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

May 2013 Archives

Ventura states the obvious about Sox offense: 'It stinks'

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura (left). AP PHOTO

OAKLAND, Calif. -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura called it the way he saw it after his team's 3-0 loss to the Oakland A's on Friday night.

"It stinks" is about as strong as it gets for the mild-mannered manager, who labeled his team's offense as such after Dylan Axelrod's strong start went to waste in his team's fourth loss in a row that dropped it to 24-28 on the last day of May. The Sox are last in the American League in runs, hits, walks, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, to name a handful of categories.

Here are Ventura's postgame comments after Bartolo Colon became the second oldest A's pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout. He was the first American Leaguer to pitch a shutout since Curt Schilling did it on June 7, 2007.

On Axelrod, who was charged with two runs over seven-plus innings.

"He was good. He just wasn't as good as theirs. That's probably one of the better games Ax pitched until he gave up a couple of hits. Bartolo was throwing great. The way we're swinging it offensively might have helped him out a little bit but he's still a good pitcher and pitched a great great. I just think right now, especially after the last three games to come and get this, a pitcher can't give up a run just the way we're playing offensively.

On Colon:

"He's a smart pitcher. If you're trying to be patient and work him, he's a strike thrower. He gets ahead early. He has more of a medicine ball-type sinker. Guys just couldn't get underneath it and do anything with it. Even when you get a hit there's not much to it.''

On Axelrod:

"Ax knows how to pitch. The last one was a little not like you would expect but he throws strikes, he's a smart pitcher. He was just bested today by a guy that threw a great game.

"Yeah, it stinks. It needs to get better. If you're not scoring runs it looks a lot worse. It just needs to get better. I don't think it's approach. When you go over offensive stuff and give them the information, it's sound stuff. It's just a stretch that stinks.''

White Sox' Axelrod: 'My stuff is pretty good, actually'

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AP PHOTO

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Aside from the fact that it suggests he doesn't have great stuff, Dylan Axelrod doesn't mind his growing reputation as a mild-mannered sort who will fight you if backed into a corner.

"I think it's a compliment to be called a battler,'' Axelrod said.

Axelrod, who will go for his third consecutive win when the White Sox play against the Oakland A's on Friday night, believes in his stuff, too. He takes issue with the notion that it doesn't measure up.

"I feel like my stuff is pretty good, actually,'' he said. "A lot of movement ... I just don't throw 95 [mph] so people say I don't have good stuff. I'm not going to strike out 10 guys a game. I'm not going to be [Jeff] Samardzija. It's a combination of knowing my strengths and how to attack hitters and not trying to be anybody I'm not.''

"He can go soft, he can pitch in, he has a good cutter,'' pitching coach Don Cooper said. "All of it together is what makes him who he is.''

When John Danks returned to the Sox starting rotation after opening the season on the disabled list, Axelrod stayed in the rotation while lefty Hector Santiago moved to the bullpen. Santiago moved over gracefully. Axelrod said he would have done the same, while adding he believes he's where he belongs.

"I feel like I've done a pretty good job and even if I was sent to the pen, I'm still in the big leagues,'' he said. "I feel like I'm a starting pitcher and everyone else does, too. For now it's probably the best thing.''

Axelrod said he made some adjustments after his last start Sunday against the Marlins at U.S. Cellular Field. At one point, he couldn't get out of a rut of throwing pitches wide of the strike on his arm side.

"I needed to work on a few mechanical things,'' he said. "I was kind of flat, not driving the ball down. That's just flying open, not driving back down, letting my arm down, stuff like that. It's always a learning experience every time out. Just try to get better each time.''

The Sox (24-27) are looking to stop a three-game losing streak.


White Sox closer Reed off to an All-Star caliber year

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Addison Reed has 17 saves in 18 opportunities this season. AP PHOTO

If Addison Reed keeps it up, he will force himself into consideration for the American League All-Star team.

Granted, the game is six weeks away, but Reed is building a nice resume ranking second in the AL with 17 saves and fourth in save percentage (he has failed on one opportunity). His ERA is 1.96, a significant drop from 4.75 during his rookie year when he converted 29 of 33 for a pennant-contending team.

"It would be awesome,'' Reed said. "Obviously you don't play to make an All-Star team, you play to win a World Series. But it's something on the side you hope to look back at when your career is over and say, 'That was special, that was cool to do.' ''

The Sox have won only six games that Reed (1-0) hasn't saved or won. Reed said he probably has watched every All-Star game since his childhood and would be blown away by participating, but the 2013 game isn't on his mind now.

"It's honestly nothing that has crossed my mind at this point,'' Reed said. "It probably will when the All-Star lineups are announced. Trying not to think about it because it's just one more thing to think about, and I'm better off when I don't think about anything except going out there to pitch. If it happens it would be really cool, and if it doesn't I'm not going to cry about it.''

Mariano Rivera (18-for-19, 1.86) is a lock to make the team in his final year. Joe Nathan (16-for-17, 2.26) and Reed make the next-best cases right now. There are other closers having good years, and it's early.

"If I'm having an All-Star type year that means I'm doing whatever I can to make this team better, so making the All-Star team would have a sense of accomplishment,'' Reed said.


Hockey was still on the minds of baseball players Thursday, with many of the Cubs and White Sox having attended the Blackhawks decisive game against Detroit
``I used to watch games with my dad,'' said Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija, who joined Sox captain Paul Konerko in the ``Shoot the Puck'' promotion during the game.
``I was on the far side when they scored the winning goal. It was just exciting, and afterward going home and seeing how excited everyone was, it was just great. They're a great team to watch and something to be admired in sports.''
Konerko, who grew up playing hockey, had seats at the glass and watched with teammate Adam Dunn and others.
``I had a great time. It was better with the Hawks winning but it was a good game. You could see the guys were leaving it out there.''
Konerko admitted the ``fan's perspective'' of watching the sport was unique.
``For me, the fun part was seeing the fans so into it,'' he said. ``There was a guy to my right who was yelling at [Brent] Seabrook the whole time. He was a Hawks fan but he didn't like him. Then after the game [and Seabrook's winning overtime goal,] the guy is cheering.''
About 25 members of the Sox attended the game, including pitcher Chris Sale who was at his first hockey game.
The Cubs' contingent included former pitcher Kerry Wood, who has been a longtime Hawks fan and friend of players on the team.

