn provided, this one wouldn't have even gone to extra innings.
"We're having trouble scoring runs right now,'' Dunn said. "It's one of those things we've been through before. We hopefully will come back tomorrow and swing the bats.
"It seems like every year there is one guy who gets screwed; it's definitely [Peavy]. We can't score runs when he's on the mound. He keeps us in every game. Can't put a finger on why, it's just one of those things.''
"It's just tough to lose games you feel like you had a chance to win,'' Peavy said. "I know that this is kind of the underlying theme with my season but you've got to give the kid on the other side a lot of credit: he was awfully good tonight.''
Dunn said he was "basically trying to put the ball in play" on his first homer.
"It's good to have some good at-bats,'' Dunn said. "I've been feeling good, just swinging at bad pitches or taking too many good pitches. I felt good. I felt like I had two good at-bats.
"I feel great. I know I'm stinking but I feel good. Like every day it's going to be good. A lot of times I try to do too much in situations. Probably look for a specific pitch too many times. I've done that my whole life but I need to start looking in an area and not specific pitches.''
On driving in 1,000 runs, Dunn said, "that's something when you're finished playing you'll calcualate where you're at. Hopefully I won't end with a thousand. That would be pretty bad.''

Notes: The Jays are 16-3 in their last 19 games at Rogers Centre.
*Villanueva tied a career high with eight strikeouts.
* Dunn has 12 homers with two strikes this season.
*A.J. Pierzynski's hitting streak ended at 14.

Dunn homers twice, but Jays beat White Sox in 11

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TORONTO -- Adam Dunn hit two home runs, including a 469-foot bomb to center field and a game-tying opposite-field shot leading off the ninth, but the Toronto Blue Jays pushed across a run in the bottom of the 11th inning to defeat the White Sox 3-2 on Monday night.

David Cooper singled sharply to right field against Nate Jones to drive in Kelly Johnson with the winning run.

Dunn ended a 13-game homer drought, his longest this season, and hit the 1,000 milestone for RBI. He has 78 this season.

Sox starter Jake Peavy gave up two runs over eight innings, once again coming away without a victory despite pitching well enough to win. Edwin Encarnicion singled in ninth-place hitter Anthoy Gose after Peavy hit Gose and then Kelly Johnson two batters later.

Moises Sierra hit his first homer leading off the seventh, and that appeared to be enough to drop Peavy's record to 1-4 in complete games.

Dunn has struck out a whopping 167 times this season, but he and Alexei Ramirez were the only Sox not to strike out. Jays pitchers piled up 16 strikeouts.

In the Jays' 11th, left-hander Leyson Septimo (0-2) walked Johnson on four pitches, and Edwin Encarnacion singled to right against Jones, sending Johnson to third.

White Sox' Konerko "progressing"

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TORONTO -- Four days in advance of being eligible to come off the disabled list for a concussion, Paul Konerko receiving an encouraging checkup at Rush University Medical Center on Monday, manager Robin Ventura said.

"He was checked out and everything is looking good,'' Ventura said. "Tomorrow he'll probably start riding the [stationary] bike and doing physical stuff. I don't know if he will do a whole lot of baseball stuff but he will start getting some activity in to see how that goes. But things are progressing.''

Konerko might play catch on Tuesday and be taking ground balls and doing some running by Wednesday.

A Friday return in Kansas City isn't out of the question but is a best-case scenario. Even if he passes the required test to come off the DL, the Sox will err on the side of caution bringing Konerko back.

"You cross your fingers and hope it's Friday,'' Ventura said.

The Sox miss more than Konerko's bat in the middle of the lineup, Ventura said.

"When people think about the White Sox he's the first thing you think of because of his tenure, stature on the team and the way he goes about things,'' Ventura said. "He does things the right way, a lead by example guy more than a loud person. Those are the things you miss. The example he sets on how guys act, prepare and play the game.''

Lefty Donnie Veal recalled from AAA Charlotte

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The White Sox recalled left-handed pitcher Donnie Veal from Class AAA Charlotte on Monday.

