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

September 2012 Archives

The tragic number is one for the White Sox.
The best the team can hope for after Sunday's 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit's 2-1 victory over Minnesota is to meet the Tigers in Detroit Thursday for a tiebreaker game. But they will have to win all three games in Cleveland and the Tigers lose all three in Kansas City for that to happen.
``We're still in the fight, so we just keep playing,'' team captain Paul Konerko said. ``We're still in the season now. But if it doesn't go our way, there will be time to reflect then.''
Konerko has called the last two weeks ``frustrating,'' the Sox holding a three game lead on Sept. 17 only to lose 10 of their last 12 games. They have lost eight of their last 10 series of three or more games--hardly the formula for a playoff team.
But Konerko said there would be no regrets about one aspect of this season if it ends without the American League Central title.
``There's a little bit of peace knowing we always prepared the same way every day,'' he said of the team's approach through the year. ``It's frustrating from the standpoint of knowing how this team has prepared the same for every game, and it comes down to the stretch and things don't go the same. There's no explanation for it. Sometimes things just aren't meant to be.''
The ``approach'' had everything to do with first year manager Robin Ventura. But Ventura admitted there were ``little things'' that happened over the last two weeks that prevented big things from happening for the Sox.
``You'd like to get a big hit with guys on,'' he said. ``The big hit hasn't been there. You don't seem to win as much without them.
``You let [opponents] back into a game--there's a lot that goes into a [bad] stretch like this.
``But you continue to play. That's something we've done all year.''
While the Sox cling to the thinnest of hopes, so, too, do the Rays, who also could be within a game of elimination despite winning 10 of their last 11.
They trail the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics for the last wild card spot, though the entire AL playoff picture still remains muddled.
``I believe it's going to come for us,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``We have to win to take care of our business, but from my perspective, if you give in to thinking you need help [from other teams losing] and the odds are against you, it's not going to happen.''
What the Rays got Sunday in addition to another day of life in the playoff race was the franchise's first 20-game winner in David Price (20-5).
At 27, he is the youngest 20-game winner in the AL since 2004 when Johan Santana was 24 when he won 20 with the Twins.
``It's wonderful for David and wonderful for the organization,'' Maddon said. ``Our DNA is about pitching and defense. I like to believe we'll have more 20 game winners in our future. I think it's still a bench mark for a starter.''

White Sox loss clinches tie for Tigers

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B.J. Upton hit two home runs and drove in three runs, Ryan Roberts also homered, and the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the White Sox 6-2 to all but eliminate the Sox from the American League Central title.

The Tigers' 2-1 win at Minnesota gave them a three-game lead over the Sox with three games to play, clinching a tie for Detroit. The Sox finish the season with three games in Cleveland while the Tigers play a three-game series in Kansas City.

Sox starter Jose Quintana (6-6) allowed four runs on six hits over four-plus inings.

Alex Rios drove in a run with a single in the fourth and Dayan Viciedo had a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the Sox (83-76), who lost for the 10th time in their last 12 games.

The paid attendance at U.S. Cellular Field was 26,831, brining the season paid attendance to 1,965,955 -- the first time since 2004 the Sox drew less than 2 million fans.

Only four games remain in the regular season with nothing decided yet in the American League playoff picture.
The White Sox enter Sunday trailing the Detroit Tigers by two games in the AL Central--but the other divisions also have not been decided despite strong winning records for the current leaders, the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, each with 91 victories.
The Rangers play a double header Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels because of a Saturday rainout. The Angels are in contention for a wild card spot. So are the Oakland Athletics--but the A's also could catch the Rangers to win the West division outright.
The Tampa Bay Rays must win Sunday against the Sox to keep their playoff hopes alive. If the Rays lose and Oakland wins Sunday against Seattle, the Rays will be eliminated. If the Rays win, they might still need to sweep the Orioles in their final three games and have the Yankees and Oakland lose all or one of their remaining games.
``From my perspective, if you give in to the idea of you need help [from other teams] and the odds are against you, it's not going to happen,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``I don't think in those terms. I believe it's going to come back to us.''
The Sox would still be alive with a loss Sunday and a Tigers win, down by three games with three to play. If the Central challengers end the regular season in a tie, the tie-breaker game would be Thursday in Detroit.
The Sox finish the season at Cleveland while the Tigers will be in Kansas City after Sunday's game in Minnesota.

Jake Peavy will be a free agent for the first time in his career when the White Sox opt out of the final $22 million option year in his contract and pay a $4 million buyout instead.
But Peavy hopes to return to the Sox provided the two sides can reach what the right-hander believes is a fair offer.
An unusual circumstance could surround negotiations because Peavy's longtime agent, Barry Axelrod, will no longer be representing him. Axelrod is taking a position with the Arizona Diamondbacks where his close friend, Kevin Towers, is the general manager.
Peavy is weighing whether to handle his negotiations himself. The MLB Players Assn. does assist players in such negotiating situations.
``I'd like to come back here,'' he said. ``I love Chicago and this team. I hope we'll be able to work something out.''

White Sox' Pierzynski: Last hurrah at the Cell?

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Catcher A.J. Pierzynski's family flew in from Florida knowing Sunday very well could be his last game as a White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

"There's definitely a chance it could be,'' said Pierzynski, 35, who will be a free agent after the season. "You know, it's kind of bittersweet. On the one hand, obviously we would like to be in a better position than where we are at. But hopefully we'll find a way to win these last four games and come back and have a couple more home games.''

Before Sunday's game against the Rays, which the Sox entered trailing the first place Detroit Tigers by two games in the AL Central, Pierzynski said he hasn't thought about the possibility all that much because the Sox have been wrapped up in a pennant chase.

"Obviously you see the end of the season because of the number of games, but as far as thinking about next year, where I'm going to be or what I'm going to do, it hasn't really crept in because I haven't, mentally, I just haven't been able to check out with what we've been doing here this year,'' he said. "That's been a good thing because coming into it everyone thought we'd be so far out of it that by the time August came around, we would be auditioning guys for next year. It hasn't been the case. We've hung in there and hopefully we can find a way to turn this thing around and finish it off.''

Pierzynski, signed before the White Sox World Series championship season in 2005, has been down this road before, most recently before the 2011 season when he thought he was going to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pierzynski has been saying this year that he wants to return.

"Like I said earlier in the season, I packed my house up once, I packed it up for a second time,'' he said. "It's becoming old hat now. But I would love to come back and finish my career here, but at the same time I know how baseball works. I know the way things work and we'll see. Maybe we can work something out. If not, I'll always look back fondly on my time here and appreciate it. I love the city of Chicago. I love the fans here. I love the people here. I love the organization and you'll never hear me say anything bad about them.''

The Sox wore the red 1972 red pinstripes for the last time on Sunday, one last 40-year tribute to the Bill Melton/Dick Allen team.

"The only thing I can complain about is we have to wear these stupid red uniforms,'' Pierzynski said with a smirk. "I wish I could boycott it and make us just wear our normal ones, bring back the sleeveless ones we had like in '05. It's definitely crossed my mind. My family flew in for the game today just because there's definitely a real possibility this will be my last game here as part of the White Sox.

"But at the same time, everything comes to an end at a certain time. Like I said, I hope it's not the end, but if it is, I'll look back fondly and with great memories and hold my head high because I know I gave everything I could to the White Sox organization for eight years. I hope people remember that. That's it.

"I'm very grateful for [a lengthy eight-year tenure with one team]. Very thankful for that. [General manager] Kenny [Williams] kind of took a flier on me in the '05 season and we went on to win the World Series and I've been here ever since. It's been great. It's been a great run. Hopefully it will continue.''

White Sox' Ventura enjoyed first season on job

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura's first season has been a lot of things: Pleasantly surprising, agonizing, frustrating and educational. He made it clear Sunday that it's been enjoyable, too.

"Yeah, absolutely,'' Ventura said before the team's home finale. "I enjoy the people I work with, the guys on the team, what they've done, so that part's been fun."

Ventura won't win the AL Manager of the Year Award - Buck Showalter of the Orioles and Bob Melvin of the A's are the favorites - but he was under consideration while the Sox spent most of the season in first place.

"The hard part is you're always thinking,'' Ventura said. "If one guy's doing well, somebody else might not be. You're always thinking that way. You're thinking of 25 guys instead of just what you have to do. That's the hard part. The easy part is that you enjoy coming to the ballpark. It's easy to get up and get ready to come to the ballpark."

Ventura signed a three-year contract and he reiterated Sunday what he told the Sun-Times the day before: "I plan on being here for two more years, yes. Unless they don't want me to be here."

Being surrounded by a trustworthy and capable coaching staff has been a plus, especially for a first-year manager.

"That's been big,'' Ventura said. "To spend that much time together and realize everybody's doing what they're supposed to be doing ... they respect each other, what we're all doing. It's pretty open communication. I think everybody understands what everybody else's job is, but they're free to talk about anything, really."

Ventura wants to come back

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A surprise choice a year ago to manage the Sox, Robin Ventura has received high marks for his first season on the job. Ventura restored peace and calm in the organization and kept a team that wasn't picked to win in first place for 117 days.

An even bigger stunner than Ventura's hiring would be his going "one-and-done" and not returning after this season with two left on his contract. Ventura has just the kind of California demeanor to return to the normal family life he was enjoying as long as chairman Jerry Reinsdorf gave his blessing.

But contrary to recent rumblings that such a scenario could unfold, Ventura told the Sun-Times on Saturday that he wants to return. The subject indirectly came up during his pregame media session when he was asked if he sees himself managing as long as Walter Alston or Tommy Lasorda. His answer did nothing to defuse speculation that he wasn't in love with the job.

"No, I can't,'' Ventura said. "Those guys did it a long time, and I'm hoping to get through this one [season].''

Asked to clarify that later, Ventura said that he wants to keep managing. But not for 20 years like Lasorda.

"As long as they want me, yes,'' Ventura said.

There doesn't seem to be much doubt about that.

The Tampa Bay Rays put another dent in the White Sox playoff hopes Saturday, but the bigger picture was hardly rosy for the Rays.
Their 10-4 victory was a dominating performance over the Sox, who trail the Detroit Tigers by two games with four to play. But the Rays' playoff hopes took a hit just before the last out at U. S. Cellular Field when the Oakland Athletics pulled out an extra inning victory over Seattle on the West Coast.
It left the Rays three games behind the A's for the second American League wild card with four games remaining.
``It's tough but at the same time we put ourselves in this position,'' said catcher Chris Jimenez, one of three Rays to homer in the game. Teammate Matt Joyce homered twice.
``We have to keep winning and hope for some help,'' he said. ``There's still a little sense of urgency to keep winning. But it's a chip and a chair--you know, in poker, as long as you have a chip and a chair, you have a chance.''
That will be the way both teams approach Sunday's series finale, the final regular season home game for the Sox, who then head to Cleveland for three final regular season games.
The Rays go home to host the Baltimore Orioles, who are battling the Yankees for the AL East title or the first wild card.
The Rays cling to the hope a big series against the Orioles and stumbles by the A's and LA Angels--who also are a game ahead of the Rays in the wild card chase--can bring a second straight miracle finish season for them.
The Rays entered Saturday's game at 86-71, the same record they had last season when they trailed the Boston Red Sox by 2 ½ games for the wild card. They won their final five games and clinched the wild card with an extra-inning victory against the Yankees on the last day of the regular season.
Saturday's victory leaves four to match the goal.
``We just have to win our games, and I'm really pleased with how we played,'' manager Joe Madden said. ``We had a tough loss [Friday] and you read the epitaphs. But our guys came out and played the kind of game we played [during an eight game winning streak]. We have that within us.
``We do need help, and have to believe that will happen, but we just have to take care of our own business. We just have to play tomorrow.''

White Sox lose 10-4, fall 2 games behind Tigers

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Chris Sale lasted 3 1/3 innings -- his shortest start this season -- and the White Sox bats were silenced by left-hander Matt Moore as the Tampa Bay Rays rolled to a 10-4 victory on Saturday afternoon.

The Sox fell behind the first place Tigers by two games. The Tigers defeated the Twins 6-4.

Matt Joyce hit two home runs for the Rays.

Orlando Hudson hit a pinch grand slam in the eighth for the Sox.

Sale allowed five runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked three in what could be his last start of the season.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon believes his team has been in the playoffs for the last two weeks. It's a mindset looking at how the team has to play to actually secure the second league wild card, and it is one his team has had to follow for the last three seasons.
``We're in the playoffs already with the way the teams are competing,'' he said Saturday as the Rays prepared to face the White Sox, who are chasing the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. ``Winning eight out of the last nine this time of year speaks to the character of our players. We've come a long way in a short period of time. We have to continue to control the moment and believe in the group. Don't give up now boys.''
The Rays entered Saturday's game in the precarious position of trailing two teams for the second wild card spot. They were three games behind the Oakland Athletics and two behind the Los Angeles Angels with five games remaining. The Sox were in a seemingly better position, trailing only the Tigers by one game with five to play.
But experience has taught Maddon that the race isn't over until the last out, something his team proved again last season when a six-run eighth inning cut a Yankees lead to 7-6, a tying run in the ninth and then a winning run in the 12th put the Rays into the playoffs.
The Rays also won the American League pennant in 2008--with the Sox a victim along the playoff way.
``Having gone through it, even as a bench coach with the Angels all the way through the World Series, I don't know if it has actually helped, but I think it's helped me feel better prepared mentally,'' he said. ``But it's not like holding your own baby.''
The Rays have lost only two games by more than two runs since Aug. 4, a testament to their major league-best pitching staff (3.23 ERA), but their playoff hopes are nearing life support status. But the daily quote posted by bullpen coach Stan Borowski Saturday mirrored the Rays' ever-positive outlook: ``Every man dies. Not every man really lives.'' The quote was from Sir William Wallace, who led the Scottish independence movement in the 13th century and whose life was depicted in the movie ``Braveheart.''
Maddon had his own motto: ``never be afraid to lose,'' he said. ``You never win if you're afraid to lose.''

Cheers erupted at U.S. Cellular Field in the top of the eighth inning Friday, the kind of thing that happens in September in a playoff race.
``I thought the Bears scored,'' a smiling White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ``I knew they weren't playing so I knew it was the Tigers score.''
For 25,264 fans, the Tigers losing to the Minnesota Twins got even better moments later with the Sox completed a 3-1 comeback victory against the Tampa Bay Rays to move within a game of the American League Central leaders.
``When I heard the crowd cheer, I knew something was going on,'' said Alex Rios, the hitting hero with a homer, RBI and two runs scored.
``Hopefully what we did tonight can get the momentum going and get us going,'' said Rios, who gave the Sox a 2-1 lead in the fourth with his career-high 25th homer. ``It's good we're just one game back and anything can happen. We just have to play the same way we did tonight.''
It was Sox pitching that carried the night, with Gavin Floyd (11-11) persevering through five innings, holding the Rays a Ben Zobrist first inning home run and one other single in the second by Luke Scott. Jesse Crain was strong through 2 2/3 more, giving up only a single to Jeff Keppinger before Matt Thornton, Nate Jones, Donnie Veal and Addison Reed (29th save) finished.
Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson (9-11) gave up only two earned runs but took the loss.
``We've played games like that all the time, but Gavin did a great job, and I can't say enough about Jesse,'' Ventura said. ``He looked strong enough to do it.
``We finally got a couple [timely] hits and guys came across [home plate.]''
The outcome ended the Rays' eight-game winning streak and took a toll of their pursuit of the American League's second wild card.
``Jealous'' was how Ventura described his feelings about the Rays' streak, but by the end of the evening the Sox were feeling good about themselves again after snapping a three-game skid of their own.
With five games remaining, cheers and tears both remain in the realm of possibility.
``You've got to treat it as any other game and go out there and continue to have the same mentality, the same approach,'' said Floyd, who will have one more start in the final three-game series in Cleveland. ``You try to let your players field for you and try to put zeros up there. If you put more emphasis on it, it's not going to help you out.''
The Sox still hit only 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, but good pitching made the difference.
``That's how the playoffs are most of the time,'' Paul Konerko said of the low-scoring contest. ``In that sense, the urgency and what's going on out there definitely feel [like playoffs]. We're playing a team who is desperate to win too. It's equal on both sides.
``We've been playing these [kind of] games for a while now--weeks. They are draining, but everybody is dialed in and we are going to finish it to the end and see what happens.''
Rios said the final five games will take mental toughness.
``It's mentally exhausting. It's like we're playing in the playoffs right now and it's been like this for quite a bit. But you know what? It might be good because we're getting used to it. If we make it--and I think we're going to make it--it's going to help us because our minds are going to be in that mindset. It's going to be good.''

Jose Quintana will pitch Sunday's home game finale for the White Sox against Tampa, with the pitchers for final three games of the regular season still to be decided.
Quintana will face Rays ace David Price as the Sox try to climb back in the American League Central against the Detroit Tigers against a Rays team trying to secure the league's second wild card.
``We never expected him in spring training to be in the rotation at all,'' manager Robin Ventura said of Quintana, 23, who has found himself pitching in some of the team's biggest games.
His last start was Sept. 22 against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim when he worked five innings, giving up four runs on six hits in taking the 4-2 loss. But he also was the starter Sept. 17 in the make-up game against the Tigers, going four innings and giving up four runs in the game the Sox came back to win 5-4.
That victory gave them a three-game division lead, which disappeared in a week, the Sox trailing the Tigers by two games entering play Friday.
``Q has been in some big spots,'' Ventura said. The team's pitching options were Quintana or Hector Santiago in lieu of lefty Francisco Liriano, who is being skipped after pitching poorly in his last start against the Cleveland Indians.

White Sox lose again, trail Tigers by 2 games

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Evan Longoria hit a solo home run against Brett Myers in the ninth inning, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-2 win against the reeling White Sox before 18,630 fans at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday night.

The loss dropped the Sox to two games behind the American League Central leading Tigers, who earlier in the day defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-4. The Sox and Tigers have six games left on their schedules. The Sox have lost eight of their last nine games.