Navarro hits three homers as Cubs rout White Sox

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Dioner Navarro homered three times -- twice from the right side of the plate and once from the left onto Sheffield Avenue -- and Scott Feldman pitched six strong innings to lead the Cubs to a 9-3 victory against the White Sox before 31,279 fans at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon.

It was the Cubs' second win in as many games against the Sox this week. The Cubs led Sox ace Chris Sale 2-0 on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field before that game was postponed by rain.

Feldman allowed two runs over six innings to improve to 5-4.

John Danks (0-1) lasted four innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list. The Sox lefty allowed Navarro's first two homers, a poke into the first row of seats in left-center field and one that landed inside the left-field foul pole. Danks gave up four runs on five hits.

Alejandro De Aza and Adam Dunn drove in two of the Sox runs, each with a sacrifice fly. Tyler Flowers doubled and drove in a run with a single.

Navarro's feat was the first three-homer game by a Cubs catcher since George Mitterwald in 1974, and the first by a Cub since Aramis Ramirez against the Astros on July 20, 2010. The last Cub to homer from both sides of the plate was Mark Bellhorn on Aug. 29, 2002 against Milwaukee.

Navarro recorded single-game career highs for homers, runs (four, he also walked and scored) and RBI (six).

Feldman (2.82) is 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his last seven starts after starting the season 0-3.

Navarro hits three homers as Cubs rout White Sox

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Dioner Navarro homered three times -- twice from the right side of the plate and once from the left onto Sheffield Avenue -- and Scott Feldman pitched six strong innings to lead the Cubs to a 9-2 victory against the White Sox before 31,279 fans at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon.

It was the Cubs' second win in as many games against the Sox this week. The Cubs led Sox ace Chris Sale 2-0 on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field before that game was postponed by rain.

Feldman allowed two runs over six innings to improve to 5-4.

John Danks (0-1) lasted four innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list. The Sox lefty allowed Navarro's first two homers, a poke into the first row of seats in left-center field and one that landed inside the left-field foul pole. Danks gave up four runs on five hits.

Alejandro De Aza and Adam Dunn drove in the Sox runs, each with a sacrifice fly.

Sale will stay on schedule, face A's in Oakland Sunday

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Chris Sale said he felt only "normal tightness" in his shoulder after throwing three innings in the rained out game Tuesday. The White Sox decided to start their ace lefty on normal rest Sunday in Oakland instead of moving him up a day to Saturday.

"There is nothing really gained [because] he faces the same teams where you would slot him in at," manager Robin Ventura said. "To give him an extra day is continuing with taking care of him and making sure he feels good when he goes out there."

Sale threw 37 pitches Tuesday night.

"We had a chance to take it out for a real nice test run," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "It was more than a sideline. Let's call it a real good extended sideline. That test run was good. We got it out of the way. It was a break for him and we were losing the game 2-0 so that's a little break for us. And the bullpen guys got another day to regroup with 15 straight days coming up."

Also, second baseman Gordon Beckham will resume playing for AAA Charlotte Thursday and is expected to come off the disabled list in time for the Sox home series against the A's that begins next Thursday, Ventura said.


Konerko: Going to Hawks-Wings Game 7 'dream for me'

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As luck would have it, Paul Konerko scored tickets to Game 7 of the Blackhawks-Red Wings playoff series Wednesday.

As luck would have it, the Sox are playing the Cubs during the day.

"My first thought was I couldn't go because I never think of a weekday game being a day game,'' Konerko said. "Then it hit me that we had a day game. Lucky me, I get to go to the game and catch it. Hopefully we don't do anything stupid like have an extra inning game or any rain delays tomorrow. Let's keep our fingers crossed there.''

Konerko, who grew up in Rhode Island and Connecticut playing hockey (he was a youth league center and right wing) watches a ton of hockey during the offseason. He said he can go back to as far as he can remember and name the winners of every Stanley Cup champion and the team captain who hoisted the trophy.

The Sox' team captain isn't tight with any Blackhawks but has met a lot of them.

"All good guys, as most hockey guys are,'' he said. "Hopefully they can pull it off.''

Konerko played hockey until he was 16.

"I still go down and skate when I can, as far as the team doesn't know that,'' he said. "Every now and then I get out there. I have a couple of buddies who coach younger kids back home. I'll get out there with them some times in the offseason.''

Konerko said he hasn't attended a Stanley Cup playoff Game 7, so he's stoked about seeing this one.

"Yeah, it really is kind of a dream for me,'' he said. "Just the way our seasons work out, you never really get a chance for that to happen. I'll definitely take it in.''

"So, yeah, I'm looking forward to, I don't know what to expect. I'll be like a fan and it will be pretty cool.
"Winning the Stanley Cup, that is the biggest thing in the world.

"I recognize the magnitude of it and how cool it is. I think you are always pulling for the guys on the team that had not won one. That's a big thing in hockey, those guys are animals out there. You appreciate that they play hurt. They are really just one of a kind type of guys. You just respect that as a fellow kind of athlete or player in another sport. It doesn't get lost on me the importance of what it means to those guys, where they come from and all that. It's a huge deal, probably more than any other sport.''