Veal gives the Sox 13 pitchers, and he replaces outfielder Jordan Danks, who was was optioned to Charlotte on Sunday.

Veal, 27, was 7-3 with a 2.08 ERA over 35 relief appearances with Charlotte. During his brief July 19-22 stint with the Sox, he pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts over two relief appearances.


Paul Konerko will undergo what is described as ``a thorough concussion-related exam'' Monday at Rush University Medical Center, the White Sox said Sunday.
If results are positive, he will resume baseball-related activities on Tuesday with the hope of rejoining the team in Kansas City on Friday.
The Sox leave Sunday night for a four-game series in Toronto and then play Kansas City starting Friday.
Manager Robin Ventura said Konerko was improving but the uncertain nature of concussions make it difficult to predict his recovery time.
``He's progressing. It just has to run its course,'' Ventura said. ``There's no treatment. He has to wait for [symptoms] to subside before he can exert himself.''
Konerko, who is on the seven-day disabled list instituted specifically for concussion injuries, must be cleared by team doctors and by medical staff with Major League Baseball before he can be reinstated.
``It's not easy to get on the [seven-day] list and off it,'' Ventura said. ``We have a lot more information about it now and can take care of it.''

A's defeat White Sox 9-7

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The White Sox will need to dip into their reserve tank Sunday with their series against the Oakland A's on the line.

Much was exerted with nothing to show for it in a 9-7 loss on Saturday night. It was a deflating way to get beat after the Sox rallied from a 6-2 deficit to take a 7-6 lead in the seventh.

Jonny Gomes' homer against Matt Thornton was the big blow. That one tied it in the eighth, and Brandon Inge's single down the right-field line put the A's back in front. Gomes' RBI single after Coco Crisp doubled past a diving Alex Rios in right field added an insurance run for the A's, who like the Sox are battling for a place in the postseason.

Inge's single came after Yoenis Cespedes reached on what was ruled an infield single when shortstop Alexei Ramirez's throw from the outfield grass pulled Adam Dunn off the bag. With Cespedes on the run and second baseman Gordon Beckham leaving his position to cover the base, Chris Carter then dumped a short pop behind Beckham's vacated spot.

Tyler Flowers homered, doubled and singled and drove in three runs for the Sox, and Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer.

After a brilliant start, Sox starter Francisco Liriano was roughed up for six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Liriano struck out all three A's he faced in the first inning and five of the first six. In the A's five-run third, he walked two, hit Cespedes on the shoe and gave up a two-run single to Chris Carter and a two-run double to Derek Norris.

It took him 38 pitches to get through the inning against the A's, who came in with a major-league low .230 team batting average.

Rios best all-around White Sox, Ventura says

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If there were such a thing, a White Sox MVP ballot could probably list half a dozen candidates and make for a good topic of debate.

When manager Robin Ventura was asked how many of his players would be worthy of consideration, he said there were several. But he followed up by mentioning only right fielder Alex Rios.

"You could put a few out there,'' Ventura said. "I just think Rios is probably our best all-around player. He does everything you can ask a baseball player to do as far as defense, hitting and stealing bases. He just comes in and works. You don't have any issues with him. He just wants to play.''

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski is on pace for 30 homers and 93 RBI and has handled a young pitching staff, Adam Dunn was tied for the AL lead with 31 home runs and Paul Konerko has posted solid numbers in the cleanup spot. Center fielder and leadoff man Alejandro De Aza would also get some support. Chris Sale is a Cy Young candidate and Jake Peavy an All-Star.

Rios, Dunn and Peavy are all Comeback Player of the Year candidates.

"There are a lot of guys who can have that,'' Ventura said. "You have to have a lot of guys having pretty good years to be in the position we're in. Not only just players, but the pitchers doing what they're doing. The surprise guys like Quintana who come out of nowhere to pitch as well as he has. It takes a whole lot of guys to be a successful team.''
Through Friday, Rios was batting .315 (eighth in the AL) with 18 homers and 67 RBI. He ranked sixth in hits (131) and third in triples (six) and average with runners in scoring position (.381).