The Sox scored one run in the fourth and fifth innings but came away from each wanting and needing more after loading the bases in each one against James Shields.

Sox starter Jake Peavy allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings in what could have been his last game as a White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Peavy has a $22 million team option for next season.

In addition to the Sox' frustration in the fourth and fifth innings, the eighth inning ended when pinch runner Jordan Danks was called out at second for failing to re-touch the bag after passing it on a fly ball to center field. Danks was pinch running for A.J. Pierzynski, who led off the inning with a single.

Pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise, who has no sacrifice bunts this year, failed in his attempt to bunt Danks to second before striking out. The Sox left 10 runners on base.

Rays closer Fernando Rodney struck out Adam Dunn to end the game after Kevin Youkilis singled with two outs in the Sox ninth. Rodney has 46 saves.

White Sox walk 12, fall out of first place

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That was the sound of the White Sox falling out of first place on Wednesday night for the first time since July 23.


That's what the Sox produced against the last-place Cleveland Indians in their failing attempt to stay in first.

Sox pitchers walked 12 Indians and Sox hitters were 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position as the South Siders (82-73) lost 6-4 before 20,166 fans for their seventh defeat in eight games. The Tigers (83-72) beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 to take a one-game lead in the American League Central.

Shin-Soo Choo grounded to first baseman Paul Konerko to score Lou Marson (Walk) as the Indians broke a 4-4 tie in the sixth. Vinny Rottino hit his first homer against Brett Myers in the eighth to make it 6-4.

Making his third start, rookie left-hander Hector Santiago was staked to a 3-1 lead but lasted 3 1/3 innings that started the agonzing run on walks. Santiago walked four and gave up five hits, allowing three runs. Fellow rookie Brian Omogrosso replaced Santiago and gave up a two-run single to Glenbrook North grad Jason Kipnis to tie the score at 3 in the fourth.

Indians starter Justin Masterson had control problems of his own in the first, walking Paul Konerko with no outs and the bases loaded to score Alejandro De Aza (walk) before Alex Rios' sacrifice fly and A.J. Pierzynski's RBI double gave the Sox their 3-1 lead.

The Sox wanted more with runners on second and third and one out, but Alexei Ramirez tapped out to Masterson and Dewayne Wise grounded to first as the Sox problems with runners in scoring position continued. They're 8-for-64 over the last nine games.

Masterson regained his command and lasted until the fifth when he walked Pierzynski with two outs and threw a wild pitch. When Ramirez doubled off the center-field wall to give the Sox a 4-3 lead, Masterson's night was over.

Jones, pitching for the sixth time in 10 days, walked Santana with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth to tie the score at 4. Jones struck out Russ Canzler and Matt Thornton came in and got Travis Hafner to hit into a pitcher-to-home-to-first double play, but not without making a shaky throw home to Pierzynski, the Sox catcher.

By that time, the Tigers were making their way home to rest up for their home finale against the Royals on Thursday afternoon. They finish up with three games at Minnesota and three at Kansas City. The Sox open a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday before playing the Indians in Cleveland for three.

Peavy: White Sox would be "dangerous" playoff team

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Jake Peavy doesn't care about the lackluster performance in September. He insists if the White Sox "finds a way to get in" the postseason, they'll be a team others won't want to play.

"Because if we get in, I think we're a dangerous team,'' Peavy said. "I don't think anyone is lining up wanting to play us with the talent we have in this room.''

Asked why the Sox are dangerous, Peavy said "because we can pitch. And our offense has potential to run up some big homers. If we hit some homers with some guys on base, with the pitching staff and the bullpen evolving the way it's evolved, and we have a few starters that can get on a roll ... ''

That's a lot of ifs, but Peavy pointed to the Sox record against the Yankees (5-2) and Rangers (6-3) to support his argument.

"We can play with any team in baseball on any given day,'' he said. "I'd love to have a chance to be in the playoffs."

Peavy starts in the opener of the four-game series against the Rays on Thursday. The Sox are 3-0 against Tampa Bay, a playoff contender.

Peavy said pitching on normal four days rest would not have been a problem but he welcomed five days, even though his ERA is 2.29 in 11 starts on four days and 3.71 in 14 starts on five days. Not after throwing 203 2/3 innings.

"Any time you get an extra day, you feel a little more recovered,'' he said.

White Sox rookie "pumped and ready" to face Tribe

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The White Sox are down to an eight-game season. In Game 1, rookie left-hander Hector Santiago will take the ball.

The Sox are tied for first place with the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. Santiago will face the Cleveland Indians in the rubber game of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. The Tigers, who won Tuesday night after the Sox lost, will host the Kansas City Royals.

Manager Robin Ventura made one change in his lineup for tonight's game, inserting Dewayne Wise in place of Dayan Viciedo. Wise will play center, with Alejandro De Aza playing left.

Santiago, the Opening Day closer who is shuttling between starting and relief, is making his third career start. He is 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA, and is 1-0 with a 2.48 ERA over his last 15 appearances. That span includes two starts.

"I feel like 30 pitches, 90 pitches I feel like I'm ready to go every day,'' Santiago said.

Santiago, like fellow rookie pitchers Addison Reed, Nate Jones and Dylan Axelrod who've made important contributions, seems unfazed by pitching during September for the first time.

"Us [rookies], we're out there, we're still in shock that this is working out in our favor,'' Santiago said. "We're getting out there and throwing in big situations. This is huge. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You never know when it's going to happen or when you're going to be in the hunt for a playoff spot again.

"I'm excited, I'm pumped. Just them considering me as a spot starter in this situation that we're in ... I'm ready to go. This is a situation you live for, to be in a situation when your team needs a win.''

"He's been effective. He's a tough kid,'' Ventura said. "We've had a lot of young guys throughout the year step up and do the job. It's no different now. We expect him to go out and compete and give us a chance to win the game.''

Right-hander Justin Masterson starts for Cleveland.

The home run has been the best offensive weapon for the White Sox for years, and with 202 already, they are on base for their eighth best homer season ever.
Only the New York Yankees have more homers--but four teams have scored more total runs than the Sox, and that is the problem.
All three of the Sox runs on Tuesday came from solo homers, but the team went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
In the last 19 games, the Sox are only 27-155 (.174) with runners in scoring position. That could haunt them if it continues in the final week of the regular season.
``I don't know why,'' second baseman Gordon Beckham said. ``I don't have a good answer. We've just struggled stringing hits together.''
Beckham's last at bat Tuesday against Cleveland closer Chris Perez (37th save) came with pinch runner Jordan Danks at second base. But the Sox left Alexandro De Aza at third and Adam Dunn at second in the first inning with one out when Paul Konerko--who homered in the ninth--grounded out and Alex Rios flied out.
There may be no reason other than a slump coming at a time when it is most noticeable.
``That's been one of the things of late,'' manager Robin Ventura said of the long ball and lack of ``small ball.'' ``The guys were having good at bats. That's the way it goes.
``The end of a season is always like that,'' he added of close games. ``Crazy things happen.''
The Sox have hit .272 (328/1,204) with runners in scoring position for the season--sixth best in the majors, with Rios and Alexei Ramirez ranking seventh and eighth respectively among individual American League hitters.
They have homered in 30 of their last 34 home games--but the long ball advantage of U.S. Cellular Field in the summer shows in comparing their 118 homers at home to 84 on the road.
The Sox are averaging only 2.4 runs per game in their last eight, going 2-6 in those games.
``It's just going to take stringing some hits together that don't go over the fence,'' Beckham said.

Indians defeat White Sox

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The White Sox went deep three times against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday afternoon, but it wasn't enough.

The Cleveland Indians scored three in the fourth to build a 4-0 lead and held on for a 4-3 victory before 13,797 fans at U.S. Cellular Field, dropping the Sox' lead on the Detroit Tigers to one half game. The Tigers play the Royals on Tuesday night.

A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo hit back to back homers in the fifth against Corey Kluber (2-4), and Paul Konerko led off the ninth against Indians closer with a homer for the Sox.

About 15 hours after Adam Dunn hit maybe the two biggest homers of his 406-HR career to ignite maybethe Sox' bigger wins of the season, the air came out of U.S. Cellular Field when the Indians grabbed a 4-0 lead.

Russ Canzler led off the second with a homer against Liriano and doubled Carlos Santana (leadoff walk) to third to put the Indians in business in the fourth. After former Sox Brent Lillibridge walked with one out to load the bases, Thomas Neal hit a potential double-play grounder to second baseman Gordon Beckham, but Beckham's feed to shortstop Alexei Ramirez was just low enough to prevent Ramirez from getting off a strong relay.

Neal was safe on a tie at the bag, a run scored, and RBI singles by Ezequiel Carrera and Shin-soo Choo made it 4-0.

Beckham came to bat with the tying run on second and winning run on first but hit into a fielder's choice to end the game.

Who is baseball's biggest broadcasting ``homer?''
It's White Sox veteran Ken ``Hawk'' Harrelson, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper did a self-described analysis of baseball broadcasters and gauged their home team biases by how often in a game they referred to their teams as ``we'' and ``our'', used nicknames for players and ``blatantly rooted'' for their team.
Harrelson and television partner Steve Stone were the runaway leaders, with most of the scoring based on Harrelson.
Harrelson couldn't be happier.
``"You just made my day," Harrelson told the newspaper. "That's the biggest compliment you could give me, to call me the biggest homer in baseball."
The newspaper listened to nine innings of one game for 30 teams, charting what it considered biased comments. Harrelson [and Stone] had 104 during a 2-1 victory against the Texas Rangers on July 5, the game that was charted.
The next closest pair of announcers were the Cleveland Indians' Rick Manning and Matt Underwood with 23.
The fewest ``homer'' comments came from the San Francisco Giants' Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper with one.
Harrelson said he doesn't worry about how he is perceived.
"I have my detractors, no doubt about it," Harrelson said. "I look at it as a compliment."

White Sox' Manto: Too much TV can be a bad thing

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Hitting coach Jeff Manto knows video can be a valuable tool for hitters but he believes it gets overused when mechanics are overstressed and feel is undervalued.

Adam Dunn's two-homer night was a case in point where video paid off. He and Manto looked at some during the game, went to the cage and got things ironed out.

"It was just a balance issue,'' Manto said before the Sox played the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday afternoon "He was just rushing out on his legs, and we got him back underneath himself.

"He had a chance to see himself get down on his legs a little too much."

So video has its place. But it's like anything else: only in moderation.

"It's one of those fine lines where you have to really police and make sure these guys aren't going into the video room just to watch themselves hit,'' Manto said. "Some guys, they reinforce bad thoughts and stuff like that. So it's a pretty delicate balance.

"I'm one of those guys who shies away from it (video) more than go to it. I'd rather have the guys feel what they're doing rather than watching for mechanics all the time. Mechanics are obviously very important, but when you take your mind off the ball and start worrying about other things other than the ball, things can really start to run away on you."

Santiago to start Wednesday; extra rest for Peavy

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Hector Santiago will start on Wednesday for the White Sox against the Cleveland Indians, pushing Jake Peavy back one day to give him an extra day of rest.

The insertion of Santiago into the rotation was also going to give ace Chris Sale, who threw 118 pitches on Monday, an extra day. But during the course of Tuesday's 4-3 loss the Sox changed their mind and said Sale will start on four days Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays. That would allow him to pitch in a potential AL Central tiebreaker game next Thursday.

Peavy will pitch the series opener against the Rays, followed by Gavin Floyd on Friday. Sunday has yet to be determined, likely between Jose Quintana -- who pitched to two batters in relief Tuesday - or Francisco Liriano.

Adam Dunn had a simple reminder before the White Sox faced the Cleveland Indians Monday.
``You can't worry about what other teams are doing. We are in first place. That's what people are still forgetting.
We are in first place.
`` If we win as many games as we can and we play well, we will make the playoffs. We don't have to watch, when you have a lead. You don't have to scoreboard watch. It's nice if we win and they lose, but if we win them all and they win them all, guess who goes?''
Dunn was the man who rescued the Sox Monday night and kept them in first place with a pair of home runs, none bigger than his three-run blast in the eighth off Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano (3-3) that was enough for the 5-4 victory.
Matt Thornton gave up a run in the ninth, and the Indians had the tying run at second with two outs before Donnie Veal got the final out (first save.)
The victory went to Brett Myers (3-3) in relief.
``We have nine games left, and hopefully tonight kind of jump-starts us,'' Dunn said.
For now, it ended the Sox five-game losing streak and preserved their one game lead in the American League Central over the Detroit Tigers, who already had defeated the Kansas City Royals and were on the verge of climbing to a division tie.
``Knowing the situation and everything that goes with it, they were big at bats,'' manager Robin Ventura said of Dunn's homers--Nos. 40 and 41 of the season coming after the designated hitter had struck out twice against Indians starter Zach McAllister.
Dunn had entered the game in a 2-for-21 slump, mirroring the offensive woes of the team during a deflating losing road trip.
Dunn admitted he wasn't seeing the ball well in Anaheim, where the Angels swept a three-game weekend series. He watched video and worked on ``slowing everything down,'' he said.
The result were the homers that put him in the 40-category for the sixth time in his career, with No. 41 one of the biggest of his career, he admitted.
``We were struggling to score runs,'' he said. ``I had been swinging and missing for about a week.''
The Sox trailed 3-2 with two out in the eighth and two men on when Dunn connected, taking Chris Sale off the hook for what would have been his first loss at home since May 12, a span of 10 home starts.
``We've had some pretty big wins, but pulling that one out was huge,'' said Sale, who labored through seven innings, giving up a season-high 10 hits but only three runs after throwing a season-high 118 pitches.
A crowd of 20,206 watched as the Sox managed only four hits off McAlister, who gave up one run in the fifth when Alex Rios singled and later scored after a balk and ground out by Alexei Ramirez.
The Sox thought they had a run in the fourth when Alejandro De Aza raced from first toward home on a Kevin Youkilis double. But De Aza was tagged out on a close play at the plate.
``These three games are going to be as tough as any three we've played, just for that fact,'' Dunn said of the Indians series. ``They know they are going home and they would like nothing more than to see us go home--and I've been in that situation. This is their playoff.''
Coming home was a tonic, with the Sox again using home run power to gain a victory.
They have homered in 29 of their last 33 games, with 60 homers in that span.
Sale had been untouchable at home in his last nine starts, with an 8-0 record and 1.20 ERA.
``I felt good out there, but they were taking a lot [of pitches],'' he said. ``They were taking pitches I usually get swings on.''
The Indians scored in the third on a Jason Kipnis single and RBI double by Asdrubal Cabrera. Russ Canzier's second homer of the season after Carlos Santana singled in the sixth hiked the lead.
A week ago the Sox pushed their division lead to three games with a win over the Tigers in a make-up game.
The Sox have been in first place every day since July 24.
``You never know what can happen over these last games as far as a team getting hot and playing well,'' Paul Konerko said. ``I know how teams go. In a matter of two, three games you have a couple great games and you feel like you're the best team in the world. So that can definitely happen over the last games.''

White Sox manager Robin Ventura is leaning toward delaying Jake Peavy's scheduled Wednesday start to Thursday to open the four-game weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
``We'll see how tonight goes,'' he said before Monday's game against the Cleveland Indians. ``There's a possibility depending on how tonight goes. We might push him to Thursday.''
Ventura said he would choose a spot starter for Wednesday if Peavy is held back.

Scoreboard watching doesn't have to be a preoccupation for the Sox if they remain in first place--but that isn't the only reason Ventura knows the Sox have to try to win as many as possible.
``You have to win games. You're going to have win games no mater what. I don't think either team [Detroit or the Sox] is going to lose all the rest of its games. For me, just continue to play, be ready, be prepared.
``I think for me, I just look at the effort. You're not going to always play well. You hope to, but the effort when they show up, the work they put in, the way they play, that's really what you're looking for.

Adam Dunn said he has felt fine the last three days physically, but he knows he is among the players trying to do too much with every at-bat.
``I can't speak for anyone else, but it seems like the good pitches I'm getting I'm fouling off or taking, and in Anaheim I wasn't seeing the ball very good at all. If I'm not seeing it like I should, it's something I'm doing.''
Dunn said he worked on slowing down his approach and swing in his last at-bats Sunday. ``It was a lot better.''

Angels complete sweep of White Sox

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Kendrys Morales followed Albert Pujols' two-run double with with a two-run homer in the sixth inning, Jered Weaver gave up one run over 6 1/3 innings, and the Los Angeles Angels complete a three-game sweep of the White Sox with a 4-1 victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Sox, who had a chance to gain a game on the Detroit Tigers -- who lost the first game of a day-night doubleheader to the Twins earlier in the day -- lost for the fifth straight time. The loss left the Sox one-half game ahead of the Tigers in the American League Central.

Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd was brilliant through five innings, striking out eight and walking one in that span, before the Angels exploded against him in the sixth. After Floyd retired Chris Iannetta to open the inning, he walked Mike Trout to get the inning started.

The Sox had their big chance in the first when they loaded the bases with one out. But Weaver struck out Alex Rios in an 11-pitch at-bat before getting A.J. Pierzynski on a grounder to short.

The Sox have scored eight runs during their five game skid.

They return home to play the Cleveland Indians on Monday. The homestand ends with four games against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sale: White Sox not panicking

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Chris Sale will take the ball for the White Sox when they open their final homestand of the season on Monday night. Sale might have to stop a five-game losing streak if the Sox lose to the Angels on Sunday.

"I don't think anyone is quite panicking,'' Sale said Sunday. "You start panicking and you get out of your comfort zone. That's what we don't want to do. Just be prepared.''

Sale said he "feels good" going into his 28th start on Monday.

"Obviously it might take a little bit longer to bounce back but that's part of it,'' he said Sunday. "Just make sure I'm doing my running and conditioning and stay on top of that. Once my fifth day comes up usually I'm in a pretty good spot.''

Jake Peavy, who made his 30th start Friday and passed 200 innings for the first time since 2007, is scheduled Wednesday on four days rest but it's possible he will get an extra day and open the Tampa Bay series on Thursday.