Cubs' Samardzija two-hits White Sox

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Jeff Samardzija pitched a complete game two-hitter, Julio Borbon homered and Anthony Rizzo tripled in two runs to spark a nine-hit attack, and the Cubs dominated the White Sox in a 7-0 victory at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night.

The Sox had no answer for Samardzija (3-6) and managed only Conor Gillaspie's leadoff single in the third and Alexei Ramirez's single with two out in the ninth. Gillaspie was immediately wiped out on a double play grounder by Jeff Keppinger.

"He was on tonight. It didn't matter who we had on the mound, honestly,'' Gillaspie said. "He threw every single pitch for a strike, it seemed like. His fastball moves all over the place.

"You get to two strikes, you're in trouble with a guy like that. He got ahead a lot. He was on tonight. You tip your cap sometimes."

The shutout was the first for the Cubs since Randy Wells' complete game victory since Randy Wells against the Giants on Aug. 29, 2011 in San Francisco. It was the first interleague shutout for the Cubs. Samardzija retired 12 straight Sox from the fifth into the ninth inning.

The Sox, who had been playing improved defense after a terrible first six weeks, reverted to some of their bad form already in the first inning, when shortstop Ramirez was late covering second base on Starlin Castro's steal in the first inning. With two outs, Alfonso Soriano singled in Castro for the game's first run.

In the Cubs seventh, Ryan Sweeney reached first leading off the inning when he struck out on Nate Jones' wild pitch that bounced off the back wall. Catcher Tyler Flowers had time to throw out Sweeney, who didn't immediately run, but Flowers' throw bounced past first baseman Paul Konerko for an error on the catcher.

"You can't win if you play like that,'' Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't know if it was flat. If Samardzija made us flat or we were just flat. It was definitely not what we've been playing like.''

After Borbon and Castro singled, Rizzo flied deep to center, where Alejandro De Aza went up with his glove but couldn't make the catch. Rizzo hesitated around first, thinking the ball would be caught, but hustled into third with a triple.

Sox starter Jose Quintana (3-2) allowed four runs in six innings. All of the Cubs hits came from their top four hitters in the lineup.

"We were facing a good pitcher and I felt like I made two big mistakes,'' Quintana said. "I'm upset about making those mistakes. When you're facing a good pitcher like that they're even bigger mistakes.''

The loss dropped the White Sox below .500 after they had swept the Miami Marlins over the weekend.

The Cubs and Sox play Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field before finishing their crosstown set with two games at Wrigley Field on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

Rejuvenated Sale ready to face Cubs Tuesday

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White Sox lefty Chris Sale's missed start was just what he needed.

After being scratched from his anticipated matchup with the Red Sox' Clay Buchholz last Wednesday, Sale came away from his side session Sunday feeling as good as ever. The shoulder (tendinitis) was good. Even his elbow, which caused a brief but well-publicized problem last year, felt fresh.

"I threw a bullpen yesterday and actually feel better today than I have any other day leading up to now,'' Sale said Monday before the Sox played the Cubs in the first of two games at U.S. Cellular Field. "Treat it like any other start and go out there and leave it out there.''

Sale will start against the Cubs Tuesday, opposed by former teammate Edwin Jackson.

"I know I'm going to come in here and pitch tomorrow however long I might be, that will be up to them,'' he said when asked if he'll be restricted to a pitch count.

"I'm worried about going out there and winning a ball game and not how bad I might be. Yeah, just knocked the rust off the last couple of days and hopefully it was enough.''

Based on how he felt during the side session, Sale is convinced missing a turn was the right call even though it was something he argued against.

"I feel like I have, even better than any other start leading up to now,'' he said. "Not only was it good for my shoulder but my elbow feels great too not throwing for a few days. My body feels better, so hopefully this will last for the rest of the season.''

Flowers returns to White Sox lineup vs. Cubs

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Catcher Tyler Flowers, who missed the last three games with back spasms, is back in the lineup for the White Sox' Memorial Day evening clash with the Cubs.

Left-hander Jose Quintana will oppose Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija.

Here is the Sox lineup against Samardzija, who hit Sox captain Paul Konerko with a pitch in the eye when the Sox played the Cubs on May 18 at Wrigley Field last season:

De Aza CF, Ramirez SS, Rios RF, Dunn DH, Konerko 1B, Viciedo LF, Gillaspie 3B, Keppinger 2B, Flowers C.

The first pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m.

The White Sox (24-24) have won nine of their last 12 games.