Dewayne Wise brought up from AAA Charlotte

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Outfielder Dewayne Wise has been brought up to fill the void left by Paul Konerko, who went on the seven-day disabled list Friday with a concussion.

The Sox purchased the contract of Wise from Class AAA Charlotte and transferred left-hander John Danks to the 60-day disabled list.

Wise, 34, was signed as a minor-league free agent on August 3. He hit .161 (5-for-31) in seven games with Charlotte.

Wise batted .262 with three home runs and eight RBI in 56 games with the Yankees this season. He was designated for assignment on July 23.

Wise played in 141 games with the Sox in 2008-09. He famously saved Mark Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay with an over-the-wall catch to prevent a home run by Gabe Kapler in the ninth inning.

White Sox' Danks envisioned walkoff homer

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Jordan Danks' two-out homer against Oakland reliever Pat Neshek gave the White Sox a 4-3 victory against the A's at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday night.

A.J. Pierzynski (second inning), Alexei Ramirez (fourth) and Dayan Viciedo (seventh) also hit solo home runs against A's starter Brandon McCarthy as the Sox snapped a two-game losing streak. The Sox have hit 61 homers in their last 36 games.

The home run was the first of Danks' career.

"Everyone's dreaming about that their whole life,'' Danks said. "Right before that, I saw myself doing that. I just got all the shaving cream out of my nose [from teammate Alexei Ramirez] and eyes so I can breathe again.''

Brett Myers pitched a scoreless ninth for his first win as a Sox. Leyson Septimo, Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton also contributed to a scoreless effort from the Sox bullpen. Myers has not allowed an earned run in 10 appearances over 8 2/3 innings with the Sox.

Pierzynski's 22 homers are the most by a Sox catcher since Carlton Fisk hit 23 in 1987.

Sox starter Gavin Floyd improved after giving up a two-run homer to Brandon Moss in the second and escaping a bases-loaded jam in the third, leaving with three runs allowed over six-plus innings.

Before the game, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion.

"It's not going to be easy not having [Konerko] in the lineup but this is the best thing for him, to get him back to full strength,'' Ventura said. "We have to find a way for guys like Jordan Danks to come through for us.''

"I knew that was going to be my role once I got here,'' Danks said. "Someone needed a day, or somebody goes down, fill in and do it to the best of my ability.''

Pierzynski was asked about the Sox carrying on without Konerko.

"I think Gordon might cry,'' he joked. "Nobody for him to talk to about his swing constantly. Paul's a great friend of mine. Been here with him for eight years now. You never want to see anybody get hurt, but especially up in the head with a concussion and that kind of stuff. It's just usually bad news. Hopefully he gets well soon and hopefully he gets back in a week.''

Konerko placed on seven-day disabled list

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White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was placed on the seven-day disabled list on Friday with a concussion.

Alex Rios, who missed Wednesday's game with a stiff back, is playing right field and batting fourth in Konerko's customary place in the lineup.

Konerko was hit in the right temple area by the Kansas City Royals' Jarrod Dyson during the seventh inning of Tuesday night's game at U.S. Cellular Field. Dyson's left elbow made contact as Konerko, his body positioned toward right field, received a throw from second baseman Gordon Beckham, who had made a diving stop of Dyson's grounder.

Ventura and trainer Herm Schneider came out to check Konerko, who remained in the game. He batted during the eighth inning and struck out.

Ventura said Konerko didn't sleep well Tuesday night and appeared somewhat woozy when he arrived at the ballpark on Wednesday. He missed Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Royals and was not in the dugout during the game.

"He seems fine but talking to him and having to go play is two different things,'' Ventura said Friday.

"As far as being nauseated and stuff it's not as bad as the other day but he does feel it and has all the symptoms of a concussion.''

Major League Baseball has a seven-day disabled list specifically for concussions.