Angels 4-run first enough to beat White Sox

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Stretch-run moustaches slowly but surely are disappearing around the White Sox clubhouse.

So is the Sox' lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. And manager Robin Ventura's cool.

At a semi-comfortable three games after their win against Detroit at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday, the advantage was shaved to one half game on Saturday night after the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Sox 4-2. The Sox losing streak is now four.

The Angels scored four in the first against rookie lefty Jose Quintana (6-5). Three runs were unearned because of a Quintana error on a routine bunt.

Paul Konerko homered in the second inning against Dan Haren (12-11). Pinch hitter Dewayne Wise drove in the other Sox run with a groundout in the seventh.

The Sox started this game in poor fashion. Haren struck out Alejandro De Aza, Kevin Youkilis and Adam Dunn -- who was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a double play -- in the first, this a day after the Sox struck out 12 times.

Quintana set the table for a four-run Angels first by walking leadoff man Mike Trout and then fumbling Erick Aybar's sacrifice bunt for an error. After Albert Pujols doubled in Trout, Torii Hunter singled in Aybar. Quintana walked two more in the inning and gave up an opposite field two-run single to Mark Trumbo with two outs that made it 4-0.

Ventura was ejected in the fourth inning by first base umpire Ed Hickox for arguing a balk call on Quintana, who had dug himself into a 4-0 hole in the first inning before finishing with four scoreless frames. In the fourth, Quintana filled the bases with no outs but got out of it by retiring Pujols, Hunter and Howie Kendrick.

Ventura may have been trying to light a fire under a team that has looked flat because it's not hitting. It was his fourth ejection, leaving bench coach Mark Parent in charge.

"Putting pressure on themselves to do well,'' Ventura said before the game of his hitters who are struggling. "It's more just doing the simple things. I don't think one guy has to carry this. What they have to realize is it's nine guys going up having tough at-bats.

"Look at [Friday's] game. A lot of strikeouts [12] and pop-ups. It's more putting it in play and putting pressure on the defense rather than swinging as hard as you can and hope something happens."

On the subject of hope, the Sox were thinking the Tigers-Twins day-night doubleheader Sunday might work to their advantage knowing doubleheaders are difficult to sweep.

Santana dominates White Sox

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Say this for the White Sox' losses in the last three games. Each has had its own distinct flavor.

Or, from the Sox perspective, its own foul taste.

Wednesday's loss in Kansas City was the 1-for-12 hitting exhibition with runners in scoring position. Thursday's was the exercise in bad baserunning. And Friday's was the night of the whiff.

The Sox struck out 11 times against Angels right-hander Ervin Santana in a 6-2 loss. Santana has that kind of stuff and those kinds of nights. He fanned 10 Blue Jays, Dodgers and Tigers in starts this year, and he held the Sox to two hits in seven innings.

Santana's K display featured the 200th and 201st of Adam Dunn's season, two by Alex Rios, A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo and two more by Alejandro De Aza after De Aza led off a game with a home run for the second time in four days.

"We just got our rear ends kicked,'' said manager Robin Ventura, whose team struck out 12 times all night.
"It got a point where it looked like we weren't going to do anything [offensively].
"We just have to keep playing.''

For about one minute, De Aza's hooked liner inside the right-field foul pole looked like a good start toward building their lead to 2 ½ games on the Detroit Tigers, who were rained out against the Minnesota Twins.

Instead, the Sox lead was cut to 1 1/2 as Santana proceeded to strike out four of the next six Sox and didn't allow another hit until Alexei Ramirez's two-out single in the fifth. In between, Santana piled up nine of his strikeouts.

Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.40 ERA) was no match for Santana (8-12, 4.93). The Sox' top right-hander fell to 2-8 over his last 11 road starts, allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings. Peavy struck out three and walked two.

"Maybe when the season is over I can say this was nice,'' Peavy said when asked about surpassing 200 innings for the first time since 2007. "But it's all about wins and losses. I've got to find a way to win and help this team get to the playoffs. All that matters is finding a way to win the ultimate prize. We have to dig deep and find a way.''

De Aza's homer didn't hold up long. Kendrys Morales homered for the 21st time leading off the Angels second, and Albert Pujols blooped a single in front of De Aza in center to score Chris Iannetta (single) and Mike Trout (double) in the third for a 3-1 Angels lead.

With first base open, Peavy had the options of pitching around Pujols or walking him intentionally, but facing the left-handed hitting Morales was the alternative.

In the fourth, Torii Hunter singled in two runs to make it 5-1. Trout's 26th homer, against Brian Omogrosso in the seventh, made it 6-1.

The Sox' one glimmer of hope came in the eighth when Dunn, who has 39 homers, came up with Gordon Beckham (RBI single) and De Aza on base with two outs and the Sox trailing by four, but as the theme of the night would have it, Dunn struck out against lefty Scott Downs.

Santana is getting on a nice roll at a good time for the Angels, who are running out of time in their quest to reach the postseason after spending lavishly last off-season. In six starts going into the game, Santana was 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA.

De Aza moved into the list of all-time Sox leaders with his fourth leadoff homer of the season. Ray Durham had six in 2001 and five in 2000 and 1998, and Tim Raines had five in 1993. Sammy Sosa (1990) and Jim Morrison (1979) also had four.

Discussing the team's recent offensive woes before the game, manager Robin Ventura said, "it doesn't do you any good to think about Sunday's game on Friday unless you want to lose on Friday.

"I don't think it's hard now. I think it's easier because they realize games are important and you have to be focused on what you're doing and it's fun to play the game that night instead of thinking ahead.

"You put [the significance of games in a pennant race] in the back of your mind and play. I think if you get caught up in that, your mind can start thinking about other things than the game."

Hosmer's 9th-inning single dooms White Sox

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Eric Hosmer hit an 0-2 pitch from Matt Thornton inside the third-base line to score pinch runner Jarrod Dyson from second in the ninth inning, and Kansas City Royals defeated the White Sox 4-3 on Thursday night.

The Sox had a chance to take a three-game lead on the Detroit Tigers, who lost to Oakland Thursday afternoon. The Sox led 3-0 but managed three hits in the final six innings. The Sox leave for Anaheim, Calif., after the game for a weekend series against the Angels.

Thornton entered the game to face Hosmer with two outs.

A night after they hit 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and popped out eight times against soft-tossing lefty Bruce Chen in a 3-0 loss with ace Chris Sale on the mound, the Sox cut the scoring tension on A.J. Pierzynski's a two-out RBI single in the first inning. It was the Sox' first earned run against Jeremy Guthrie in 24 innings this season.

In the second, the Sox cobbled together two unearned runs for a 3-0 lead on a walk to Johnson, an infield single by Alexei Ramirez, a throwing error by Guthrie on Gordon Beckham's sacrifice bunt and a 60-foot, RBI roller down the first base line by Dewayne Wise.

But the Sox offense went kaput after that, thanks in part to possibly giving away two runs on the bases. Cleanup man Alex Rios - who led off the third with a double -- was out easily at home trying to score from third on a pitch that squirted away from catcher Salvador Perez. An inning later. Perez picked off Alexei Ramirez (leadoff single) at third. In both cases, it was the second out of the inning, and had added significance when the Sox could manage three singles in the fourth through ninth innings.

Perez is nobody to mess with. He has five pickoffs this year and eight in his career, breaking Darrell Porter's club record in 1977-80.

What the Sox gave away on the bases they took back with their defense. Starting pitcher Francisco Liriano caught Eric Hosmer's bat-shattering grounder between his legs while facing second base, Wise made a running catch and crashed to the wall in left center on Gordon's drive and Beckham sprinted about 90 feet to make a sliding catch of Perez's foul near the tarp.

After Liriano sailed through the first four innings, he gave up a two-run, two-out triple to No. 9 hitter Johnny Giavotella in the fifth. When Gordon singled with one out in the sixth on Liriano's 84th pitch, Ventura brought in Nate Jones to face Billy Butler, who scored Gordon with a double off the center-field wall to tie it 3-3.

White Sox' Williams mum on 2013 status

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- White Sox general manager Ken Williams is not commenting on a report that he will be promoted to the position of team president after the season, with assistant GM Rick moving up to the GM chair.

The move has been discussed and speculated for some time.

Williams is saying that his focus, and the team's, is on winning a championship this season and that he won't discuss his status until after the season. The Sox are in first place in the American League Central and have a chance to win a second world title under Williams as GM. The Sox won the World Series in 2005.

Hahn has been groomed to move up and has been interviewed for several GM openings. He has also turned down interview opportunities. Hahn is in his 12th season with the Sox.

Williams has been GM since after the 2000 season.

Konerko gets night off with stiff back

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With the Oakland A's defeating the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, the White Sox went into their game against the Royals on Thursday night with a chance to build their lead to three games.

Manager Robin Ventura made a handful of changes in his lineup, giving first baseman Paul Konerko a day off because of a stiff back and inserting Dan Johnson at designated hitter. He also moved third baseman Kevin Youkilis to the sixth spot in the order against right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who has not allowed an earned run against the Sox in 23 2/3 innings.

Ventura said he expects Konerko to play Friday with the Sox open a three-game series in Anaheim against the Angels.

The batting order

De Aza LF
Wise CF
Dunn 1B
Rios RF
Pierzynski C
Youkilis 3B
Johnson DH
Ramirez SS
Beckham 2B

Liriano P.

Royals halt White Sox streak; lead cut to 2

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Soft-tossing left-hander Bruce Chen baffled the White Sox with 6 2/3 scoreless innings to outduel Chris Sale, Alex Gordon hit a two-run double that left fielder Dayan Viciedo couldn't track down, and the Kansas City Royals held on for a 3-0 victory on Wednesday night.

With the Detroit Tigers' win against the Oakland A's, their second in a row since losing to the Sox on Monday, the Sox (81-67) lead in the American League Central was cut to two games with 14 to play.

With ace Sale (17-7) on the mound, the Sox liked their chances of extending their winning streak to six, but Chen (11-12 with the win), who came into the game with a 5.42 ERA but owned a career 3.42 ERA against the Sox, held the Sox to five hits.

Sale allowed eight hits, walked two (one intentional) and struck out eight.

Billy Butler drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Gordon drove in two with the double that knocked Sale out of the game in the seventh. Sale, working out of trouble in all but two innings, would have escaped one last time if Viciedo would have been able to catch Gordon's drive to the warning track. Viciedo got to the right spot but couldn't corral what looked like a makeable catch, and the Royals led 3-0.

Alejandro De Aza had four hits, a career high, including a triple.

Greg Holland pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save. The Royals have defeated the Sox 11 times in 17 meetings this season.

White Sox playoff tickets on sale Friday

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Individual-game tickets to potential American League Wild Card and Division Series games at U.S. Cellular Field will go on sale Friday at noon.

Tickets will be available at, by phone at 866-SOX-GAME and at all Ticketmaster locations. There is a limit of six tickets per person.

Prices for Wild Card and Division Series games are: lower Box $65; lower reserved/bleachers/upper deck box $60; and upper deck reserved $45.

The ALDS begins Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7. If the Sox, who own a three-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central going into Wednesday's games, hold on to win the division they would likely play the winner of the AL East and be seeded lower. The lower seed in that series would play the first two games at home. Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) would be hosted by the higher seed.

Information on ticket sales for potential American League Championship and World Series games will be announced later.

White Sox win fifth in row

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The mood in the White Sox clubhouse before they played the Royals on Tuesday night was relaxed and businesslike, which has been the norm throughout the season.
Their benchmark win against the Tigers on Monday left them breathing a little easier with a three-game lead in the American League Central. But not too easy.
"You can take positives from it but you cannot take the Royals for granted,'' said manager Robin Ventura, whose team had lost five of the first 15 games to Kansas City before defeating the Royals 3-2 on Tuesday for their fifth straight victory. "They've played us well. We realize the position we're in but if you let down, what you did in the last four days gets washed away.''
The Kauffman Stadium scoreboard told the Sox that Detroit, despite losing co-ace pitcher Max Scherzer, was pounding on the A's so the Sox knew they needed to win to maintain their cushion.
The Sox were ready from the get-go, getting a leadoff home run from Alejandro De Aza, and two more solo shots from Gordon Beckham in the fifth inning and Alex Rios in the seventh. It was Beckham's career-high 16th of the season and it was the 24th for Rios, who hit a 3-0 pitch to deep left.
Gavin Floyd (10-10) pitched seven strong innings, allowing five hits, including an opposite-field two-run single to Billy Butler in the first. After that, Floyd faced one batter over the minimum while retiring the last 10 Royals he faced.
Left-hander Matt Thornton pitched a perfect eighth, and Ventura, following his pattern Monday when he let Brett Myers start the ninth after working a full inning for a favorable matchup, let Thornton face lefty Alex Gordon to open the ninth.
Thornton went to 3-0 count on Gordon before coming back to strike him out, and Addison Reed (28th save) came in to face Butler and Salvador Perez. Reed fell behind 2-0 on Butler but retired him on a grounder to Beckham at second and got Perez on a fly to Dewayne Wise in center.
De Aza had two hits in his return to the lineup after sitting out two games following an 0-for-5 with four strikeouts night in Minnesota. The homer was his third leadoff blast.
The right-handed hitting Dayan Viciedo, who was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts against Hochevar, went to the bench.
A day after collecting three hits in the big win against the Tigers, Dewayne Wise moved down to the eighth spot in the lineup and played center field. He went 0-for-4.
Ventura indicated he will rotate De Aza, Wise and Viciedo into left and center, Viciedo limited to left.
"They're all kind of doing their part and there's only three spots out there,'' Ventura said. "You keep them fresh and try to give them a chance. You look at matchups and you get them out there because they've all done something to get us here.''
Wise was a more than capable fill-in when De Aza went down with sore ribs.
"Dewayne has done that. ... we have gotten a spark from him,'' Ventura said. "He's played his into getting some playing time.
It was easier for Ventura to excuse Wise for his baserunning gaffe in Monday's game against the Tigers because the Sox won. Wise was out at third tagging up on what would have been a sacrifice fly by Adam Dunn.
"He knew right away,'' Ventura said Tuesday. "If he could have called timeout when he was halfway there he would have. It's a lot easier sitting in the dugout. On the field you sometimes try to do more than you should. That was one of those times where he tried to do more than was necessary to try and make an impact.''

Wise stays in lineup vs. Royals

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Dewayne Wise is staying in Robin Ventura's lineup for the White Sox game against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

A day after collecting three hits including a two-run tying single in the Sox' 5-4 victory against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field, Wise was penciled into the eighth spot and will play center field. Alejandro De Aza returns to the lineup in left field and will lead off against right-hander Luke Hochevar. The right-handed hitting Dayan Viciedo, who is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts against Hochevar, goes to the bench.

Paul Konerko, after being the designated hitter the last three games, will play first base. For the purpose of staying loose and being active for the benefit of his strained oblique, Adam Dunn has played first since coming off the shelf.

The Sox go into the game with a three-game lead on the Tigers in the American League Central. The Tigers host the Oakland A's on Tuesday night.

Right-hander Gavin Floyd starts for the Sox, who own a four-game winning streak. The Sox lineup vs. Hochevar:

Alejandro De Aza LF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Adam Dunn DH
Paul Konerko 1B
Alex Rios RF
A.J. Pierzynski C
Alexei Ramirez SS
Dewayne Wise CF
Gordon Beckham 2B

White Sox defeat Tigers, build 3-game lead

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Dewayne Wise drove in two runs with a single, Alex Rios broke up a double play grounder that turned into the tying and go-ahead runs, and the bullpen pitched five scoreless innings to lead the White Sox to a pivotal 5-4 victory against the Detroit Tigers on Monday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
The victory gave the first-place Sox a three-game lead against the Tigers with 16 to play. The game was a makeup of Thursday's rained out game.
It was the last game between the Tigers and Sox, who found a way to beat a team that was 12-6 against them this season. The Sox split the four-game series that was interrupted by rain and head to Kansas City with a semi-comfortable lead.
Wise put himself in danger of being a goat when he was thrown out at third by on a fly ball by Avisail Garcia on Adam Dunn's fly ball that appeared to be a sacrifice fly for an insurance run in the eighth. As Gordon Beckham was heading for home, Wise was thrown out before he crossed for a double play.
In the Tigers ninth, Brett Myers got Quintin Berry on a groundout for the first out. Left-hander Matt Thornton struck out left-handed hitting Andy Dirks for the second out and closer Addison Reed got Austin Jackson on a fly to right for the third out.
The Sox got past a deflating third inning in which the Tigers strung three singles together to start it - including Jackson's for an RBI. Starter Jose Quintana was on the verge of getting out with one run when he intentionally walked Cabrera and struck out Fielder, but Delmon Young lined a two-strike offspeed pitch into center to score two and make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the third, Youkilis and Dunn struck out with the bases loaded and the Sox did not score.
The Sox did get to Doug Fister in the fourth, however. One out-singles by Rios and Pierzynski and a walk to Viciedo loaded the bases. After Alexei Ramirez lined out softly to shortstop, Gordon Beckham was hit by a pitch to score the first Sox run, and Wise followed with a two-out, two-run single to tie the score at 3.
Young struck again in the fifth after Cabrera and Fielder opened with a double and single, respectively, to chase Quintana out of the game. Jones (8-0) came on and allowed a run-scoring single to Jones before getting eight outs in a row.
Thanks to a botched double-play by a Tigers defense that has been a weakness throughout the year, the Sox scored two in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead. Dunn singled, Konerko doubled him to third and Rios walked.
After Pierzynski lined out to right, Dunn holding at third, Viciedo hit a double-play ball grounder, but Rios took out second baseman Omar Infante with a hard slide and first baseman Fielder couldn't scoop Infante's low throw, which skipped past him allowing Dunn and Konerko to score.

White Sox offering ticket specials for last homestand

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From White Sox Media Relations

The White Sox are offering fans a series of ticket specials for the final homestand of the regular season at U.S. Cellular Field, a three-game series vs. Cleveland (September 24-26) and a four-game series vs. Tampa Bay (September 27-30).