By Toni Ginnetti and Gordon Wittenmyer

The crosstown Cubs-White Sox series is a city rivalry, but this season it becomes a family rivalry, too.
In this corner, Buddy Bell, the White Sox assistant general manager.
In that corner, son David Bell, the third base coach for the Cubs.
But this will be a kid-gloves battle at best.
``I managed against him a few times when he was playing with Cleveland and Seattle,'' said dad Buddy, who managed the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals at times when David was playing for Cleveland and Cincinnati. ``I didn't have much fun managing against him.''
This time dad will get to watch from the executive suites while son David is on the field in his first season with the Cubs.
``We've always kind of had situations like that and we always talk about it,'' David said. ``I think it's always been more difficult for him because I could just go out and play.
``But now it's a little different, having different roles in our respective organizations. It's something I haven't given a whole lot of thought to, even with this series coming up, other than just being able to see him--which we've gotten to do quite a bit living in the same city, which has been great.''
For Buddy, that has been the best part.
``We get to see our grandchildren more than we see David, but that's been great,'' Buddy said. ``Obviously when our club is on the road, the Cubs are home, but I'm here a lot more now than I've ever been [Bell was the vice president of player development and special assignments before this season] so I've been able to see them. It's been great.''
David Bell, 40, played in the majors for 12 seasons and was a third base coach and manager for four years in Cincinnati's system, including managing the Reds' Class AAA team in Louisville last season.
``He likes it here,'' Buddy said of his son's first major league coaching experience. ``He likes the coaching staff and he played at the big league level for a long time so he's used to that environment.''
David's family has had an easy time adjusting to Chicago, partly because of the years coming to the city as a player but also because his wife attended Loyola University.
``Most of the family is in Cincinnati, which isn't that far, so we'd get to see everyone, but this has been fun,'' said Buddy, whose baseball family was started by patriarch Gus and includes son Mike, who is player development director for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and son Ricky, who played in the Los Angeles Dodgers system for 10 seasons.
``We've been doing this for so many seasons, it seems no matter where we play there's a connection with my sons,'' Buddy said.
But being in the same city is a new and welcome novelty, David said.
``We've never really been in the same city during the course of a season, so it's been really nice for my family to get that time together.
`` We've always had a close family--five kids in our family.
``My mom and dad both did a great job of keeping us all together, even though with baseball you do a lot of traveling and a busy life. But we've always been really close and stayed in touch.
``As much as we're all busy doing our own thing, to always have the game in common has been a real blessing.''
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Jake Peavy admitted he wasn't sure what he was feeling in the ninth inning Saturday as he watched his 1-0 lead disappear in one swing of Miami Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich's bat.
Dietrich's third homer of the season made it a new game with two outs to go, and even after Peavy struck out Marcell Ozuna, he was thinking about the homer.
``I kept thinking that should have been the third out,'' he said.
A walk and a balk followed before Peavy retired the side--then watched teammates Dewayne Wise and Conor Gillaspie team with a double and single for the 2-1 walkoff victory that made it all end well.
``I'm excited we found a way to win because that would have been a tough one to lose,'' said Peavy, who improved to 6-2 in his 14th career complete game and seventh with the Sox.
The victory was the eighth in the last 11 games for the Sox, who moved within one game of .500 at 23-24.
``I'm so happy we got the win and that he got it, too,'' said catcher Hector Gimenez. ``I had to make sure to remind him that he still needed to get the side out [after the homer.] We were having a tough time with signs through the game, and that's what caused him to balk.''
Peavy blamed himself for not executing the back-door breaking ball he had retired Dietrich on earlier.
``We always talk about keeping our composure, but I didn't there,'' he said. ``And we were having a hard time with the signs all night,'' he said of working with Gimenez.
``I had to tell him a couple times my eyes aren't that good any more.''
But manager Robin Venture knew Peavy was good enough overall to stay in.
He checked with his veteran in the ninth, though it was as much to give him a brief breather.
``The ball was still coming out of his hand good,'' Ventura said. ``You like seeing him go back out there. I was just checking to see how he was. I trusted him in that spot.''
Peavy in an interleague game is about as trustworthy as a pitcher can be.
He improved to 15-11 in interleague games with a 2.49 ERA.
In this game, he retired the first 11 of 13 batters he faced and gave up only six hits.
And if age caused him some eye problems with signs, experience came to his aide against the young Marlins.
``You come up with a game plan and take it out against their youth--but talent is talent,'' he added.
``I look at the games they've played and they're in everyone one and they have good starting pitching,'' he said. ``I was impressed with the lineup I saw.
``I didn't feel my best out there tonight, but I had enough to get through and help us win the game.''
The game saw Alex Rios' career-high 18 game hitting streak end, the Sox getting eight hits off starter Ricky Nolasco and only one extra base hit. That was Alexei Ramirez double in the third that scored the first run.
The winning run in the ninth came after Wise had entered as defensive replacement in center field in the top of the inning.
He doubled off Ryan Webb (1-3) and was waved home on Gillaspie's single to short left field.
``I kind of hesitated a little coming around but he [third base coach Joe McEwing] was waving me in,'' said Wise, who easily eluded left fielder Juan Pierre's throw.
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A national television crew worked Saturday's games, giving announcers Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone a day off after Friday's game that saw another tirade from Harrelson about umpire Angel Hernandez.
Hernandez at first base ruled Alex Rios was out on what became an inning ending double play in the 10th inning, negating a Sox score.
``He's kind of pulling for us to win, it seems,'' manager Robin Ventura said with a smile. ``It's not a secret that he would like us to win every night.
``Playing here, that's part of the fun. He's into it and pulling for you. Sometimes the filter doesn't quite close all the way.''
Players have come to expect Harrelson's passionate ways about the Sox, despite some past controversies.
``He's the 26th, 27th and 28th guy. He's the Hawk,'' Paul Konerko said. ``What can you say? He' going to say whatever is on his mind. He's been around for a long time, he's been in baseball a long time. If he sees something he doesn't like, he's going to let people know. That's the Hawk.''
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John Danks was good enough Friday in his first game in more than a year to earn a quality start for the White Sox, if not the Sox 4-3 victory over the Miami Marlins in 11 innings.
But six innings of three runs on four hits--with five strikeouts and no walks--may only be the beginning of even better days for the lefty with a repaired shoulder.
``The John today on the mound may well be different from the John we see six months from now,'' general manager Rick Hahn said. ``When you're coming back from a shoulder surgery, it's not always a linear process and it's not always one where you have continual improvement over time.
``He's going to build up arm strength through further outings when he pitches competitively. I expect we're going to see a pitcher who's going to battle and keep us in games, give us a good chance to win right now--but he may well continue to improve over the next six months or a year.''
Danks last pitched May 19, 2012 in an interleague game against the Cubs. Shoulder surgery and the long rehab process were as much a mental exercise as a physical one.
``The DL is a lonely place,'' said manager Robin Ventura, who endured his own long rehab years ago after dislocating his ankle in a spring training game. ``It's tough. It's miserable and everything that goes with that.
``To have him come back, with the emotions and keeping that in check, he did great.''
Danks threw 76 pitches, and the radar gun often seemed out of whack registering his ``speed'' at times at 76 mph. He did hit one batter, but the hit that hurt the most was a home run by Derek Ditrich with Placido Polanco on base.
The other run scored when the last batter he faced, Marcell Ozuna, led the 7th with a double and eventually scored.
``I should have thought more about that home run pitch,'' Danks said. ``I should have had a better idea, but that's on me.
``But all in all, it was a great first time out,'' he said. ``The competitor in my wanted to go more, but I understand. It's part of coming back.''
Ventura saw plenty of good things in six innings.
``He was getting people to swing and miss. It was what you'd expect in him coming back,'' Ventura said. ``He had enough spotting his curveball and fastball--that's what he plays with.''
Danks is willing to accept trading a once-electric fastball for command.
``I've seen 93 mph fastballs get hit a long way,'' he said. ``I think if the rest of my career I can throw 87 to 90 and throw where I want to--I've learned location means a lot.
``I felt great,'' he added. ``From where I was in spring training to here, it's night and day. I feel we're at a good point. My stuff is coming, but I feel I have plenty to compete.''
The Sox had tied the score with two runs in the fifth giving Danks the lead in the sixth when Paul Konerko singled home Alex Rios, who had singled to extend his hitting streak to 18 games.
The winning run scored in the 11th when Konerko singled with one out. Pinch runner Tyler Greene scored on Jeff Keppinger's single, giving the Sox their second walk-off victory of the season.
The Sox had a chance to win in the 10th when they loaded the bases against Chad Qualls.
But Rios grounded into a double play, ruled out at first in a close play.
``You just have to keep playing,'' Ventura said.
Danks' return was considered a victory in itself by his teammates.
``I know what he has had to go through mentally and physically to get back here, and it has been a long road and not an easy one,'' pitcher Chris Sale said. ``I'm just happy for him.
``Regardless of how it goes, it's a win either way. Having him go back out there and jump on that horse, it's fun to watch.''
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Gordon Beckham's progress suffered a ``slight'' setback Friday after experiencing soreness in his left hand after playing for Class AAA Charlotte Thursday night.
The White Sox decided to keep him off the field until Wednesday.
General manager Rick Hahn said the soreness is typical for some players coming back from hamate bone surgery.
``It's just the regular ramp-up of activity so we decided to be conservative,'' he said.
Beckham, who had surgery April 16 to remove the bone tip, was ``ahead of schedule'' in what is typically a six-week recovery, Hahn said. ``I don't want to characterize it as a setback because six weeks is the usual [recovery time],'' he said. ``We're just not maintaining the ahead-of-schedule routine.''
Beckham contacted Hahn before Thursday's game and set he was feeling well, but afterward he told Hahn of feeling discomfort when he swings.
Beckham is hitting .318 (7-22) in five rehab games with Charlotte, with two RBI and five runs scored.
Beckham has started two games at second base and also played two at shortstop.
While Beckham has been slowed, pitcher Chris Sale said he felt good Friday after going through a shoulder workout with trainer Herm Schneider.
Sale emphasized he is ready to resume pitching Tuesday against the Cubs.
``I think we're progressing the way we want to,'' he said. ``I wanted to throw and Herm said to wait a day.
``In my mind I'm going to start on Tuesday, but it's kind of out of my hands,'' said Sale, who missed his last turn when he experienced shoulder soreness.
Manager Robin Ventura said Sale is slated for Tuesday. ``If it changes, it changes,'' he said.
Hahn said the decision to have Sale skip his start Wednesday against Boston was ``precautionary.''
``We decided to err on the side of caution as much because if he wasn't feeling right, would he change his mechanics to compensate and then possibly hurt himself,'' Hahn said.
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Santiago strong in a pinch, but White Sox lose