Konerko, the team's captain and cleanup hitter, is batting .316 with 18 homers and 54 RBI. He made the All-Star team for the sixth time this season.

The Sox will call up a replacement for Konerko on Saturday.


White Sox lose second straight to Royals, Guthrie

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Jeremy Guthrie held the White Sox to five hits, and Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez each hit solo home runs with two outs against rookie left-hander Jose Quintana as the Kansas City Royals defeated the White Sox 2-1 on Wednesday night before 25,151 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.

The loss was the second in a row for the Sox, who lost the series after winning four straight.

Right fielder Alex Rios sat out with a sore back, and first baseman Paul Konerko missed the game with a variety of nagging injuries, manager Robin Ventura said.

Guthrie (1-3) hadn't won this season and entered the game with a 7.71 ERA. Alejandro De Aza, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore back, had two of the Sox hits, both singles and one an infield hit.

The Royals' Greg Holland gave up a run in the ninth but earned his third save. Holland struck out Gordon Beckham, allowed a double to Adam Dunn (who struck out three times against Guthrie), struck out Kevin Youkilis and gave up an RBI single to A.J. Pierzynski before Alexei Ramirez hit a soft liner to short end the game. Youkilis, batting fourth for the first time as a White Sox with Konerko out, was 0-for-4.

Quintana (4-2), pitching on eight days rest, gave up five hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.

The Sox maintained their half-game lead on the Tigers in the AL Central. The Tigers lost to the Yankees.

Banged up Rios, Konerko out of White Sox lineup

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Alex Rios' stiff back and Paul Konerko's minor yet nagging physical issues will keep the fifth- and fourth-place hitters out of the White Sox lineup Wednesday night.

Rios said his back has been bothering him for a couple of days. He appeared to aggravate it swinging the bat on Tuesday night. Konerko has been receiving treatment for his back, and got clipped on the side of his head by the Royals' Jarrod Dyson on a play at first on Tuesday.

With an off day Thursday, manager Robin Ventura decided to give them a day off, allowing for a two-day refresher before the Sox open a three-game series against the Oakland A's on Friday.

"Alex and Paul can play but it's a good time for them to get their break because it is nagging stuff," Ventura said.

Alejandro De Aza and Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup. Youkilis missed Tuesday's game with a sore knee and De Aza missed two games with a stiff back.

"They didn't know about everything else [Rios and Konerko] before I talked to them,'' Ventura said. "We actually had a lineup without those guys in it. It was creative. It was a fun morning. But they're fine. They said they were fine before they knew about Paul and Alex."

The Sox lineup had a strange look with Youkilis batting fourth and Orlando Hudson batting ninth as the designated hitter.

The Sox lineup for Wednesday: De Aza CF, Gordon Beckham 2B, Adam Dunn 1B, Youkilis 3B, A.J. Pierzynski C, Alexei Ramirez SS, Dayan Viciedo LF, Jordan Danks RF, Hudson DH.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the lineup Tuesday before game time because of a sore right knee. He has been on a hitting tear of late, going 6-17 (.353) with three home runs and four runs scored in the last five games. He is hitting .409 (18-44) with five home runs and 16 RBI in 14 home games with the Sox since he was acquired from Boston on June 24.
Taking his place was Ray Olmedo, whose contract was purchased from Class AAA Charlotte on July 29. Veteran Olmedo has played in the majors before with Cincinnati (2003-06) and Toronto (2007).

Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., makers of the iconic A2000 baseball glove, is an official partner of Major League Baseball and ``the official glove'' of MLB. But it is the Rawlings Co. that has long sponsored the Gold Glove award given to players at each position for fielding excellence.
Now Wilson is about to enter the defensive award category..
Plans are nearing final approval to have Wilson sponsor a ``defensive player of the year'' award, given at each position in the same way as the Gold Glove award. The Wilson award won't replace the Rawlings award but instead will be a new, added honor for players.