The first game of the Cleveland series is a Value Monday with tickets as low as $7 in the upper deck and lower level tickets starting at $17.

The remainder of the series vs. the Indians as well as the first game of the Tampa Bay series (September 25-27) features lower reserved seats as low as $22 per ticket and bleacher seats for as low as $20 per ticket. The weekend games vs. Tampa Bay (September 28-30) feature lower reserved tickets for $26 while bleachers are $24.

Tickets are available at, the U.S. Cellular Field ticket office and all Ticketmaster locations.

Wise in center as White Sox brace for Tigers

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Dewayne Wise will start in center field for the second consecutive day in place of Alejandro De Aza when the Sox play the Detroit Tigers on Monday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

De Aza, who struck out four times and went 0-for-5 on Saturday in Minnesota, sat out Sunday's game as well. Wise doubled, hit two sacrifice flies and lined out Sunday. Wise is batting .318 with four doubles, two homers, a triple, seven RBI and four stolen bases over his last 13 games. De Aza is 0-for-9 in his last two games and is batting .236 in his last 46.

"He's fine,'' Sox manager Robin Ventura said of De Aza. "He's just out of there today. "He just seems out of sync. We'll wait for him to work on that and get back in there.''

The Sox and Tigers are playing a makeup game of their rainout Thursday night. The Sox lead Detroit by two games in the American League Central and can build a semi-comfortable three-game lead with 16 to play with a victory.

Ventura said he didn't think there is any more pressure on the Tigers than the Sox.

"No, there's pressure on everybody,'' he said. "Even teams that are five games ahead, they have pressure. There's nothing you can do about it except go out and play. It doesn't make it easier if you're up by two or down by two. It's not going to change the way you play.''

The Sox lost two of three in last week's series and have won five of 17 games. Today's game is the last between the Tigers and Sox. Asked if it gets aggravating that his team isn't playing well against the team it's competing with for the division title, Ventura said, "You're playing hard and they're a good team. That stuff that happens in baseball. They're good.''

"You're not ashamed to lose to a team that's good. We have the ability to beat them. We have to play better.''

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said his team will have an advantage having faced rookie left-hander Jose Quintana on Monday. Quintana got the win last Monday at U.S. Cellular Field against the Tigers by allowing one run over 7 1/3 innings. He walked off to a standing ovation.

"I don't know,'' Ventura said. "We'll find out, I guess.''

Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson, a late scratch against the Indians on Sunday because a sore ankle, is penciled in to start Monday. Catcher Alex Avila (jaw), who collided with Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, is not playing.

Gametime is 1:10 p.m. and will be televised on CSN.

White Sox complete sweep of Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Dayan Viciedo homered and drove in three runs, Adam Dunn homered to start a six-run inning, and Jake Peavy pitched strong six innings as the White Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 9-2 victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Sox, who went into the game with a one-game lead in the American League Central over the Detroit Tigers, interrupt their three-city road trip to play a makeup game with the Tigers on Monday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. The Tigers played the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

Besides allowing a home run to Joe Mauer in the first inning and back-to-back doubles by Trevor Plouffe and Alexi Casilla in the fifth, the Twins barely touched Peavy (11-11), who struck out six and walked one.

Dewayne Wise drove in two runs with a pair of sacrifice flies and doubled, Kevin Youkilis had an RBI double and an RBI single, and Dunn had an RBI single to left to go with his 415-foot homer to right against Twins lefty Scott Diamond (11-8). It was Dunn's 15th homer against a lefty this season, a year after he hit 11 total -- all against righties -- last season.

Viciedo doubled in a run and followed Alex Rios' eighth triple of the season with a homer in the Sox' six-run sixth.

The sweep was the ninth of the season for the Sox (79-66) and second against the Twins (60-87). The Sox are 12-2 over their last 14 games against the Twins and are 13-3 in the last 16 at Target Field.

White Sox starters own a 2.29 ERA over their last eight games.

Extra rest "feels good" as Quintana prepares for Tigers

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana is looking at his start against the Detroit Tigers on Monday "as just another game.''

"I don't see it as putting pressure myself,'' Quintana said Sunday. "That's kind of how I go about it each outing. But I know it's an important game for us and so I'm going to go out there and do the best I can in order to help this team get a win.''

Important? No doubt.

The Sox lead the Tigers by one game going into Sunday's game against the Twins with 19 to play. The Indians play the Cleveland Indians this afternoon. The Sox will interrupt their three-city road trip to fly home tonight to face the Tigers in a makeup game for their rainout Thursday night.

Quintana (6-4, 3.52), originally scheduled to pitch Saturday, was pushed back to give him two extra days rest. He also had his best start in a while against the Tigers on Monday in the series opener, allowing one run on seven hits and two walks over 7 2/3 innings. In his previous two starts, Quintana allowed 12 runs over five innings.

"It especially feels good when management has confidence in me to go out there and perform so I'm going to go out there and do the best I can,'' Quintana said.

"It actually does feel good about this time of the season to get a couple of extra days. It gives your arm a little bit more strength so I'll feel good for tomorrow.''

Quintana has been successful pounding the inside of the strike zone to right-handed hitters. It became obvious to him that hitters have been looking for pitches on the inner half, and against the Tigers, he seemed to work on the outside corner more than usual.

"That's one of those adjustments I made and it kind of worked for me the last time we played them so I'm going to go along with the same game plan,'' he said. "I think they were looking more for the inside so I went out so I'm probably just going to do that again.''

Doug Fister (9-8, 3.49 ERA) will start Monday for the Tigers.

Ventura likes what he hears from Konerko

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MINNEAPOLIS -- It's been a while since Paul Konerko has gone on one of those Konerko tears where he carries the team. In recent days there have been signs that his bat is coming to life.

In the Sox' 5-3 win against the Twins on Saturday, the White Sox cleanup hitter homered to left field for two of his three RBI. The night before he flied out to a spacious part of Targert Field in deep right center. He has turned on a couple of inside fastballs and hit the ball hard to left in recent days.

"I've been up there grinding,'' Konerko said. "I like the way I'm going pitch-to-pitch as far as competing. Obviously in the Detroit series we saw some good arms and good pitching so when you're doing what you want they can do some things to you.''

If Konerko is hurting anywhere, he's not showing it. And he's certainly not talking about it, if his terse answer to a question about his health last week in Chicago is an indication.

Manager Robin Ventura's eyes brightened a bit when asked about Konerko after Saturday's game. He knows what a huge lift Konerko can supply to his lineup if he returns to his first-half, All-Star caliber form that saw Konerko (.310) batting .399 on May 27.

"Yeah, it just sounds different off his bat,'' Ventura said. "That's the thing. You hear it. And it's different for him, too. He's feeling that confidence. He's had some better passes at the plate and that's a good thing for us.''

"I've taken a couple of nice BPs. I'm hitting some balls, moving the ball around the field,'' Konerko said. "My accuracy seems a little bit better just hitting line drives and stuff. But at this point everybody is dialed into not who does it, just let's get it done. Every day, hopefully we get contributions.''

Adam Dunn returned from his oblique injury and is batting third in front of Konerko again.

"Everything seems right again,'' Ventura said. "You have your regular lineup in there and everybody is pretty comfortable with the way that rolls. You're used to batting behind somebody and they've won a lot of games that way so everybody feels good.''

Liriano, Konerko lead White Sox past Twins

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Francisco Liriano took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against his former team, Paul Konerko homered and drove in three runs, and the White Sox survived a scary ninth inning to defeat the Twins 5-3 for their second win in two games on a crucial road trip on Saturday afternoon.

Liriano gave up one hit, a two-run homer by Trevor Plouffe that cut the Sox lead in half in the seventh inning. Liriano finished the inning with his ninth strikeout. Liriano walked two and hit one batter.

Konerko's RBI groundout in the first gave the Sox a 1-0 lead and his two-run homer against Twins starter Samuel Deduno in the third made it 3-0. The homer scored Adam Dunn, who returned from an oblique injury by reaching base three times with a single, walk and double.

Gordon Beckham singled in a run in the fourth, and Alexei Ramirez singled off the glove of shortstop Pedro Florimon in the eighth to score Orlando Hudson in the ninth.

Jesse Crain pitched a perfect eighth inning -- 10 of his 11 pitches were strikes -- but closer Addison Reed had to be rescued by Matt Thornton after he loaded the bases with Twins with a pair of walks and a single by pinch-hitter Denard Span.

Thornton got Justin Morneau to hit into a double play before retiring Plouffe on a one-hopper to second baseman Gordon Beckham to end the game.

After a brief, unsuccessful stint in the bullpen, Liriano returned to more comfortable surroundings at Target Field, his former home with the Twins.

"It's kind of a weird situation,'' Liriano said earlier this week. "But I'm excited they gave me another shot to do my job. I'm really excited about starting.''

Liriano has been an off-again, on-again piece to the Sox rotation. Gavin Floyd returned from the disabled list to bump him off his turn Wednesday to Friday. When Thursday's game against the Tigers was rained out, Chris Sale went from Thursday to Friday, bumping Liriano. When the Sox braintrust, including manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper, reviewed their options on the team charter from Chicago to Minneapolis Thursday night, they leaned toward starting Liriano Saturday and moving Jose Quintana ahead to face the Tigers instead of Floyd.

That gives Quintana two extra days rest and Floyd one. And it gives Liriano another shot to bring his plus stuff under control. That's been his bugaboo -- command.

"I haven't pitched the way I'd like to here,'' said Liriano, who came from the Twins in a trade for infielder Eduardo Escobar and lefty Pedro Hernandez. "They brought me here to help them win some ballgames. My first couple games were OK but I haven't gone deep enough in games. Walking too many guys, getting behind in counts too much.''

Liriano (6-11) had a no-decision in his last start on Sept. 7 against the Royals when he allowed five runs in five innings. In his first Sox start, which was against the Twins on July 31, he allowed two runs on four hits and struck out eight over six innigs.

In recent side sessions with Cooper, Liriano worked on getting his release point more out in front. He senses improvement.

"I'm pretty close,'' he said.

Manto: White Sox 'not designed to manufacture' runs

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MINNEAPOLIS - There's no getting around the fact that 45 percent of the White Sox runs have come via the home run.

"That's just who we are,'' hitting coach Jeff Manto said Saturday.

They were that even more on Saturday, with the return of Adam Dunn to the lineup. The Sox went into the game against the Minnesota Twins with 189 homers, second highest in the major leagues and on pace for 214, which would be the seventh-highest in team history. Remember the South Side Hit Men of 1977? This team will surpass the 192 homers hit by Richie Zisk and Co. in a matter of days. Or hours.

Manto said it's not in the 2012 Sox DNA to manufacture runs. It's not that they don't or can't, it's just not their way of doing business.

"This team is not designed to manufacture,'' Manto said. "We have some real good hitters. The middle of the lineup and even [No. 2 hitter Kevin] Youkilis, these guys sit on 20-25 home runs a year. So to ask them to start punching balls all over the field and take them out of their comfort zone might work in the opposite direction.

"That's just who we are. We don't need to manufacture. We need to win. Whatever it takes that day.''

Manager Robin Ventura has a somewhat different take. He believes scoring runs consistently every way possible translates to winning consistently, so he isn't satisfied with living and dying by the long ball.

"You can't win consistently that way," Ventura said before Saturday's game. "Our bad stretches have come when we haven't been able to general runs other than the home run. That's when we struggle.

"When we're getting guys on base, and last night you get [Dayan)] Viciedo getting a ball placed in the right spot [on a groundout RBI and Alex] Rios scores. When we struggle, we don't do that very well."

Manto doesn't disagree. But don't ask him to knock the home run.

"This home run thing and generating runs by something different than the home run, I honestly believe it's just a byproduct of a good swing. The hardest thing to do is hit a home run -- everything has to be perfect. I see the home run as a byproduct of how hard these guys are working and a good approach.

"It's not that they're lifting and coming out of their boots to drive the ball. It's a bit difficult to say that and see that but I honestly believe that's what's been happening. To get a run by something other than a home run, it's nice. But it takes too long.''

Manto did laugh at that last sentence. But he kind of has a point. And it's just not the Sox.

Dunn returns to White Sox lineup

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Adam Dunn returned to the White Sox lineup on Saturday after missing seven consecutive games with a strained right oblique.

Dunn was in the lineup at first base, with Paul Konerko at designated hitter for the 12:10 p.m. game.

"We're going to unleash him today, so he's been let out of the training room so we can get him in there,'' manager Robin Ventura said. 'Talking to [trainer] Herm [Schneider], it's better for him to stay loose so he'll be at first base.''

Today's lineup vs. the Twins' Samuel Deduno (6-3, 3.55):

De Aza CF
Youkilis 3b
Dunn 1b
Konerko dh
Rios RF
Pierzynski c
Viciedo lf
Ramirez ss
Beckham 2b

Liriano P.

White Sox Liriano 'excited' to face Twins today

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After a brief, unsuccessful stint in the bullpen, lefthander Francisco Liriano returns to more comfortable surroundings on Saturday afternoon (12:10 p.m., Channel 9, 670-AM). Starting, and at Target Field, his former home with the Minnesota Twins.

"It's kind of a weird situation,'' Liriano said. "But I'm excited they gave me another shot to do my job. I'm really excited about starting.''

Liriano has been an off-again, on-again piece to the Sox rotation. Gavin Floyd returned from the disabled list to bump him off his turn Wednesday to Friday. When Thursday's game against the Tigers was rained out, Chris Sale went from Thursday to Friday, bumping Liriano. When manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper reviewed their options on the team charter from Chicago to Minneapolis Thursday night, they leaned toward starting Liriano Saturday and moving Jose Quintana ahead to face the Tigers instead of Floyd.

That gives Quintana two extra days rest and Floyd one. And it gives Liriano another shot to bring his plus stuff under control. That's been his bugaboo -- command.

"I haven't pitched the way I'd like to here,'' said Liriano, who came from the Twins in a trade for infielder Eduardo Escobar and lefty Pedro Hernandez. "They brought me here to help them win some ballgames. My first couple games were OK but I haven't gone deep enough in games. Walking too many guys, getting behind in counts too much.''

Liriano (5-11, 5.37) had a no-decision in his last start on Sept. 7 against the Royals when he allowed five runs in five innings. In his first Sox start, which was against the on July 31, he allowed two runs on four hits and struck out eight over six innigs.

In recent side sessions with Cooper, Liriano worked on getting his release point more out in front. He senses improvement.

"I'm pretty close,'' he said.

White Sox, Sale blank Twins to keep one-game lead

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Sale pitched six scoreless innings, Kevin Youkilis homered for the third time in two games, and the White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-0 on Friday night.

The result enabled the Sox (77-66) to maintain their one-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. The Tigers and Justin Verlander defeated the Cleveland Indians 4-0.

Sale and Verlander were supposed to face each other on Thursday night, but that game at U.S. Cellular Field was rained out and will be made up Monday afternoon in Chicago.

Sale (17-6, 2.78 ERA) was superb with three hits allowed and no walks. He struck out five and left after throwing 99 pitches with the Sox leading 5-0.

Brett Myers pitched two scoreless innings and Matt Thornton pitched a scoreless ninth.

Youkilis' homer in the seventh made it 4-0, and Alex Rios drove in Dewayne Wise from second with a single to make it 5-0. Rios has 86 RBI, two behind team leader Adam Dunn.

Dayan Viciedo drove in two runs, the Sox' first on a ground out to second that scored Rios (double), who had advanced on A.J. Pierzynski's flyout to right; and their second run on a bases loaded walk by Twins stater Esmerling Vasquez (0-2) in the fourth. Alexei Ramirez had an RBI single in the sixth.

Wise hit a sacrifice fly that scored Gordon Beckham (single) in the ninth for the Sox' sixth run.

Dunn takes batting practice; eyes Saturday return

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Adam Dunn took batting practice before the White Sox game against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night and hopes to be in the lineup on Saturday.

Dunn, who will miss his seventh straight start on Friday, said his strained right oblique is much improved. He said Friday was "the best it's felt" since he re-injured it last week.

"Hopefully I'm in there tomorrow,'' Dunn said.

"It's to the point now where I get it. It's not going to be 100 percent. I don't want it to be one bad swing and the season is over. That's my big concern.

"If this is April I'm going to give it as much time as it takes to feel really good. I don't have that luxury if I want to play again. If I waited till it felt 100 percent we'd have to wait till Thanksgiving. I don't see it. As long as it's healed up to where I'm not going to get back to where I was a week ago I'm fine.''

Dunn hit one batting practice pitch into the top deck in right-center field. He also took a number of controlled, non-aggressive swings. After he hit, Dunn took a few ground balls at first base.

"It's to the point now where I get it,'' he said. "It's not going to feel 100 percent. I get it. My whole thing was, I don't want it to be one bad swing and the season is over. That's my big concern. When I swung today it felt fine.''

Dunn said once he gets back on the field, there will be no fear of re-injuring the oblique.

"We've done everything treatment wise and everything we can possibility do to get it where it feels good,'' he said. "Once I'm in there playing, I'm not changing anything. Not going to throttle back. Whatever happens, happens.''

Dunn will do the same routine Saturday. After missing seven games, he's not sure how many at-bats it will take for him to get his timing back.

"I don't know because I've never missed a significant amount of time. This is by far the most time I've missed.''

Quintana to face Tigers on Monday

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox altered their rotation for the next four games, moving Jose Quintana off Saturday's start and lining him up for the Detroit Tigers on Monday.

The Sox play a makeup game of Thursday's rained out game at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday afternoon.

Francisco Liriano will move back into the rotation Saturday to face his former team, the Minnesota Twins. Jake Peavy stays on turn for Sunday's start.

Gavin Floyd, originally planned for Monday, will pitch Tuesday when the Sox open a three-game series in Kansas City.

The move gives Quintana, a rookie who is taking on the heaviest workload of his career, two extra days rest, pitching coach Don Cooper acknowledged. It also gives Floyd, who came off the disabled list Wednesday, an extra day.