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After throwing 80 pitches in a rough outing against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago bounced back with six strong innings in a 6-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

The 25-year-old left-hander, pressed into service when Chris Sale was scratched from his scheduled start with a sore shoulder, threw 107 pitches over six innings, allowing two runs on a one-armed opposite field single to left in the first inning by David Ortiz. Santiago (2.81 ERA) gave up five hits and four walks while striking out nine.

Buchholz (7-0) held the Sox to five hits in seven innings and left the game leading 2-1. The Red Sox tacked on two runs in the eighth and ninth innings against the Sox struggling bullpen.

It's possible Santiago was headed to the bullpen, with a return by John Danks to the rotation expected Friday.

Starting pitching continues to be the team's strong suit, despite injuries to Gavin Floyd and missed starts by Sale and Jake Peavy. In the last 32 games, Sox starters have made 21 quality starts with a 2.86 ERA.

Alex Rios extended his career high hitting streak to 17, the longest in the AL this season. Rios drove in the Sox run with a ground out to shortstop in the third inning. Paul Konerko hit his first home run since late April in the ninth inning. Konerko was 2-for-4.

The Sox (21-24) won the first two games of the series.

Reinsdorf receives Lifetime Achievement Award

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White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Business Awards on Wednesday night in New York.

The award was presented by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square.

"Jerry has had a profound impact on sports," says Richard Weiss, publisher of the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily. "Along with his extremely successful franchise ownership in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, and his leadership at the highest levels within baseball, Jerry has also made deep and lasting community service contributions."

Sale scratched from Wednesday start

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White Sox ace Chris Sale was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday night against the Boston Red Sox with a sore shoulder.

The Sox are calling it a precautionary move and expect him to miss one turn and return to the rotation to face the Cubs on Tuesday. Sale has mild tendinitis in the posterior shoulder.

Sale was sidelined with a sore elbow last season.

Some day the Reinsdorf family probably won't have ownership rights in the White Sox.

But that day will be after patriarch Jerry Reinsdorf, who helped buy the team in 1981, is gone.