The plan for a six-man rotation was devised two weeks ago principally to give first year starter Chris Sale extra time off for a tired arm. It also would help rookie Jose Quintana and veteran Jake Peavy as he returned to a full season following lat surgery.
But with Sale starting again Monday and the final weeks of the pennant race ahead, the White Sox have decided to go back to their five-man squad, moving Philip Humber to the bullpen.
``Havng Phil in the bullpen, you have the flexibility of someone who could [spot] start any time,'' manager Robin Ventura said Monday. ``If you need a major league arm, he's got it.''
Ventura said the plan originally was to give Sale extra time off, though apparently not long term. ``Now you'll find out if it actually works,'' Ventura said.
He said moving Humber to the bullpen also helps the relief corps which had been stretched in the last week with only six pitchers.
``They've been a little short since the Minnesota series [a week earlier] so it's nice to get another guy in there to help,'' he said.
Humber took the move in stride.
``I've been through a lot of ups and downs in my career, but that prepares you,'' said Humber, whose season already has included a perfect game to time on the disabled list with an elbow flexor strain. ``This season already has had ups and downs, but 'm thankful for the opportunity in the bullpen as much as starting. It''s been a tough year but also an awesome year for the team.''
Ventura said all the pitchers are kept aware of moves through the season so none are taken by surprise. ``We talk to them all the time. They all want to pitch. Phil does too, but this is where we're at.''

Danks expected to be ready for spring training

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White Sox left-hander John Danks underwent surgery this morning to arthroscopically repair a capsular tear in his left shoulder. Minor debridements of the rotator cuff and biceps in his left shoulder were also cleaned up by a team of surgeons led by Dr. Anthony Romeo and Dr. Greg Nicholson at RUSH Medical Center.

The surgery revealed a normal labrum.

Danks will be immobilized in a sling for four weeks. He is expected to be ready for the start of 2013 spring training and will be on a regular schedule.
``He has your normal pitcher's stuff [in the shoulder], but nothing that they felt they had to fix,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ``I know he's pretty relieved as far as there was something there and they fixed it and he'll be able to pitch next year. He should be ready in spring training.''
Brother Jordan Danks, a Sox outfielder, said he expects their off-season workouts to be as competitive as usual. ``He's already itching to get back,'' he said.

Chris Sale returns to action Monday after a nine-day layoff, part of the White Sox plans to aid the first-year starter through the season.
``They came to me in Texas [his last start July 27] and said they were thinking about doing some things, and the other day they told me what was going on,'' said Sale, who has continued to throw side sessions. ``It was their call anyway.
``It's nice to be able to do it now [adding rest days] so the last couple months we can really make a push and nothing like this will hopefully come up again. We can just go through these two months every fifth day or whatever they have now for us.''
Sale's velocity had declined in recent starts, prompting the team to turn to the six-man rotation format to help Sale.
But Sale said he anticipated a slip in his velocity.
``It's something that I knew was going to happen. I didn't expect myself to be throwing hard the entire season, especially later on getting into August and September,'' he said.
``We're hoping this is the kind of rest he needs to get him through what he's going through, to go out and pitch the way he's capable of pitching,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ``He's not maximum effort [velocity] like he was in the bullpen [last season.] That's one of the things that's extended him as a start, that he's below what he was as a reliever and been able to extend that over seven, eight innings.
``It was just down to a point where it makes you look at it a little differently. Talking to him, he's just tired.''
Sale said he is learning how to get through games when he doesn't have his best velocity or effectiveness.
``For right now, it's just finding a way. Whatever I've got on a given day, you've got to go out there and keep pitching. You can't get down on yourself on days where you might not have your best stuff. You've still got guys fighting to win and you've still got to fight with them.''
Sale's situation is not the same as that of Washington Nationals star Stephen Strasburg, who is returning from Tommy John surgery. The Nationals have said they not let him pitch more than 140 innings. The Sox have not indicated doing something like that.
``At the end of the day, it's their call, not ours,'' Sale said. ``We're the players and we go out there and play hard and whenever they want us to play, we do. At the end of the day, they have the final say, so we ust have to respect them and trust that they know what they're doing and everything will work out in the end.''