"It's really for Q and Gavin,'' Cooper said. "Those are the two guys affected by extra days."

"[Quintana] pitched well against [the Tigers on Monday],'' Cooper said. "Maybe we get that again. It's laid out this way for us because we feel this is the best opportunity for us to win today, to win tomorrow. And each day. And that's kind of what we're going to go with now. But 3-4-5 days from now, who knows? It might change."

White Sox recall reliever Jhan Marinez

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox added another rookie arm to their bullpen by recalling right-hander Jhan Marinez, who finished the season at Class AAA Charlotte with nine consecutive scoreless appearances.

Marinez was 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA, four saves and 65 strikeouts in 40 relief appearances for Charlotte. The 24-year-old ranked second among International League relievers in opponents average (.177). His 9.29 strikeouts per nine inning ranked fifth.

Marinez threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings in his only appearance with the Sox on July 13 at Kansas City. He was acquired as part of the compensation from the Marlins for manager Ozzie Guillen.

Sale to face Twins on Friday; Floyd vs. Tigers Monday

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Rather than hold ace Chris Sale for Monday's makeup game against the Detroit Tigers, the White Sox will stick to their rotation and pitch the lefthander in the opener of a three-game series at the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.

Gavin Floyd, who threw 70 pitches in a promising return from the disabled list on Wednesday, will oppose Tigers right-hander Doug Fister on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Francisco Liriano, who was scheduled Friday, will go to the bullpen. Jose Quintana and Jake Peavy stay on turn Saturday and Sunday.

Sale was supposed to face Justin Verlander in Thursday's rained-out game. Verlander out-pitched him in Detroit on Sept. 2.

"I wanted to get back out there and face these guys one last time,'' Sale said. "Time before that didn't go too well, so I wanted to get back out there and get us where we needed to go. There's not much you can do in this situation. I'll get ready and head out to Minnesota."

The Sox will play the Twins with a one-game lead in the AL Central on the Tigers, who head to Cleveland for three games.

"We know we're in a good position,'' Sale said. "We just go to keep it going, keep it rolling. When it's all said and done, hopefully we'll be where we want to be."

Thursday's game, which did not get under way, was postponed after a one-hour rain delay. Both teams had an open date on their schedule Monday.

A day after Floyd struck out seven while allowing three runs in 4 2/3 innings, Floyd said he felt "normal [day after] soreness" in the elbow that put him on the DL.

Game tickets and parking coupons for tonight's postponed contest will be honored at Monday's makeup game.

SoxFest 2013 packages on sale Monday

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White Sox Media Relations

The White Sox announced two-night SoxFest hotel packages at the Palmer House Hilton for SoxFest 2013, presented by Miller Lite, Pepsi and Comcast SportsNet, along with weekend passes to the event, will go on sale on Monday, September 17 at 10:00 a.m. CST on

SoxFest offers fans the opportunity to meet their favorite current and former White Sox players, attend question-and-answer sessions, participate in interactive baseball activities and visit the always-popular SoxFest Garage Sale. SoxFest 2013 will be held Friday, January 25, Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27, 2013.

The special SoxFest hotel rate is $278 (plus applicable taxes and fees, which are detailed on for a two-night stay. Fans who book a two-night stay are eligible to also purchase up to four SoxFest weekend passes. Early bird rates on weekend passes are $60 from now until November 1. After November 1 weekend passes will be $75. SoxFest hotel packages and weekend passes will be available for purchase in the same transaction at Weekend passes only are available for purchase by fans who book the two-night stay. Friday night of SoxFest will be open only to SoxFest hotel guests with weekend passes.

This is the seventh year the historic Palmer House Hilton will host the annual White Sox fan gathering, now in its 21st year.

For more information, fans should visit or contact the SoxFest hotline at (312) 609-1915.

White Sox-Tigers postponed by rain

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The White Sox game against the Detroit Tigers has been postponed because of rain.

The game will be made up Monday at 1:10 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Field.

White Sox recipient of Steve Patterson Award

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White Sox Media Relations

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Thursday named the White Sox as a recipient of the 2012 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy for the Chicago White Sox Volunteer Corps program. The award celebrates and promotes those in sports who are improving lives of others by leveraging the unique influence of sports.

The White Sox established the first of its kind Volunteer Corps, which has brought together more than 5,500 fans, players, coaches, and club executives to assist underserved Chicago neighborhoods through volunteer work. Since it was founded in 2009, the Corps has logged more than 17,000 hours of service, including participating in blood drives that have helped save up to 1,200 lives; repacking more than 150,000 pounds of food that has fed approximately 40,000 hungry families and individuals in Chicago; and taking part in renovation and beautification projects for Chicago public schools and Boys & Girls Club locations. Several other professional sports teams have replicated the Corps model.

Youkilis homers twice but White Sox rally falls short

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Max Scherzer pitched six dominant innings, Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning against reliever Leyson Septimo to break open a two-run game, and the Detroit Tigers held on for a 8-6 victory on Wednesday night to cut the White Sox lead in the American League Central to one game.

Kevin Youkilis hit two home runs, a solo shot for the only run against Scherzer and a three-run blast in the eighth against Joaquin Benoit that trimmed the Tigers lead to 8-5.

A crowd of 30,667 at U.S. Cellular Field watched the Sox go down to the final out after they trailed 8-1. Sox starter Gavin Floyd pitch four strong innings in his first start since going on the disabled list with a sore right elbow. Floyd struck out seven and gave up two hits in the opening four innings but was charged with three runs in the fifth. After giving up a two-out RBI single to Austin Jackson, Floyd was relieved by Hector Santiago, who walked Andy Dirks and gave up an RBI single to Miguel Cabrera.

Santiago, Brian Omogrosso, Leyson Septimo -- who gave up the homer to Fielder -- and Dylan Axelrod gave up a combined five runs in the seventh and eighth innings as the Tigers won for the second straight night. The Sox need a win Thursday to split the four-game series. Sox ace Chris Sale will oppose Justin Verlander.

The Sox scored one in the ninth against Tigers closer Jose Valverde, on Alexei Ramirez's RBI groundout that scored Alex Rios. Dan Johnson singled with two outs to bring the tying run to the plate but Orlando Hudson struck out looking.

White Sox' Dunn to miss sixth straight game

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Adam Dunn is out of the White Sox lineup for the sixth consecutive game with a strained right oblique.

"I don't even know how to kind of explain it,'' Dunn said before the Sox played the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday night. "It feels fine when I pick up a bat and swing it (in the clubhouse) and then I go and try to hit and I don't know if it's because you tighten up or what, but it kind of grabs you. If it happens as bad as it was now, again, I'm done. As bad as it sucks, I'd rather miss today and try again tomorrow.''

Manager Robin Ventura indicated after Tuesday's 5-3 loss that Dunn might be closer, but there was no such luck on Wednesday. Against tough right-hander Max Scherzer, left-handed hitting Dan Johnson was in the lineup at designated hitter, and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson was playing second base in place of right-handed hitting Gordon Beckham.

Dunn is finding it increasingly frustrating to be on the bench in a September pennant race.

"It's terrible,'' Dunn said. "This is the part of the season where I know everybody's beat up, but this is the part of the season where ... this is it, this is what you want to be at: September, playing meaningful games and not being able to do anything, it's awful. I'd rather be out there not doing anything than what I'm doing now because it's terrible.''

Dunn wasn't sure how many swings he took to test the oblique Wednesday.

"It's definitely not worse and I do feel better,'' he said. "When I was swinging it, I could swing it. I could play, but I don't know how good I can swing and I would sure hate to swing and miss because that's part of my game and that would rip it off.

"It's felt better. Standing here doing normal stuff kind of feels fine. Problem is I have to swing a 34 ounce bat, which is not that bad until you really try to gear up for it and it's just not better yet.''

White Sox 2013 schedule

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The White Sox will open and close the 2013 season at home against the improved Kansas City Royals, and they'll play the Cubs in four consecutive games against in late May.

Those are two of the highlights from next season's tentative schedule released on Wednesday.

The Cubs-Sox series will be short and sweet. Two games will be played at U.S. Cellular Field on May 27-28 and two at Wrigley Field on May 29-30.

The opener is April 1 at home, and the season concludes in late September with four home games against the Royals, who improved their pitching staff with offseason additions of pitchers James Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana.

Interleague play includes April 9-11 dates at the Washington Nationals, and the Sox play a home-and-home series against the New York Mets and visit the Philadelphia Phillies on July 12-14 prior to the All-Star break. The Sox host the Atlanta Braves on July 19-21.

The Sox play the Brewers at Milwaukee's Miller Park in two exhibition games on March 29-30.

The Sox close their season at home on Sept. 26-29 against the Royals.


April 9 at Washington
April 10 at Washington
April 11 at Washington
April 12 at Cleveland
April 13 at Cleveland
April 14 at Cleveland
April 15 at Toronto
April 16 at Toronto
April 17 at Toronto
April 18 at Toronto
April 25 TAMPA BAY
April 26 TAMPA BAY
April 27 TAMPA BAY
April 28 TAMPA BAY
April 30 at Texas

May 1 at Texas
May 2 at Texas
May 3 at Kansas City
May 4 at Kansas City
May 5 at Kansas City
May 7 at New York Mets
May 8 at New York Mets
May 13 at Minnesota
May 14 at Minnesota
May 15 at Minnesota
May 16 at Los Angeles Angels
May 17 at Los Angeles Angels
May 18 at Los Angeles Angels
May 19 at Los Angeles Angels
May 24 MIAMI
May 25 MIAMI
May 26 MIAMI
May 29 at Chicago Cubs
May 30 at Chicago Cubs
May 31 at Oakland

June 1 at Oakland
June 2 at Oakland
June 3 at Seattle
June 4 at Seattle
June 5 at Seattle
June 14 at Houston
June 15 at Houston
June 16 at Houston
June 17 at Houston
June 18 at Minnesota
June 19 at Minnesota
June 20 at Minnesota
June 21 at Kansas City
June 22 at Kansas City
June 23 at Kansas City

July 5 at Tampa Bay
July 6 at Tampa Bay
July 7 at Tampa Bay
July 9 at Detroit
July 10 at Detroit
July 11 at Detroit
July 12 at Philadelphia
July 13 at Philadelphia
July 14 at Philadelphia

July 16 All-Star Game @ Citi Field, New York

July 29 at Cleveland
July 30 at Cleveland
July 31 at Cleveland

August 1 at Cleveland
August 2 at Detroit
August 3 at Detroit
August 4 at Detroit
August 12 DETROIT
August 13 DETROIT
August 14 DETROIT
August 15 at Minnesota
August 16 at Minnesota
August 17 at Minnesota
August 18 at Minnesota
August 20 at Kansas City
August 21 at Kansas City
August 22 at Kansas City
August 23 TEXAS
August 24 TEXAS
August 25 TEXAS
August 26 HOUSTON
August 27 HOUSTON
August 28 HOUSTON
August 30 at Boston
August 31 at Boston

September 1 at Boston
September 2 at New York Yankees
September 3 at New York Yankees
September 4 at New York Yankees
September 5 at Baltimore
September 6 at Baltimore
September 7 at Baltimore
September 8 at Baltimore
September 9 DETROIT
September 10 DETROIT
September 11 DETROIT
September 12 CLEVELAND
September 13 CLEVELAND
September 14 CLEVELAND
September 15 CLEVELAND
September 16 MINNESOTA
September 17 MINNESOTA
September 18 MINNESOTA
September 20 at Detroit
September 21 at Detroit
September 22 at Detroit
September 24 at Cleveland
September 25 at Cleveland
September 26 KANSAS CITY
September 27 KANSAS CITY
September 28 KANSAS CITY
September 29 KANSAS CITY

White Sox announce tentative 2013 schedule

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The Chicago White Sox have announced their 2013 regular-season schedule, with Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013 vs. Kansas City at U.S. Cellular Field.

Click through for the complete schedule.

Any victory is a good one to end a losing streak, but for the Tigers Tuesday, the 5-3 win over the White Sox was almost a necessity.
``Everything in the dugout was uplifting,'' starting pitcher Doug Fister (9-8) said of ending a four-game losing streak. ``Guys on the bench were pulling for the guys in the game. Tonight was a good team camaraderie night.''
It meant the Tigers are back within two games of the White Sox in the American League Central race, indicative again of what the managers keep saying about the time left in the season.
``It's down to two again with quite a few games left,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ``After [Wednesday's] game it will be one or three. This is September baseball at its best.
``Both teams tonight did what they do,'' he said of hitting home runs--the Sox with Dewayne Wise and Gordon Beckham connecting against Fister and Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera against Jake Peavy (10-11).
``Any time you win a game, it's huge, especially this time of the year, but momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher,'' he added.
That will be Gavin Floyd instead of Francisco Liriano for the Sox and Max Scherzer for the Tigers.
``Floyd has been tough on us and Scherzer has been great,'' Leyland said.
Floyd's return means a dilemma for Leyland's lineup plans.
His problem surround how to use infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn and outfielder Brennan Boesch.
Raburn is still ``sluggish'', Leyland said, after hurting his a right quad within days of returning Sept. 1 from a month-long right thumb injury.
Boesch has the power potential Leyland wants--but not against Floyd, who is returning from a right elbow flexor strain.
``I've watched Raburn and he's sluggish,'' Leyland said. ``I think the leg is still bothering him.''
Raburn, hitting only .171 in 66 games, has hit Floyd in the past [12-37, .324, with three RBI], ``but I won't play him even though he's hit Floyd because I think he's still sore,'' Leyland said.
``I might DH him because he hits in this park [Raburn's average in U.S. Cellular Field is .309 with eight homers and 30 RBI in 47 games].''
Lefty Boesch also has hit well at Sox Park (.286, four home runs, seven RBI in 20 games)--but not against Floyd.
``You'd like to play Boesch in this park, and he will play [Thursday] against Chris Sale]--but he's 0-for-17 with six strikeouts against Floyd,'' Leyland said.
``If you don't play him and don't play Raburn, you have to figure out what to do. I'll probably play Boesch because in this park, he might hit a homer--but it's a mindboggling thing when you look at the numbers.''
The numbers improved for the Tigers offensively Tuesday, their five runs almost as many as they had scored during the four-game road losing streak [four runs.]
``We did the things that usually add up to wins--good pitching and hitting the ball out of the park and getting a few more hits,'' Leyland said. ``That's how you win games.''

Tigers defeat White Sox, even series

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Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera homered against Jake Peavy in a three-run fifth, the Tigers added two runs against the White Sox bullpen in the eighth to back the strong pitching of starter Doug Fister, and Detroit held on for a 5-3 victory before 26,504 fans at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday night.

Looking to extend their lead in the AL Central to a season-high four games, the Sox instead had it cut to two with games remaining against the Tigers on Wednesday night. Gavin Floyd will oppose the Tigers' Max Scherzer. Chris Sale will start against the Tigers' Justin Verlander in Thursday's series finale.

Dewayne Wise homered in the first and Gordon Beckham hit his career-high 15th in the third but Fister did not allow any other hits seven innings of work.

Trailing 5-2, the Sox put Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit in trouble in the eighth with consecutive singles by Alexei Ramirez, Beckham and Alejandro De Aza (RBI), but Kevin Youkilis, after failing to bunt Beckham and De Aza to third and second, struck out. Wise followed with a strikeout and Paul Konerko grounded softly to second to end the inning.

The Tigers used the long ball against Peavy (10-11) in the fifth to take the Sox' 2-0 lead away. Jackson hit a two-run homer and Cabrera belted his 36th of the season two batters later to make it 3-2.

Alex Avila singled in a run against Francisco Liriano in the eighth to make it 4-2, and Andy Dirks added an RBI single against Jesse Crain. Both runs were charged to Liriano, who was taken out of the rotation this week with Floyd coming off the disabled list.

Alex Rios led off the ninth against closer Jose Valverde, but Valverde retired A.J. Pierzynski, Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez pitched the ninth for his ninth save.

Sandwiched around Cabrera's homer were Peavy's sixth and seventh strikeouts (Dirks and Prince Fielder), so Peavy appeared to have good stuff. The home run pitches were on thigh- and belt-high fastballs.

Fister's stuff, particularly his curveball, was every bit as good. After Beckham's homer, he walked Youkilis with one out and then proceded to retire 14 consecutive Sox through the seventh.

The Tigers had a chance to give Fister some breathing room when reliever Nate Jones walked the first two batters in the seventh, but Donnie Veal got Prince Fielder to line out with the bases loaded and Brett Myers struck out Delmon Young.

Aside from the home runs, Peavy allowed four singles and pitched well with nine strikeouts. He threw 117 pitches and was lifted with two out in the sixth after he walked Jhonny Peralta.

Dunn misses fifth straight game

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Adam Dunn missed his fifth straight game because of a right oblique strain on Tuesday, and while the White Sox slugger is feeling better and is getting closer to returning to the lineup, he and manager Robin Ventura won't rush the comeback this time.

"I want to wait until I have no problems as opposed to coming back a day or two early and having this thing do this again and missing significant time," said Dunn, who said he was "stupid" when he pushed the issue coming back the first time.

"I knew that it wasn't just a nice easy little strain, what I was feeling,'' he said.

Dunn took an injection and is getting treatment from trainer Herm Schneider.

"What we're trying to do is get it to where I can swing, that's the problem,'' he said. "It's not getting out of bed now, it's not sneezing. I'm not going to pick up a bat today and hopefully tomorrow they'll let me do some stuff."

On Monday, Ventura said Dunn was closer than day-to-day. "Hour to hour,'' he said.
On Tuesday, Ventura said Dunn was "half hour to half hour.''