The topic of future ownership of the Sox arose in a story released Tuesday by SportsBusiness Journal, which is honoring Reinsdorf in New York Wednesday night with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

The publication interviewed Reinsdorf, 77, about his longtime sports ownerships in Chicago, focusing primarily on the Bulls, which he bought in 1985.

But the story includes a reference that the ``family succession plan calls for the Reinsdorfs to retain their stake in the Bulls while selling the White Sox. Michael Reinsdorf [Jerry's son and current president of the Bulls] will take his father's place [as chairman.]''

Not exactly.

``Jerry is still going strong, so we are all hopeful he will be around for a very long time,'' said Scott Reifert, Sox senior vice president of communications and a longtime friend of the team chairman. ``As he said just today, he recognizes that he may be in the fourth quarter, but he's playing for triple overtime.''
Reinsdorf also said during his interview with the publication ``he intended to be here for the 2033 MLB All-Star Game,'' Reifert added.
That would be the 100th anniversary of the first All-Star Game held at old Comiskey Park.
``Certainly, nothing is definitive, and right now we will address succession after the 2033 All-Star Game,'' he quipped.
Reinsdorf has often joked to those close to him his recommendation would be to sell the Sox, ``but he always added jokingly he wouldn't have a vote then,'' one friend said.
Reinsdorf is in his 33rd year at the helm of the Sox, matching club founder Charles Comiskey for the longest ownership tenure in the team's history. He and Eddie Einhorn, vice chairman, led a group of investors who bought the team from Bill Veeck. Reinsdorf was and remains the managing partner with decision-making authority.
The team's 2005 World Series championship has been his crowning achievement, but Reinsdorf has gained as much prominence in recent years for his philanthropic work through both White Sox Charities and CharitaBulls and for efforts to promote diversity in the sports.
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Danks expected to start Friday vs. Marlins

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John Danks is expected to make his first start of the season Friday against the Miami Marlins at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Sox will wait until after Wednesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox to make it official.

Danks, who had shoulder surgery in August, hasn't pitched since last May. His last game was at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. His second start would line up Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

"It's been a long process,'' Danks said Tuesday after throwing a side session in the bullpen under watchful eyes of manager Robin Ventura, pitching coach Don Cooper and bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen. "Hopefully it ends this weekend.

"It's been long, lost season and it's hard to watch. I'm getting excited about getting back out there.''

Danks made four minor-league rehab starts. The results were mixed.

"I feel like I'm close to getting where my stuff was before I got hurt so, stuff-wise there won't be too much of a dropoff,'' he said. "My biggest thing is throwing the ball where I want to and making it do what I want it to do. So the stuff is going to be fine.''

Danks signed a $65 million, five-year contract before the 2012 season.

"I know it's expected of me to do more and I accept it,'' he said.


Ryan Dempster got to play with his son Brady Monday the way he had for years when he pitched for the Cubs.
But this was a brief few days of father-son fun, and it happened at U.S. Cellular Field where Dempster will be the this week as a visiting member of the Boston Red Sox.
After nine seasons on the North Side, Dempster still has a home here and Brady is still in school here, so the visit is special on many fronts.
``Chicago will always be home,'' the native of British Columbia, Canada said. ``It was nice to pick him up from school and come here. But it will be different now until school is over.
``You play somewhere for a long time and you have visions of playing there the rest of your career, and at the same time you understand the business.
``I felt honored to be a Chicago Cub and wear the uniform, and the way I was treated from ownership to the front office to the coaches was first class. I'm so grateful and thankful for the opportunity to have worn the uniform for that long.''
Dempster was traded to the Texas Rangers in the July 31 deadline move. The Rangers reached the American League playoffs.
But he signed as a free agent with Boston after the season.
``The trade last year was to a good place and I was pretty lucky. I had a tremendous time. But it's been awesome here.
``I didn't know what to expect. There are expectations for the team, but I don't think they're higher for us as individuals. It's been a blast and we've gotten off to a good start, too.''
Dempster (2-4, 4.27 ERA) won't face the White Sox, but he is part of a staff that ranks just behind the Sox in the top five in the American League.
The Red Sox also are legitimate World Series contenders.
``That was the reason I chose to go there,'' he said. ``The way the team as come together, the talent that was there, they had as much chance as any team to get there. We're playing good baseball. We just went through a rough patch and we're still right there. It's been a lot of fun and it's exciting.''
The irony of playing for two iconic teams in baseball's two most unique parks isn't lost on him.
``How lucky am I to have both those places as my home ball park, my home office,'' he said of Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. ``They're both unique and special in their own rights. I just loved playing in Wrigley Field and getting a chance to go there every day. And now going to Fenway, walking through the park and seeing everything before the action, it's different in some sense ,but there's that old tradition and nostalgia.''

John Danks will be with the White Sox this week as the team prepares his next rehab move.
Danks has made four rehab starts, and though he is giving up some runs and walks, general manager Rick Hahn said that is less the concern.
``Any time a guy is on a rehab assignment, you shouldn't put too much into their performance. Hopefully they perform well, but the real goal is to get through the work healthy and work on whatever elements of their mechanics or pitch adjustments they're there to work on to get them game-ready,'' he said.
Danks is coming back from a more serious shoulder operation, which makes his rehab different from second baseman Gordon Beckham [hamate bone removed], who could be back by the end of the week, manager Robin Ventura said.
``He's got a few hits [Sunday, going 3-for-5 for Class AAA Charlotte],'' Ventura said. ``I think it's starting back over with spring training--not physically, because he's been running around doing stuff. It's more his eyes and reaction. He's missed a month [since April 10] so it's like having spring training all over again.''

STILL THE CAPTAIN
Paul Konerko had three hits on Saturday as he continues to try to break out of a prolonged slump. But the team's better play of late has helped deal with the struggles.
``Obviously, if personally it's not going well or you're not getting the results you want and the team is not doing well, it's kind of a double whammy,'' he said. ``The better a team can get going, you can kind of chip in here, and if you're not doing as much, you can kind of throw in something to help in a winning fashion.
``Sometimes the only positive you take is that you can go home knowing you have everything you gave everything you had.''