A.J. Pierzynski homered in the sixth Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels, giving him homers in four consecutive games for the second time in his career. He also did it from May 14 to May 18, 2005 in his first season with the Sox.
His homer was the 20th of the season, increasing his new career high and making him the first Sox catcher since Ron Karkovice in 1993 to have 20 homers in a season.

Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter in U.S. Cellular Field May 3, 2011 as a Minnesota Twin, but that isn't the reason he looks forward to his first home start Sunday for the White Sox.
``I like pitching here. I've pitched here so many times. I pitched good games here, so I'll try to do the same thing.
``I look forward to try to go out there and do my best and win the ball game,'' he said. ``When I got out there I don't think about the stadium. I just try to make my pitches and do my job. Whatever happens, happens.''
Liriano was acquired July 28 from the Twins for infielder Eduardo Escobar and left handed pitcher Pedro Hernandez.
General manager Ken Williams said he considered Liriano valuable despite a 3-10 record and 5.18 ERA because of adjustments pitching coach Don Cooper could make.
``He wanted me to stay tall and not get too low [in his delivery],'' Liriano said. ``Another thing he wants me to work on later, but for now to go out there and try to do your job and make a good pitch and try to go deeper in the game and just be who I am.''
Liriano's familiarity with the American League Central is another plus for the Sox.
``It's kind of easy for me getting to stay in the same division, facing the same teams. The only thing I change is my uniform.''
Liriano's first Sox start was against his former team last week when he allowed two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts over six innings. He was not involved in the decision.

Biden Visits Sox

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President Obama, who celebrated his 51st birthday Saturday, may be the country's No. 1 White Sox fan, but Vice President Joe Biden took a turn as a fan Friday.
Biden was at U.S. Cellular Field for the Sox 10-inning walk-off victory against the Los Angeles Angels.


Outfielder Dewayne Wise, who is part of White Sox history for his game-saving catch at the wall preserving Mark Buehrle's perfect game, is back with the team after signing a minor league contract Friday. He will report to Class AAA Charlotte. Wise, 34, played in 141 games with the Sox from 2008-09.
``Dewayne was having a good year with the Yankees, and a few games were against us,'' general manager Ken Williams said, Wise recently designated for assignment. ``We feel he needs a few at bats but at some point he might be part of the equation and help us off the bench.''
In another roster move, the team sent righthanded minor league pitcher Chris Devenski to Houston as the player to be named ater in the trade that brought reliever Brett Myers on July 21. The Sox also sent righthander Matt Heidenreich and lefthander Blair Walters to Houston in that deal.

Peavy, De Aza carry White Sox past Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Alejandro De Aza had three hits, including a single off Twins starter Scott Diamond's leg that drove in Tyler Flowers with the go-ahead run during the eighth inning, and Jake Peavy pitched eight strong innings as the White Sox held on for a 3-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon.

Peavy (9-7) settled into a groove after allowing a run in each of the first two innings, finishing with eight strikeouts while walking two and allowing five hits. He retired Joe Mauer on a pop to shortstop Alexei Ramirez with runners on first and third and two outs in the eighth.

Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his 18th save.

The Sox took two of three from the Twins after doing the same against the Rangers in Texas.

De Aza, who had seven hits in the series depite a hitless middle game, singled and scored the first run in the first. He stole second base for his 20th steal of the season, advanced to third on Kevin Youkilis' slow chopper to third, and scored on Adam Dunn's sacrifice fly.

The Twins scored on Joe Mauer's RBI groundout to Dunn at first base in the first and on Danny Valencia's homer in the second. The Sox tied it at 2-2 when Flowers beat out a double play with Alex Rios (2-for-4) on third in the fifth.

Reed retired Brian Dozier on a fly out to De Aza in center for the final out after Ryan Doumit doubled to right under the glove of a sliding Rios and Valencia walked with two outs in the ninth. A double steal by pinch runners Darin Mastroianni and Alexi Casilla put runners on second and third.

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