Tigers manager Jim Leyland has a dilemma Wednesday as he tries to get his team on track against the White Sox:
What lineup does he use against right-hander Gavin Floyd?
``The people who love the lineup [guessing] will have a ball because I have a real dilemma,'' Leyland said Tuesday.
His problem surround how to use infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn and outfielder Brennan Boesch.
Raburn is still ``sluggish'', Leyland said, after hurting his a right quad within days of returning Sept. 1 from a month-long right thumb injury.
Boesch has the power potential Leyland wants--but not against Floyd.
``I've watched Raburn and he's sluggish,'' Leyland said. ``I think the leg is still bothering him.''
Raburn also committed an error Monday night when he dropped a fly to left - center field after calling off Austin Jackson. It was one of three Tigers errors, but didn't cost the team.
Raburn, hitting only .171 in 66 games in this injury-filled season, was out of the lineup Tuesday against right-hander Jake Peavy. But he would have played against Sox lefty Francisco LIriano, who was originally scheduled Wednesday.
Floyd, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 26, improved enough from a right elbow flexor strain to return against the Tigers, pushing Liriano back to the weekend series in Minnesota against the Twins.
Raburn has hit Floyd in the past [12-37, .324, with three RBI], ``but I won't play him even though he's hit Floyd because I think he's still sore,'' Leyland said.
``I might DH him because he hits in this park [Raburn's average in U.S. Cellular Field is .309 with eight homers and 30 RBI in 47 games].''
Lefty Boesch also has hit well at Sox Park (.286, four home runs, seven RBI in 20 games)--but not against Floyd.
``You'd like to play Boesch in this park, and he will play [Thursday] against Chris Sale]--but he's 0-for-17 with six strikeouts against Floyd,'' Leyland said.
``If you don't play him and don't play Raburn, you have to figure out what to do. I'll probably play Boesch because in this park, he might hit a homer--but it's a mindboggling thing when you look at the numbers.''
The lineup is a worry because the offense has been the Tigers' worry.
During a 1-6 stretch entering Tuesday's game, the Tigers had scored only 17 runs, including hitting only .185 with six runs scored during a four-game road losing streak.
While the pitching staff has posted a 2.76 ERA in the last 24 games, the offense has scored only 3.7 runs per game.
The Tigers are 12-12 in those games.
``It could be frustrating [for the pitchers],'' Leyland said. ``But it doesn't change what the pitcher has to do. He should feel `I want to shut this [opposing] team down', whether he has runs [support] or not.''

White Sox change Sept. 25 gametime

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The White Sox have changed the starting time for their home game against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, September 25 from 7:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m.

A significant number of Sox fans reached out to the club with concerns over the night game's conflict with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, prompting discussions and an agreement between the Sox and Indians.

The game still will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, on 670-AM and 97.5FM.

What Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before Monday's 6-1 loss to the White Sox was still true after it.
``The problem is we scored one run again,'' he said. ``We put Rick [Porcello, the starting pitcher] in a bind. When you're scoring one or two runs a game, you can't blame the defense.''
In a game the Tigers defense let down again with three errors, it was more the Sox continuing ability to hit home runs and the Tigers' failure to score any kinds of runs that saw Detroit fall three games behind in the American League Central.
Only one of the three errors ended up hurting the Tigers--second baseman Omar Infante's mishandling of Dewayne Wise's ground ball in the sixth.
It came with one out, and started the Sox fireworks when Paul Konerko singled and Alex Rios homered. A.J. Pierzynski followed with another homer, ending Porcello's (9-12) night and putting the Tigers on the ropes.
``It's my job to keep making pitches, regardless of what happens,'' said Porcello, who had recorded quality starts in each of his last six games against the Sox dating to August 2010. Porcello had a 5-0 record and 2.27 ERA in that six-game stretch.
``You get in a tough situation and you have to reach down and find something to get through it,'' he said. ``I had control of the game until they got me in that one inning. They tagged it in that sixth. You have to tip your hat sometimes. Tonight they were better than me in that inning.''
Until the sixth, the Tigers led 1-0 after a run in the second. But that inning of four hits and a wild pitch by Sox rookie starter Jose Quintana might have produced more.
``We hadn't seen him before,'' Leyland said of Quintana (6-4), who shook off the effects of his last poor start against Minnesota with a strong 7 2/3 innings of seven hits and seven strikeouts against the Tigers. ``We didn't get the knockout punch when we had him early. Then he got confidence as the game went on. You could see his chest sort of stick out. I certainly give him credit, but it's not like we didn't have chances. We had our shots and let him off the hook.''
The Tigers had only three hits after the second, falling into the same offensive malaise that has seen them hit only .222 (51-230) during a seven-game road losing streak, including 8-51 (.157) with runners in scoring position.
They are 1-6 in their last seven games overall.
``Rick did a pretty good job,'' Leyland said. ``We just didn't play a real good game defensively and got one run again. That sums it up.
``Frustration isn't the right word. We know what's at stake here when we have to go against the team ahead of us. They're all big now and it's a very important series, obviously. We would have liked to have gotten this one, but we'll come back tomorrow and see.''
The Tigers could still leave Chicago in a first place tie--or see the distance between them and the Sox extend to six games.
``By no means is it over,'' Porcello said. ``We just have to keep playing hard. We had a pretty good ball game until I gave up those homers. We have to play good baseball--pitch well, and play defense. There's no secret to it. Everyone has to be in sync and just play good ball.
``It was a good atmosphere,'' he said. ``We still have a chance to make the playoffs and you can't complain about that.''

White Sox win series opener vs. Tigers

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Alex Rios, A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham hit home runs, Jose Quintana pitched 7 2/3 strong innings, and the White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 6-1 before 30,287 fans on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

In the first of a four-game series between the top two teams in the American League Central, the Sox widened their lead to three games.

Quintana (6-4), who pitched out of trouble early when he allowed six hits in the first three innings, retired 15 of the last 17 Tigers he faced. He gave up seven hits and two walks while striking out seven. In his two previous starts, Quintana didn't get past the fourth inning.

Rios hit a three-run shot against Rick Porcello (9-12) in the sixth, and Pierzynski followed with his career high 26th homer to make it 4-1. Beckham hit a two-run shot in the ninth against Octavio Dotel. It was Beckham's 14th homer, tying his career high.

No one from the White Sox or Detroit Tigers will say this week's four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field will decide who wins the American League Central.
``But I think it's very important for us to win some of these games,'' Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said Monday.
``It's not an end-all series because we still have 19 games left after it. But the last two series we won against the Sox, we lost the next two series, so it's important we win some of these games,'' he said.
The Tigers swept the Sox in Detroit July 20-22 then lost series to Cleveland, Toronto and Boston. They swept the Sox two weeks ago, then lost series to Cleveland and the Los Angeles Angels, who completed a three-game sweep on Sunday.
Both managers understand what is at stake for the team that is in first place four days from now. But the season doesn't end for another three weeks.
``Everybody gets it,'' Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ``You just guard against thinking it's the end of the season. There's nothing further from the truth. We realize they're important [games], but there have been teams that thing the big series is jut the one with them and they forget to play. There are still going to be close to 20 games left after that, and that could slip pretty quickly if you let your guard down.''
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the series demands ``a sense of urgency'' but not ``a sense of panic.''
But he showed how urgent last weekend when he chose to pull staff ace Justin Verlander from Saturday's game against the Angels in the sixth inning as the Tigers trailed.
Verlander had thrown at least 100 pitches in 80 straight starts dating to 2010, but the streak ended Saturday at 97 pitches.
``He wanted to pitch another inning, but he wasn't going to pitch another inning,'' Leyland said. ``We'll put that in reserve for the White Sox.''
Verlander faces Chris Sale on Thursday in the series finale and final regular season game between the contenders.
``However we do it, we've got to score some runs,' Leyland said, his team scoring only five in their three games against the Angels. ``To be honest, I think we've got a couple guys trying too hard.
``Against [the Sox], I think it's pretty simple,'' Leyland added. ``You've got to keep them in the ballpark. They hit it out of the ballpark. Their depth with home run power has been a little bit more than ours.
``It doesn't get much better than this,'' he added of the series. ``This is baseball. It's all about excitement.''
The Tigers entered the series Monday holding a 10-4 season lead on the Sox, but were only 2-3 at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Tigers' edge would have seemed expected before the season when Detroit was considered the division favorite. But they have struggled against the likes of the Indians and, like the Sox, against the Kansas City Royals.
``We haven't won as many games as we hoped [73-66 before Monday], but we have a chance to make it a very good season or a disappointing season,'' Dombrowski said. ``You can't say one way or another until the season is over.''
But Chicago native Dombrowski hasn't been as surprised at the Sox success this season as others.
``I thought their pitching was better than people expected. Chris Sale is a great young pitcher, and if Jake Peavy was healthy you know that would be a plus. The way Adam Dunn has bounced back--although I think Dunn was more of a surprise last year and is having more of a typical season this year. Alex Rios bouncing back with a career year for him...
``But we have guys having good years, too,'' he said. ``Our problems have been we haven't had the bottom of the order consistently perform [offensively]. Omar Infante has helped in the eighth spot [Infante acquired July 23 from the Miami Marlins] but the bottom of the order just hasn't driven in runs [consistently].
``We've lost so many one-run games, and yet we have a good bullpen,'' he added. ``We haven't always responded well with big hits with men on base, but we're second in the league in hitting with runners in scoring position [.282].''
The Sox are first in the league with a .284 average with runners in scoring position, yet the Tigers are eighth in the league in runs scored and the Sox are fifth.
``It's another example of how baseball statistics don't always tell the whole story,'' Dombrowski said.
But the series will tell something by the time it's over.
``Here we are, head to head,'' Leyland said. ``First place against second place for four games. Both teams are playing for something, and right now they've got a little edge on us.''

Floyd returning to White Sox rotation Wednesday

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Gavin Floyd's improving elbow will allow the White Sox to start him Wednesday night against the Tigers in the third game of their crucial four-game series.

Francisco Liriano moves to the bullpen, although that may be temporary. If he isn't needed, Liriano will likely get a start against the Twins in Minnesota this weekend, pitching coach Don Cooper said.

"It's exciting,'' said Floyd, who was encouraged by his side session of about 50 pitches Sunday. "To be on the shelf for 15 days, it's exciting to be out there.

"I didn't feel any pain where it affected the way I threw. It felt good, and I'm excited to see what we come up with."

Floyd is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Tigers. Lifetime, he's 7-2. Cooper said he'd be more than pleased with six good innings Wednesday.

"I think realistically, six would be a huge bonus,'' Cooper said. "If he can go out there for six innings and keep us in the game and give us a chance to win, huge bonus, huge shot in the arm. Gavin's back and we can continue to untrack him.''

"It's a game,'' Floyd said of facing the Tigers. "You just go out there and do your job. No matter if it's playoffs or means a lot or doesn't mean so much. You got to go out there and compete and try to go out there and win. Take one game at a time, one pitch at a time. Don't put too much pressure on yourself."

"You want your guys in there and Gavin is one of those guys,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "He was pitching well the last outing he had. Once he had the elbow stuff going on you wanted to pull him out. If he's healthy, he's going.''

There's a lot to be said for the Sox holding on to first place after losing Mark Buehrle to free agency and Opening Day starter John Danks to a season-ending shoulder injury. The starting rotation has been patched together with rookies such as Jose Quintana, Dylan Axelrod and Hector Santiago. Cooper and Ventura have

"There are (a lot of moving parts) and there could be worse things then having them,'' Ventura said. "If you get an arm like Gavin back and he pitches well, that's a good thing to deal with. Again getting him back healthy is the No. 1 thing and for him to go out and pitch is another. But we've been doing it all year like that. We've had guys miss a start and kind of push guys around and do different things and everybody has stepped up and done the job. It's not that much different than what we've done all year long.''

Youkilis back in White Sox lineup vs. Tigers

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Kevin Youkilis returned to the White Sox lineup on Monday after missing two games to witness the birth of his son.

The third baseman is batting second against the Tigers and Rick Porcello as the AL Central-leading Sox open a crucial four-game series against second-place Detroit. The Sox have a two-game lead.

Adam Dunn remains out of the lineup with a strained oblique. Dewayne Wise will bat third and play left field, with Dayan Viciedo taking Dunn's spot as the designated hitter.

The Sox are 3-2 against the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field this season, but 1-8 at Comerica Park. They are hitting .227 with 17 homers and own a 5.02 ERA against the Tigers, who have outscored them 66-49.

The White Sox lineup:

Alejandro DeAza CF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Dewayne Wise LF
Paul Konerko 1B
Alex Rios RF
A.J. Pierrzynski C
Dayan Viciedo DH
Alexei Ramirez SS
Gordon Beckham 2B

White Sox offering tickets specials for Tigers series

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White Sox media relations

The White Sox are offering fans a series of ticket specials for the upcoming series at U.S. Cellular Field, a four-game set vs. Detroit (September 10-13).

This evening's game is a Value Monday with tickets as low as $7 in the upper deck and lower level tickets starting at $17. The remainder of the series (Tuesday-Thursday) features lower reserved seats as low as $20 per ticket and tickets in the upper reserved as low as $9.

Tickets are available at, the U.S. Cellular Field ticket office and all Ticketmaster locations.

All four games start at 7:10 p.m.

The good news for the White Sox is they have only three more games against the Kansas City Royals.
Or it's bad news.
Given their dismal 5-10 mark against the Royals after losing 2-1 Sunday in 10 innings, the Sox may feel more comfortable in the showdown against the pursuing Detroit Tigers that begins tonight.
``We know it's important,'' Gordon Beckham said of the four-game series against the Tigers, who trail in the American League Central by two games. ``We're excited to play them at home and not in Detroit [where the Tigers swept three from the Sox a week ago.]
``But obviously, you don't want to lose [this] series,'' Beckham said of dropping two of three to the Royals. ``We played okay. [Royals starter Jeremy] Guthrie was really good. So were our pitchers. It just got away from us.''
It took 10 innings before either side scored, the Royals stranding 10 runners through nine innings and the Sox with fewer opportunities stranding five.
But in the 10th, the Royals broke through after two outs when Mike Moustakas singled off Brett Myers (2-3) scoring Jarrod Dyson, who was running for Billy Butler (walk). Jeff Francouer followed with a single to score Salvador Perez (single).
The Sox threatened in the 10th after A.J. Pierzynski drew a walk from Greg Holland (13th save) and scored on a one out double by Beckham.
That put Orlando Hudson (walk) at third and Beckham at second, but Holland struck out Alejandro De Aza and Ray Olmedo, who batted for himself with no one left on the bench.
Myers was one of seven Sox relievers who followed starter Hector Santiago. But the Royals have been Myers' nemesis this season, going 18-26 against him, including while he pitched for the Houston Astros before being traded to the Sox in July.
``It seems like every time I face them, they [hit] balls that find holes,'' Myers said. ``They are just putting the bat on it and finding holes and being able to score runs.''
The Royals also have tormented the Tigers, who are 1-5 since sweeping the Sox a week ago.
The Sox are 3-3 since that sweep and saw their streak of winning five straight home series ended by the Royals.
``Hector did a great job getting us in position [working into the fifth] to get [the bullpen] in there,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ``Situationally, we didn't do what we wanted to do offensively, running the bases and all that kind of stuff. It was a bad day all around.''
Guthrie continued his mastery over the Sox, extending his scoreless streak against them to 23 2/3 innings.
But it was Kelvin Herrera (3-2) who slammed the door in the ninth, entering with one out and De Aza on second. He intentionally walked pinch hitter Dan Johnson, but Alexei Ramirez' single to left was hit too sharply to score De Aza.
The threat ended with Alex Rios grounding into a double play.
The Tigers arrive with their own wounds to lick after getting swept in a three-game weekend series by the Los Angeles Angels.
``Detroit has a great team, and that's the bottom line,'' said Sox pitcher Jake Peavy, who starts on Wednesday. ``They don't have many holes at all. [Starters Max] Scherzer and [Justin} Verlander are as good as anybody in the game. That lineup speaks for itself. It's so dangerous all the way through. Then the back end of that bullpen has two of the best late inning guys. They're a great team. It has been surprising that after they swept us, things haven't gone their way, but that's just baseball.''

Rookie lefthander Jose Quintana gets the ball tonight to start the crucial series against the Detroit Tigers, a team he will face for the first time.
``Definitely it's exciting, but I take it like any other game,'' he said. ``But it is a big game for the team. We're excited about the series.''
Quintana will make his 19th start of the season, but first against the Tigers, as he tries to rebound from a career-worst outing last week against the Minnesota Twins when he gave up seven runs in less than two innings.
``I've been working on some things. I wanted to work on coming out of the stretch. That's something I felt needed to get a little more work. It felt good and hopefully that will come across.
``My confidence hasn't changed. Some rough outings happen. You just go about business and every day is a new day,'' he said.
Manager Robin Ventura said Quintana needs to focus on keeping things close more than worrying about innings.
``We're not asking him to go nine. If he goes five, we'll look at six,'' he said.

Adam Dunn admitted Sunday he probably should have stayed out longer than two days last week when he missed time because of pain in his right oblique.
``Looking back, I probably would have missed a couple days in Minnesota and probably would have been fine now, but me being stupid probably cost me a couple days, to be honest.''
Dunn is getting daily treatments after re-injuring his side on a swing while playing last Wednesday. He could miss the four-game Detroit series.
``I have to [have it heal],'' he said. ``I was trying to do things I'm not capable of hitting singles. That's not helping anybody.''
Dunn said swinging ``feels terrible. It feels like a hot knife. I can deal with an ankle [injury]. I can deal with anything. It gets to the point where it makes you mad because you sneeze and you're doubled over. It feels like you just ripped it in half and it just makes you mad.''

--Class AAA Charlotte advanced to the International League's championship series after a 6-4 victory Saturday against Indianapolis. The Knights open play in the Governor's Cup Championship series Tuesday against Pawtucket, the Class AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
--Shortstop Alexei Ramirez was scratched from Sunday's lineup after being arriving later than the scheduled reporting time. Ramirez is hitting .352 (25-71) with three home runs and 14 RBI in his last 21 games.