HITTING STREAKS
Alex Rios extending his career-high hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the first Monday off Boston's Jon Lester.
But more important to him is that the Sox had won four of their last six entering the series.
``Personal stats don't mean anything. You play for the team,'' he said.

STORM FRIGHT
Ventura went to college at Oklahoma State, which made the devastation of Monday's tornadoes more personal.
``We had a couple of them when I was at school,'' he said. ``It's scary. I was from California so I didn't know anything about it. It's some scary stuff. I think 1999 was the last one and it hit the same area. It's scary and there's nothing you can do about it.''
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White Sox' Omogrosso able to laugh off bullpen mixup

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Brian Omogrosso got some extra running in Saturday, but not the kind he'd care to repeat.

The White Sox reliever was following instructions that he was starting the eighth inning of the Sox' 12-9 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. When his jog from the bullpen got about halfway to the infield, he put on the breaks, turned around and went back to the pen.

The Sox had scored five runs during the top of the inning to get within a run, and manager Robin Ventura changed his mind and sent Donnie Veal, who had gotten roughed up in the seventh, back out to start the eighth.

Problem was, Omogrosso didn't know about it.

"I got halfway through the outfield and I saw Donnie [on the mound],'' Omogrosso said. "He looked at me and we both kind of held up for a second and I was like, 'Oh, s---.' The fans got a good laugh out of it.''

Omogrosso was able to laugh along with them.

"One of those miscommunication things. It happens,'' he said. "It wasn't as bad as what happened in Houston, right?''

That was a reference to the umpires allowing Astros manager Bo Porter to pull Wesley Wright before the reliever faced a batter. That one, which also involved the Angels, was no laughing matter.

"I'm able to laugh at myself,'' Omogrosso said. "It sucks, but what are you going to do. Jesse [Crain] said, I've never seen that before.

"For me, that made two things I never saw happen on a baseball field before - somebody milking a cow [Nate Jones and the Angels' Ryan Brasier.before the game Friday] and then that.''

Dunn's back improved; returns to White Sox lineup

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Adam Dunn left Saturday's game with back spasms. AP PHOTO
White Sox Angels Base_Van (3).jpg

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A day after coming out of the game with back spasms, Adam Dunn was back in the White Sox lineup as the designated hitter.

"It doesn't bother me this much this way (side to side) or like it was last night, more vertical, up and down, so we're going to roll with it," Dunn said Sunday morning after taking some swings in the batting cage at Angel Stadium.

Dunn said coming out of the game was was more painful than the back itself. He felt something bending over in the batter's box before he sharply singled in two runs during the fourth inning to give the Sox a 4-0 lead.

Dunn tried coming back too soon from an appendectomy two years ago and from an oblique strain last year. Both cases set him back, so it was somewhat surprising the Sox didn't give him a day off just to play it safe.

"If I felt like going down there, anything, again, I'm going back to what happened last year ... There are times where the Tommy Tough Guy doesn't work out too well for you,'' Dunn said. "And so I was really making sure I like where everything is. I don't want one game to screw up three weeks. But I felt good enough to think I 'll be fine."

Dunn has eight hits in his last 19 at-bats with four homers and 10 RBI in the last five games. As luck would have it, the back issue popped up just when he was getting hot.

"That's what I was thinking last night,'' he said. "I don't know how long these things last. I'm hearing from one person it's two days. I'm hearing from another person up to a week. I didn 't know what to expect when I woke up this morning. I was sore, but it felt like after a cramp. That's all I can explain. I can deal with soreness."

He said it is much improved.

"A ton. Not even the same category,'' he said. "Yesterday was pretty bad. Now it's good, it's fine.
"It's nothing that I don't think will be a long-term deal."

Dunn leaves White Sox game with back spasms

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn left Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Angels with back spasms.

Dunn, who struck out twice before driving in two runs with a single in the fourth inning, left during the fifth inning. He was replaced at first base by Jeff Keppinger.

Dunn is 8-for-19 with four homers, two doubles and 10 RBI over his last five games. He hit his 10th home run of the season on Friday night.

Veal pounded in return to White Sox

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Matt Thornton was the only lefty in the Sox bullpen before Donnie Veal returned. AP

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The White Sox recalled Donnie Veal from AAA Charlotte on Saturday, adding a lefthander to their bullpen and putting him back to work in the seventh inning.

It couldn't have gone much worse.

Called on to replace reliever Nate Jones after Jones allowed two walks and a single, Veal served up a home-run pitch to Alberto Callapspo, whose three-run shot widened Los Angeles' lead to 8-4. After Veal gave up a single and a walk, J.B. Shuck doubled to right center field, scoring two more runs.

Veal, who made the Opening Day, made four scoreless relief appearances for Charlotte after posting a 4.26 ERA withn the Sox. He seemed to have straightened out his command issues that plagued him in Chicago.

Down to one lefty in the bullpen -- Matt Thornton -- Veal got the call on Friday.

"You go through different spots in the game where it becomes important to be able to have them,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "I think even the way we've been using Matty, you can do more than that, but you're saving him for that one tough at-bat against a lefty. Donnie, we've had good reports on him of getting his curve back and it's nice to have him back."

Veal held left-handers to a .094 (3-for-32) average for the Sox in 2012, vowed to come back better and straightened out when he was shipped to AAA. At Charlotte, he struck out 10 and walked two without allowing a run over 8 1/3 innings.

"And he knew that [he needed to be better] when he went out,'' Ventura said. "He went out and did it. I don't know if it's a reward, but you get him back as quick as you can because he's important.''