White Sox starter Gavin Floyd could be in the rotation again as soon as Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers.
The right-hander who has missed time with a right elbow flexor strain threw well enough Sunday in a bullpen session to put him back in the rotation picture, pitching coach Don Cooper said.
``Floyd looked fine. We mixed in all of his pitches,'' he said of Floyd's third side session since going on the disabled list Aug. 28. ``He felt good. It's not pain right now. He threw well and now we're going to discuss where and when we feel it's best to insert him.
``It could be as quick as Wednesday if we want to,'' he said. ``But again, we're not there yet. We haven't really discussed it. We were really waiting to see how it went today. There's no immediate necessity to name it today.''
The four-game series against the Tigers starting today has Jose Quintana facing Rick Porcello and Jake Peavy going against Doug Fister Tuesday.
Francisco Liriano is scheduled for the Sox Wednesday against Max Scherzer, but that would be the one opening in the series for Floyd. Staff ace Chris Sale is set for Thursday against Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
Floyd said he felt ``a lot better'' Sunday in the session throwing about 50 pitches, including curve balls for the first time.
``A couple times we stopped and it felt...abnormal,'' he said, but added the session overall was fine.
Floyd hasn't pitched since Aug. 26 when he left a game against Seattle after two innings. He had been on the disabled list in July for tendinitis in the same elbow. But MRI exams have shown no structural problems with his elbow.
Floyd wouldn't be expected to pitch deep into a game yet. ``We want length from our starters, but we'll take six good [innings] because we've got a full bullpen,'' Cooper said. ``We've got guys out there who we have confidence in, and we're just looking for the starters to give us a chance to win the game. That's all we've ever been looking for for 11 or 12 years here. Anything more than six or seven is a bonus.
``We're going to play it by ear,'' he said, adding Floyd wouldn't be ``replacing anybody. We have a lot of options right now and we'll weight them all.''

Major league veterans say the grind of a season peaks in September when the pressure of reaching the playoffs magnifies every pitch of every game.
It is a new pressure for White Sox lefty Chris Sale and rookie closer Addison Reed--one they are trying to minimize.
``I just try to close my mind out there,'' Sale said. ``The more you think about things and put pressure on yourself, that's not how you want to be. You still have to just make your pitches.''
It took three innings for Sale (16-6) to find his pitching groove Saturday against the Kansas City Royals. And it took a renewed focus by Reed (26th save) in the ninth to hang on to a 5-4 victory against the Royals, who had won the last six straight meetings.
``It'd be nice if it had been easier, but at the end of the day we got the win,'' Reed said.
A day earlier, Reed yielded a two-run game winning home run to Lorenzo Cain, the man he faced again Saturday after the nemesis Royals already had scored twice with two outs and had the tying run at second. This time Cain struck out to assure the Sox of maintaining their lead in the American League Central over the Detroit Tigers for another day.
``They've been tough on us,'' manager Robin Ventura said of the Royals, who have been tough on every team in the Central in the last month. ``It's good to get a win, beat a good pitcher [Bruce Chen] and get ready for tomorrow.''
Scouts following the Sox have noted a drop in Reed's velocity, but Ventura reaffirmed his confidence in the rookie Saturday.
``He told me `go after him,' '' Reed said of a brief mound visit before Cain's at bat.
``We'll worry about development next year,'' Ventura said of Reed. ``Right now, I just want him to get three outs. He's earned his stripes as far as I'm concerned. He's gone through a lot already in one year.
``No closer is ever going to be perfect but if he loses his confidence, that would be one thing--and he hasn't. That's a good sign for a young kid.''
Sale, in his own first year as a starter, has maintained his confidence and showed his development by adjusting after struggling in his first three innings when he gave up five hits. He gave up none in his next three innings.
``The first few innings were kind of erratic, al over the place, and honestly I just tried to go out and battle it out,' he said. ``This [Royals team] is a good hitting team and they like to swing and when they start to take a lot of pitches on you, you know you've got to turn things around and start throwing more strikes.
``Down the stretch, we've still got quite a bit of baseball left. You just try to keep your head in it and bring it every day.''
Sale credited catcher Tyler Flowers with getting him on track, Sale retiring the last 10 batters he faced.
Flowers helped provide run support as well with a two-run homer in the fourth, one of three the Sox hit Saturday off Chen (10-12), who saw his personal four-game win streak against the Sox end.
Dayan Viciedo (20th) and Paul Konerko (22nd) had the others--though the Royals out-hit the Sox 11 to 8.
The Sox became the first team this season to have five players with at least 20 homers, including Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, A.J. Pierzynski, Konerko and Viciedo.
Sale improved to 8-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 69 strikeouts in his last nine games at U.S. Cellular Field.

Adam Dunn could miss at least another five days because of a strained right oblique, possibly missing part or all of the four-game series against the Detroit Tigers.
Dunn was not in the lineup Saturday for a second game against the Kansas City Royals. Manager Robin Ventura said Dunn, who is tied for second in the majors with 38 home runs, could return sooner if he improves more quickly. ``He still has a strain and it will be [at least] a couple days,'' Ventura said. ``It's when he's [feels he is] ready to go.''
Dunn missed two games last week after straining his right oblique, a nagging injury for hitters. He returned for three games but aggravated it Wednesday against Minnesota.

Closer Addison Reed leads major league rookies in saves with 25, allowing at least one run only four times. His ERA in save situations is 3.25.
But it is 6.23 (15 earned runs/ 21 2/3 innings) in non-save situations, including the tie game he entered in the ninth on Friday. Reed suffered the loss after giving up a two-run homer to Lorenzo Cain.
Reed said his approach is the same in both situations. ``I feel great. Everything feels great. Things just weren't working [Friday],'' he said.
``He's the closer so we'll find out by the end of the year [his effectiveness],'' Ventura said. ``it's one of those things where you don't know exactly why, but guys give up runs. You just try to put it behind you.''
Ventura said he will try to keep from over-using Reed in the closing weeks of the playoff chase. ``We still are making sure guys get their rest. We'll use guys a little more but they still need rest, and you don't want to wear guys out, especially since this is still early enough in September that you have to use them. The temptation is to use them every game, but we've held guys out last week knowing they have a few more games.''

Kevin Youkilis and his wife welcomed a baby boy Friday. Youkilis could be back with the team by Sunday.

September is the heat of the playoff race for contending teams--but it is ``October'' for the also-rans.
And the Kansas City Royals continue to play like an ``October'' team.
The White Sox again had their hands full Friday with the American League Central spoilers, who may yet decide if the division goes to the Sox or the Detroit Tigers.
This time the first career multi homer game by Royals leadoff man, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, was a poison pill leading to Friday's 7-5 loss at U.S. Cellular Field before 26,660.
Cain's two-run homer in the ninth off Addison Reed (3-2) broke a 5-5 tie--and gave the Royals a sixth straight victory against the Sox.
``A couple bad pitches and they hit them,'' said Reed, whose ERA in non-save situations climbed to 6.33 compared to 3.25 in save situations.
``It doesn't change things. Things just haven't been going my way,'' he said.
``But they're a scrappy team,'' he added of the Royals, who have won eight of their lat 11 against the Sox. ``One through nine, they can hit. They give everyone trouble. The standings don't show how good they are.''
Two time zones away, the pursuing Detroit Tigers were playing the Los Angeles Angels, leaving the Sox to scoreboard watch to see if their one-run lead in the American League Central would hold another night.
``People want to talk about Detroit [which arrives Monday for a four-game series], but we're making sure our guys remain focused on the Royals because it's a quick way to lose some games if you're focused on other things,'' manager Robin Ventura said.
The Sox already knew the Royals are good, having lost nine of their 13 meetings so far.
``They've done everything when we've played them--they play good, sound baseball; they hit; they pith well; they play good defense. They're an all-around team. The start of the season didn't start out that well for them, but lately they've been playing well.''
The Sox turned to their weapon of choice--the home run--to rebound three different times in the game when the Royals took a lead.
A.J. Pierzynski (25th) led the fourth with a solo drive. Dewayne Wise (seventh) hit one to lead the fifth. And Alexei Ramirez (ninth) hit a two-run homer in the sixth, tying the score at 5-5.
But the Sox stranded nine, including leaving the bases loaded in the eighth when Ventura opted to stay with Jose Lopez against Kelvin Herrera (2-2) with two outs.
``He'd seen him before. You like to stay with your guys,'' Ventura said. ``Even with Gordon [Beckham, who struck out with men at second and third in the inning and one out] I figured those were pretty good chances.
``We could get men on but we had problems getting them in,'' he said. ``You get frustrated. This was one of those games where we had plenty of opportunities but we gave them opportunities.''
Starter Francisco Liriano lasted into the sixth, but he walked the first two in that inning. Both scored when Nate Jones gave up a double to Jeff Francoeur and sacrifice fly to Eric Hosmer.
``I feel I'm not doing the job,'' Liriano said. ``I walked too many guys. I have to go deeper in games.''
The Sox bullpen has been scored on in 11 of its last 12 games at home, with a 5.63 ERA in that span.
Meanwhile, the offense has left 40 runners on base in the last five games.

The Sox will have Jose Quintana open next week's four-game series against the Detroit Tigers, with Jake Peavy to follow on Tuesday, Francisco Liriano on Wednesday and Chris Sale on Thursday in a rematch against Justin Verlander.
That lineup won't change, although the rotation could change by week's end if Gavin Floyd continues to recover well from an elbow flexor strain.
``He's got to feel right. I don't like sending guys out not feeling 100 percent,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ``I don't want guys having reservations. As soon as he's fit, we'll look at where he best fits in.''
Floyd threw a second side session on Thursday that he said went well.
``I threw some sliders, changeups and fastballs. There was very minimal soreness or ache. It felt good,'' he said, ``better than I expected.''
Floyd said he will throw one more bullpen session on Sunday.
``I'll throw curveballs and I think that will be the final test,'' he said. ``I think the plan is for me to go back in the rotation as soon as possible as long as everything goes as planned.''
Floyd said he felt no discomfort after throwing sliders. ``I was a little apprehensive because the last time I threw sliders, every time I threw it bothered me. So it was nice to throw some sliders and have no pain.''

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski is one of the few Sox who played with pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who is recovering from head surgery after being struck in the head by a line drive while pitching for Oakland on Wednesday.
``I texted him. He's a friend of mine,'' Pierzynski said. ``You never want to see a guy get hurt. You never want to see someone hit in the head. It's a shame. I wish him a speedy recovery and I hope he gets back.''
McCarthy had surgery to relieve pressure from an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture caused when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of the bat of Los Angeles Angel Erick Aybar.

Dunn injury flares again

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Adam Dunn was out of the lineup Friday after experiencing a recurrence of the oblique pain that sidelined him for several games last week.
``He has that side [strain] again, so we're just trying to take are of it and make sure nothing gets worse,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ``I'm hoping it's just today, or tomorrow, but you never know. I guess any time a hitter has it in the rib area it can happen every day.''
Dunn missed two games in Detroit because of the problem, described as a strained right oblique.
Ventura had Dayan Viciedo in the designated hitter role batting seventh and Dewayne Wise playing left field and batting third.
The Sox also were without third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who flew home Friday to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.

A rumor that circulated on the internet and on some sports talk radio outlets saying White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was under suspicion for steroid use was debunked by Major League Baseball and by Pierzynski on Friday.
``Apparently certain people in the media, they know who they are and I don't have to mention them by name--they just go ahead and run stories and talk about stories on their air without getting sources,'' an irritated Pierzynski said before Friday's first game of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. ``It's a shame because people that don't do anything, haven't done anything, can be targeted, and you can say whatever you want on the internet.
``But that's the life we live and the world we live in, and unfortunately it's happened to other peoiple and this time it happened to be on me.
``It's over with now and hopefully people fine something better we can talk about [on] the White Sox instead of soemthing that is completely baseless.''
Pierzynski is having his best power season ever with 24 home runs and 71 RBI as the weekend series began. But there has never been suspiciion about him before, and MLB officials were said to have told Sox officials he has never had a positive drug test.
Players are routinely tested throughout the season. This season three players--Marlon Byrd, Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon--were found to have positive test for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and ordered to serve 50-game suspensions under MLB's penalty system.

Peavy, Rios lead White Sox past Twins

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Alex Rios hit a grand slam in the first inning and a two-run homer in the sixth, and Jake Peavy pitched six strong innings to lead the White Sox to a 6-2 victory against the Minnesota Twins before a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 17,336 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Rios, who has 22 homers, had a career high six RBI, putting him within six RBI of his season high (2010) and 2012 team leader Adam Dunn.

The Sox, who won two of three games from the Twins, went into the game leading the Detroit Tigers by one game in the American League Central. The Tigers host the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night. The Sox are off Thursday before hosting the Kansas City Royals for three games this weekend.

Peavy (10-9) allowed one run on five hits to win for the first time since he beat the Twins in Minneapolis on Aug. 1. Despite having a 3.42 ERA over his previous 16 starts, Peavy had a 3-9 record during that stretch with an average of 3.74 runs of support per nine innings.

Ventura not planning extended rest for Sale

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura said there are no plans to skip 23-year-old left-handed starters Chris Sale and Jose Quintana for upcoming starts even though both are in uncharted territory for innings pitched.

With Thursday's off day, a rotation that is going through a subpar stretch gets an extra day of rest. Sale pitches Saturday against the Royals and in the Tigers four-game series finale at U.S. Cellular Field next Thursday.

Quintana has had two short outings in a row. Sale has lost three of his last four starts. Quintana doesn't look tired, Ventura said, he's just not commanding his pitches and has walked 11 over his last four starts (17 2/3 innings).

"You keep going,'' Ventura said before Wednesday afternoon's game against the Minnesota Twins. "Even the guys who have been around. I think you look at what guys do. You could have guys go out there and not get it done one time. But a young guy you immediately go to 'he's young.' So we'll have to keep going. That's the team we are. We just can't pick someone off another team and think that's going to be better. It just doesn't happen. ''

The Washington Nationals are sticking to their plan of shutting down Stephen Strasburg soon, even though they are a postseason team. Ventura was annoyed by a question about Strasburg

"I'm more concerned about our conversation with what we're doing with Chris than what they're doing over there,'' he said.

As for extended rest for Sale or anybody else, Ventura said, "We're passed that point of giving guys chunks of time. Probably more an extra day more than anything -- a day or two, not skipping two starts or anything like that."

Santiago likely White Sox starter Sunday vs. KC

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Left-hander Hector Santiago, who allowed one run on three hits over five innings in his first major league start against the Twins on Monday, will likely start for the White Sox against the Royals on Sunday, manager Robin Ventura said.

Santiago said having a start under his belt can only be a plus.

"It's huge,'' he said Wednesday. "You know what to expect going out there starting a game. Now you just hope you get deeper into the game.''

Having been the closer early in the season should also help him as a starter.

"Closing is the biggest situation in the game,'' Santiago said. "Starting has a lot to do with it because you have to keep the lead to get to that situation. You're in the ninth inning with a lead, you've got more pressure than anybody on the field right there. If you can handle that, you can handle being a starter.''

Santiago, who is one on of the most athletic pitchers on the team, was disappointed he didn't get to play left field late in Tuesday's 18-9 blowout loss. He was told to get ready when left fielder Dewayne Wise prepared to pitch. Instead, third-string catcher Hector Gimenez played left field in the ninth.

Wise was in the starting lineup in Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the Twins. Wise played center field in place of Alejandro De Aza and led off. Jake Peavy is the Sox starting pitcher, opposed by right-hander P.J. Walters.

Wednesday's lineup:

Wise CF
Youkilis 3B
Dunn DH
Konerko 1B
Rios RF
Pierzynski C
Viciedo LF
Ramirez SS
Beckham 2B.

White Sox pounded by Twins 18-9; remain in first

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The White Sox hit a franchise-record 10 doubles, but their pitching staff was no match for the Minnesota Twins lineup on Tuesday night. Jose Quintana, Dylan Axelrod and Philip Humber were shelled for a combined 17 runs in the first five innings, and the Twins went on to defeat the Sox 18-9 before 15,698 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Detroit Tigers lost to the Cleveland Indians 3-2, allowing the Sox to hold their one-game lead in the American League Central.

The Sox staked Quintana to a 3-0 lead in the first but the rookie lefty couldn't finish the Twins' seven-run second. He lasted 3 2/3 his last start in Baltimore.

Humber was shelled for eight runs on seven hits in 1/3 of an inning in the fifth, saw his ERA climb from 5.81 to 6.50.

Since the Tigers tied the Sox for first with their sweep in Detroit over the weekend, they've lost two straight to the Indians while the Sox split the first two games of this series.

"Agonizing is what it is, every day is agonizing,'' general manager Ken Williams said before the game. "You're committed to that grind and one day you're feeling like, 'OK, we've got everything lined up' and the next day it's, 'OK, we've got to regroup.' The challenge becomes staying even-keeled in terms of when you come to the ballpark with the same positive energy, the same excitement. This is September, man. It's September in the midst of a playoff run. There are common denominators for the teams that will ultimately survive this stretch. It's the will, the intellect and the talent, and not necessarily in that order. Will, intellect and talent. There are games where you have to will your way to win and there are other games where you have to use your baseball intellect.''

The Twins had 17 hits. The Sox, whose manager Robin Ventura emptied the bench midway through the game, had 13 hits.

Williams: Talent didn't lose 3 games in Detroit

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While tipping his cap to dominant pitching performances by the Tigers' Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, it didn't go over well with general manager Williams that the Sox didn't take advantage of the Tigers weaknesses when they were swept in Detroit over the weekend.

Presumably, he was talking about not bunting on immobile third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

"There are games where you have to will your way to win and there are other games where you have to use your baseball intellect,'' Williams said Tuesday. "We had an opportunity in Detroit, for instance, and one of the conversations we had on the bus and the plane was, 'OK, let's review what happened. Did we play the smartest baseball? Did we take advantage of the other team's weaknesses and did we have the right gameplan?' Well, it wasn't a matter of talent that lost us those three games. We think we didn't step up in that category.''

Asked to elaborate, Williams declined, citing the Sox' four-game series at home starting Monday.

White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis was the first to suggest the players grow moustaches after their dismal road trip and being swept in three games in Detroit.
Those who could sport them quickly--Youkilis, Paul Konerko and Chris Sale--had the look Monday, which also happened to be the day the team was honoring the memory of their late batting practice pitcher and assistant coach, Kevin Hickey.
Hickey had a moustache.
``This being Kevin Hickey Night, it actually worked out pretty well,'' team captain Konerko said.
Hickey, 56, a South Side native who pitched for the Sox from 1981-83 after starring as a local 16 inch softball player, was remembered in pre-game tributes. The organization revealed a special plaque that will hang in the batting cages--now to be named the Kevin Hickey Batting Cages.
With the victory that ended the four-game losing streak, the moustaches are likely to stay, Konerko said.
``I have a feeling they're going to be around for a while. It was a nice thing with Hick tonight. Maybe there are some wins in it. Maybe he's looking down, looking out for us.''
It may take time for some of the players to catch up to the look.
``It's going to take me until next spring to get mine fully out, but I'm going to try,'' Gordon Beckham said. ``Everybody's in on it. It comes fitting today because of Kevin Hickey and this game is about him and we won. He has a plaque up in here now. It was good to remember him with a win and now we're starting the Hick moustaches. We'll ride these out.''

White Sox captain Paul Konerko knows the best way to approach the drama of a September pennant race is to assume tough times ahead.
``We had Detroit [last] weekend and could have controlled them and didn't,'' he said Monday. ``Now we have to assume they're going to play well and we have to take care of our business. However many games are left is kind of irrelevant. It's about playing one game and then moving on to the next one. You can't get to the end until you play all the rest of them.
``It's grueling and it's tough, but that's the way we have to do it. I think we will.''
Grueling and tough was how Monday's homecoming game was against the struggling Minnesota Twins. But after closer Addison Reed (25th save) gave up a lead off single in the ninth, he struck out Jamey Carroll and got a game-ending double play ball from Alexi Casilla to preserve a 4-2 victory.
With the Tigers losing their afternoon game against Cleveland, the Sox regained sole possession at the top of the American League Central for now.
``Last week wasn't good for us, but I'm glad we started off with a win at home,'' said Gordon Beckham, the offensive hero with a two-run homer in the second against starter Samuel Deduno (5-3). Beckham's single in the eighth driving in Alexei Ramirez with another run was as important to manager Robin Ventura.
``The homer is nice but what wins you games is those late runs,'' Ventura said. ``It eases the bullpen and gives them breathing room.''
Ventura used six relievers after rookie Hector Santiago gave the rotation a lift, working into the sixth and holding the Twins to one run on three hits--the only run a homer by Jamey Carroll, who hadn't hit one since Aug. 9, 2009.
``Hector did a great job,'' Ventura said of the lefty who started the season as the team closer. ``You ask him to start, a guy who's been the closer then went to the bullpen. We send him down to get stretched out. Then you ask him to stop a losing streak and he did.''
Santiago (3-1) watched the Sox Sunday night loss to the Tigers.
``I got home and watched the entire game,'' he said. ``I knew what [Monday] meant. I wanted to go out there and try to help the team win.
``I felt comfortable. I just tried to go hitter to hitter.''
The Labor Day evening crowd of 21,676 saw the Sox shake off the disappointment of the road trip and end a four-game losing streak.
``The best way to get going again is to get out there and play hard and get a W,'' said Konerko, whose seventh inning single drove in Kevin Youkilis with the Sox' third run.
``It's already away,'' manager Robin Ventura said of the road losses and Detroit sweep. ``You are already on to another team. There are 30 games left, so no matter who won last night or won lost last night, you still have to win games from this point forward, so there's no sense feeling sorry for yourself because nobody else is going to. Just get ready for today and work on the things you need to work on and re-focus.''
The ups and downs September will bring will be ``a learning curve'' for the team, Ventura said.
``You can lose the game or lose the series and still have to come back and play and be prepared for the next night,'' he said, adding ``there are worse circumstances than what we are in right now.
``Right now, you have to focus on the game and not the consequences,'' he said. ``It doesn't help you to think about what can happen if you lose. It's more about staying in the moment, playing and taking care of what you can take care of.''

Actor and Chicago native Michael Clarke Duncan was a good friend of White Sox general manager Ken Williams, and longtime fan of the Sox. The actor who won an Academy Award nomination for his role in ``The Green Mile'' died Monday, never recovering from a heart attack on July 13.
Duncan narrated the video of the Sox' 2005 World Series championship season.
``Michael was a close friend,'' Williams said in a statement Monday. ``He was the nicest, kindest guy anyone could ever know. He was a great fan of the Chicago White Sox and often called me to offer advice. His friendship will be missed.''

At game time Monday, the White Sox already knew they would still be in first place because of Detroit's afternoon loss to the Cleveland Indians.
The last outs of that Tigers-Indians game showing on the clubhouse televisions had players straggling out to batting practice as they tried to catch the final out.
But the players insist it is still more important to focus on themselves as they put the three-game sweep by the Tigers behind them.
``Two months ago we were talking about the same thing and things turned around for us,'' said Adam Dunn, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a right oblique strain. ``They can turn around again. We still have a month to go.
``We came out of [Detroit] in first place and that's the best place you can be. It's not time to panic. We played as worse as we could and we're still in first place.
``If we take care of us, we'll be where we want to be. We won't have to rely on other teams.''

Sidelined Gavin Floyd threw a bullpen session Monday, saying he felt ``about 65 percent'' after throwing some 20 pitches from a mound.
``It was a little achy in between pitches but it felt pretty good. It wasn't `ouch.' It was a step in the right direction.''
Floyd will throw another session on Thursday. ``I guess would be a little longer, throwing breaking balls, so that will be kind of the true test to see what happens.
``I hope it's just 15 days and I get back out there.''
Floyd has been on the disabled list since Aug. 27, but it's not known yet if he will be able to resume pitching when he is eligible to return in another week.
Manager Robin Ventura said Dylan Axelrod will be recalled and could start Sunday against Kansas City.

A pregame tribute was held for former Sox pitcher Kevin Hickey, 56, the team's longtime assistant coach who died in May after lapsing into a coma during the team's season-opening trip to Texas a month earlier.
The Sox have displayed Hickey's jersey in the dugout all season and worn arm patches in remembrance.
``The jersey is here but you walk by and see his locker, you're used to hearing him,'' Ventura said. ``That's the one thing even now, it's been most of the season and there are still [things] you miss. You are used to hearing and seeing him around and seeing him during batting practice. That's when you really would see him. It was just his energy and kind of his zest for life.''
Meanwhile, there was good news surrounding coaching assistant Mike Gellinger, who had been hospitalized in Baltimore last week during the road trip after blacking out in his hotel and injuring a neck vertebrae. Gellinger is home but still undergoing tests to determine what caused his incident.

Adam Dunn felt well swinging in batting practice Monday, but he already was in the lineup for the first game of a three-game series against Minnesota starting the home stand at U.S. Cellular Field.
``I'd rather be in the lineup as opposed to not be in and then try to go in,'' he said before testing the sore right oblique that had kept him from playing the last two games of the weekend series in Detroit.
Dunn, who leads the majors in home runs with 38, has been struggling of late, hitting only .167 (4-24) with one RBI in his last seven games.
But he would have played against the Tigers had he been healthy.
``That's the tough part about it,'' he said of not being able to even pinch hit. ``No one will look at you. It's the worst it can be. All you an be is a cheerleader.''

Tigers sweep White Sox

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DETROIT - Goodbye, and good riddance.

The White Sox couldn't get away from Comerica Park fast enough on Sunday night after getting swept in a three-game series that left them tied for first place with the Tigers in the American League Central.

There's something about the place that brings out the worst in the South Siders and the best in the Tigers, and you can probably start with the presence of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Delmon Young.

Young's three-run homer against Chris Sale broke a tie and powered the Tigers to a 4-2 victory.

"Being the size that it is [420 feet to center field], it's different than our park,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "There have been some balls hit here [by the Sox] in the last couple of games that would be home runs in our park that you don't get here. The ones they hit would have been out of anywhere. It's just the way it goes. It's a different type of ballpark. They play very well in it.''

Verlander (13-7) pitched eight dominating innings, and Young lined a three-run homer over the left field wall against Sale to break a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning. Sale showed his frustration in the dugout after the inning because he had Young in a 1-2 hole and the slider Young hooked into the Tigers bullpen was inches off the ground.

The Sox have lost seven in a row and 18 of their last 21 games here. Before a sellout crowd of 42,192 and an ESPN2 audience, Sale could not out-pitch fellow All-Star and Cy Young candidate Verlander, although he stood to-to-toe for five innings.

After Alejandro De Aza, in his first game back from bruised ribs, homered to right field on Verlander's second pitch, Verlander gave up three more hits and struck out 11.

For the first four innings, De Aza's homer gave the Sox a rare lead in the series. Brennan Boesch tied it with a deep blast to center in the fifth.
"He's done great all year leading off, getting in scoring position,'' Ventura said before the game. "He does have the ability to hit home runs. More of what he's done is getting on, creating havoc, moving around the bases. He wears on pitchers might get a guy an extra pitch here and there that they don't locate very well.''
Ventura knew the game would spell the difference between having a two-game lead on Labor Day or being tied for first place. The Sox open a 10-game home stand against the Twins on Monday night that concludes with four games against the Tigers next Monday through Thursday.
"I would like to be two, but again, it's not going to change how we go into tomorrow's game,'' Ventura said. "You just play today and hopefully that's good enough. If you don't win today, we are still going to come back and play hard tomorrow and show up and play.''
Ventura said the 23-year-old Sale appeared to be ready for Sunday's showdown with Verlander.
"He gets it,'' Ventura said. "The hype to it, he doesn't look any different than he does any day. If you walk by him and he's acting different then you talk to him. But he's been the same all day.''

The Sox scored a run on Dan Johnson's pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth against Jose Valverde, and Orlando Hudson lined out to deep center to end the game with the tying runs on base. Austin Jackson made a running catch.

Parent: White Sox hitters must do the little things

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DETROIT - A good blend of offense and pitching put the White Sox in first place for most of the season. Their hold on the AL Central was in peril in recent days because, after the starting pitching went through a rough stretch, the lineup followed

That's how bench coach Mark Parent sees it.

"The last couple of days starting pitchers have been getting behind so early so much, it's just putting quite a bit of pressure on guys to do a little more than they need to instead of just having good at-bats,'' Parent said before Sunday's game against the Tigers.

The Sox went into it with 171 homers, the third-best total in the majors. They're on pace for the eighth-best homer season in franchise history. While manager Robin Ventura isn't complaining about those numbers, he has made repeated pitches to see more runs scored in other ways. Ventura's right-hand man is on the same page.

"It was working out well when we hit home runs,'' Parent said. "There's still a lot to be said for putting three or four hits together in an inning. That's what we're going through right now. We're trying to do too much at the plate.

"We need to get walks, base hits, hit and run, bunt, get guys over and score when we need to. When we're doing those things we're pretty good.''

Parent isn't saying the rotation is to blame. In fact, he gave it props for avoiding a rocky stretch for this long.

As for the hitters, he doesn't see a lineup full of stat-conscience guys, which he views as a plus.

"There's too many guys in that room who have too much to prove and want to finish up a good year,'' he said. "A lot of young players who have good years try to protect their year [in the last month]. These guys aren't worried about protecting their year, they're trying to get to the playoffs, get all they can, show people last year was not the norm.

"We've got guys who want to win and get in the playoffs.''

White Sox' De Aza returns from DL

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DETROIT - The White Sox reinstated outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the disabled list on Sunday. De Aza was on an injury rehabilitation assignment at AAA Charlotte.

The Sox center fielder and leadoff man who is hitting .281with six home runs, 44 RBI, 73 runs scored and 21 stolen bases. In four games with Charlotte, De Aza hit a home run and drove in two runs.

De Aza is expected to play center field when the Sox close out a three-game series against the Tigers tonight (7:05 CST, ESPN2, 670-AM). Chris Sale opposes Justin Verlander in a battle of Cy Young candidates.

White Sox no match for Tigers, Scherzer

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DETROIT - The White Sox lost another game to the Tigers, and lost major league home run leader Adam Dunn to an oblique injury.

All is not lost, because the Sox are still in first place in the American League Central, albeit by one game. But it always seems like the Tigers put the Sox in their place at Comerica Park, which happened again in a 5-1 defeat against lights-out right-hander Max Scherzer on Saturday night.

The Sox have lost 11 of their last 12 games at Comerica Park and 17 of their last 20 by a 121-55 margin. Against the Tigers this season, the Sox are 4-9 after winning their first two matchups.

On the first day of September, they fell to 1-5 on a road trip that began in Baltimore following a 6-0 home stand and continued on a troubling trend on the road with eight losses in nine games and 16 of 24 after a 26-18 start.

With Chris Sale opposing Justin Verlander on Sunday night (7:05 CST, ESPN2, 670-AM), the Sox will try to salvage the third game of a series that has been dominated by the Tigers.

Scherzer (15-6), who has been at the top of his game in his last five starts, won his fifth straight decision. He struck out nine, walked one and gave up four hits over eight innings.

Sox starter Francisco Liriano, who like Scherzer has outstanding stuff but ranks among the league leaders in walks, climbed up that chart with seven free passes (one intentional) in four-plus innings. Liriano (2-1 as a White Sox) struck out five and gave up four hits, including an RBI triple by Brennan Boesch followed by Miguel Cabrera's RBI single that whizzed past Liriano's ear in the third.

When Delmon Young hit Liriano's 100th and last pitch for a triple off the top of the center field wall to lead off the fifth, Ventura went to Saturday rookie callups Brian Omogrosso and Leyson Septimo for right-lefty matchups. The rookies recorded outs to leave Young at third, but right fielder Avisail Garcia ripped a Nate Jones fastball past first baseman Paul Konerko for his first major-league hit and an RBI to boot.

Young hit Jesse Crain's first pitch of the seventh near the same area as his triple, but over the wall for his 16th homer and a 4-0 Tigers lead. Austin Jackson tripled and Cabrera singled him home for the Tigers' fifth run. It came against closer Addison Reed, who hasn't had a save opportunity since last Saturday and needed the work.

The seven walks by Liriano tied a career high.

Orlando Hudson tripled in Paul Konerko with two outs in the ninth against Jose Valverde for the Sox run.

White Sox assistant Gellinger hospitalized in Baltimore

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DETROIT - After blacking out and suffering trauma to a vertebrae from a fall in his hotel room on Wednesday, White Sox assistant hitting coach Mike Gellinger remained hospitalized at a Baltimore hospital on Saturday.

Gellinger, a 1982 graduate of Fremd High School in Palatine and Southern Illinois University, was a manager in the White Sox minor league system and has served in various capacities on the White Sox staff.

The cause of the blackout was not known. Gellinger, 47, is known to be in excellent physical shape.

Santiago to start for White Sox on Monday

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DETROIT -- Left-hander Hector Santiago will start for the White Sox when they open a home stand against the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.

Santiago, the Opening Day closer who went to AAA Charlotte to be stretched out as a long relief man and possible starter, is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA this season.

Santiago made his first good impression at the major-league level when he pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings against the Twins on July 7 of last season. He allowed one hit that night.

On Wednesday in Baltimore, Dylan Axelrod pitch 7 1/3 strong innings and won in place of Gavin Floyd, who is on the disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain. Axelrod was optioned to AA Birmingham after the game and isn't eligible to rejoin the Sox until Tuesday. Birmingham's season ends Monday. Manager Robin Ventura said Axelrod will rejoin the team at a later date.

Floyd, meanwhile, has played light catch at 90 feet the last two days.

"I'm just tossing out there keeping the arm moving,'' Floyd said Saturday. "I do feel it a little bit. Hopefully these days of throwing will progressively get better.''

Floyd is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sept. 11.

"I hope it's just the 15 days and get back after that,'' he said. "That would be ideal. I guess right now you play it one day at a time and see how things play out.''

Adam Dunn scratched from White Sox lineup

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DETROIT -- Adam Dunn was scratched from the White Sox lineup Saturday with a strained right oblique.

Dunn strained it on a check swing during the Sox' victory against the Orioles on Wednesday night.

Dan Johnson, who was called up from AAA Charlotte, replaced Dunn in the lineup as the designated hitter. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski will bat third in the first-place Sox' important game against the second-place Tigers.

"I'm expecting to be back, you know, tomorrow,'' Dunn said. "Stay here with Herm, knock out what we can. We have an 8 o'clock (Eastern) tomorrow so that might help.''

Dunn insisted he won't go on the disabled list.

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no,'' he said.

Dunn attempted to hit Saturday and decided to rest.

"If it was life and death I would try, I guess,'' he said. "We still have a lot of games left.

"I already forced myself out there yesterday and shouldn't have. I have been waiting for September to come around, this kind of playoff atmosphere and something stupid like this happens.''

Dunn said it hurts "breathing, sneezing, everyday life.

"Obviously Herm has seen a lot of them. He has a good program for this and I'm a quick healer. Hopefully it will be good to go tomorrow.''

White Sox add Johnson, Hudson, 3 pitchers

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DETROIT - The White Sox returned infielder Orlando Hudson and left-handed pitcher Leyson Septimo from injury rehabilitation assignments, recalled right-handers Deunte Heath and Brian Omogrosso from Charlotte and purchased the contract of infielder Dan Johnson from Charlotte on Saturday.

Catcher Tyler Flowers returned from paternity leave. The Sox active roster is at 31 and the 40-man stands at 40.

Johnson, 33, batted .267 with 28 home runs and 85 RBI over 137 games with Charlotte. He leads the International League in homers and walks (94) and ranks second in RBI and third in on-base percentage (.388). He's a career .235 hitter with 53 homers and 188 RBI in 399 games over six major-league seasons with Oakland and Tampa Bay.

Heath, 27, was on the major-league roster from July 4-8 but did not pitch. He went 4-3 with a 1.48 ERA and three saves with Charlotte. He has no major-league experience.

Omogrosso, 28, is 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA in five games with the White Sox this season. He was 0-2, 4.56 for Charlotte.

Septimo, 27 (left biceps inflammation) is 0-2, 6.00 in 12 games with the Sox.

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