Sale blanks Angels again; Sox win 4th straight

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Things are beginning to look up for the White Sox and Chris Sale. AP PHOTO


ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Angels have seen enough of Chris Sale for a while.

The White Sox can't get enough of him.

Five days after pitching a one-hit shutout against the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field, Sale blanked the struggling but star-studded Halos again, this time striking out a season high 12 batters over 7 2/3 innings in a 3-0 victory that extended the Sox' winning streak to a season high four games.

Relying more on his big slider Friday, Sale (5-2) allowed three hits. Two of his three walks came in the first inning. Running his scoreless innings streak to 23, he lowered his ERA to 2.53.

"He's good. We know that,'' Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "But to come back to back with a lineup like this and go out and do it, I think it's spurts of last year. This is probably the best two games he's had with velocity, control and all that kind of stuff. I think he's growing in to being the guy and going out there and proving it."

"He wants to get better. He wants to be in that elite group. He's proving it."

Alex Rios hit his second homer in two nights in the first inning against left-hander C.J. Wilson (3-3), and Adam Dunn, fighting allergies since the team arrived in California, hit his fourth in the last four games in the ninth. Rios extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Dunn, who also flied out deep to left field, has eight RBI over his last four games.

"I feel like I've had really good at-bats -- really one bad at-bat in the last few days,'' Dunn said.

Left-handed hitting Conor Gillaspie, who leads American League rookies with a .295 average, singled against Wilson in the seventh with two outs to give the Sox a 2-0 lead. The hit to center scored Dayan Viciedo, who had advanced to second running with the pitch on Jeff Keppinger's grounder to third.

"It's nice to get out of that little funk we were in earlier this year,'' Rios said. "When you see guys starting to hit, and guys getting big hits like Conor did and Viciedo, it gives you another perspective. You're seeing things in a different way. Hitting sometimes is contagious so hopefully we can keep this good thing going on.''

Jesse Crain got the third out in the eighth inning when Sale was relieved after throwing 113 pitches, and Addison Reed pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 15 opportunities. Crain has 16 straight scoreless appearances. The Sox are 16-1 when leading after eight innings.

Sale's consecutive scoreless innings streak is the longest by a Sox since reliever JJ Putz reeled off 27 in a row in 2010 and longest by Sox starter since Mark Buehrle (24.2) in 2001. Sale's career ERA against the Angels is 0.38.

"I knew I threw a lot of changeups to those guys last time so once again that was all on Flow [catcher Tyler Flowers],'' Sale said. "I didn't shake him off once. He worked real hard back there. Being able to throw that pitch, not only that pitch, but the changeup, with guys on base, being able to have a catcher like that who can do those kind of things, makes it not easier but a little bit more comforting knowing that you can throw that slider in the dirt and it's going to stay right there and the guys aren't moving up.''

The Sox (19-21) dropped the Angels to 15-27. For all of their hitting problems and defensive woes, they find themselves four games out of first place in the AL Central.

"You got to start somewhere,'' Sale said. "With these four games, we are playing all around great baseball. Just better baseball than the past. We got some guys swinging the bat, getting hot. I gave up a lot of hardhit balls but the defense was right there to back me up. Bullpen arms are coming in and throwing the crap out of it. Jesse has been unbelievable, Reeder has been great. Just keep it rolling and see how long we can take it for.''

After the game, the Sox optioned right-hander Deunte Heath to AAA Charlotte. The team will make a corresponding move on Saturday.

With Matt Thornton as the only left-hander in the bullpen, it's possible the Sox will recall lefty Donnie Veal, who hasn't allowed a run over four appearances and eight innings. Veal has struck out 10 and walked two at Charlotte.

Heath, 27, had an 11.12 ERA in four relief appearances.

White Sox option Deunte Heath to AAA

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - The White Sox optioned right-hander Deunte Heath to AAA Charlotte after Friday night's 3-0 win against the Anaheim Angels. The team will make a corresponding move on Saturday.

With Matt Thornton as the only left-hander in the bullpen, it's possible the Sox will recall lefty Donnie Veal.

Heath, 27, had an 11.12 ERA in four relief appearances.

White Sox option Deunte Heath to AAA

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - The White Sox optioned right-hander Deunte Heath to AAA Charlotte after Friday night's 3-0 win against the Anaheim Angels. The team will make a corresponding move on Saturday.

With Matt Thornton as the only left-hander in the bullpen, it's possible the Sox will recall lefty Donnie Veal.

Heath, 27, had an 11.12 ERA in four relief appearances.

Keppinger, White Sox rally past Angels for 3rd win in row

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jeff Keppinger made his first walk worth waiting for. On his 141st plate appearance as a White Sox, Keppinger walked on four pitches from the Angels' Michael Kohn with the bases loaded to break a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning on Thursday night.

The run held up as the difference in a 5-4 Sox victory, their third in a row on a road trip that started with a series win in Minnesota against the Twins.

The Keppinger base on balls was Kohn's third straight. It followed a wild pitch by Dane De La Rosa that scored Alejandro De Aza and a game-tying RBI single by Adam Dunn, who had his second straight strong day at the plate with a double and fly out to deep left to go with the big RBI.

Keppinger had no intent to swing at any of Kohn's pitches.

"Yeah, without a doubt,'' Keppinger said. " Once he walked those two guys in front of me I was probably going to take two strikes, make him get his rhythm back and start pounding the zone.''

A .188 hitter, Keppinger has shown signs of life in his last two games. He was well aware he hadn't walked. On Thursday, after a win, he was able to laugh it up.

"Oh, I know,'' he said. "Anybody knows if you don't have a walk yet.''

Jesse Crain pitched a scoreless eighth, getting help on the third out from Keppinger, who made a nice stop on a sharp grounder to his right by Howie Kendrick with Mark Trumbo on third base.

Addison Reed pitched the ninth inning for his 13th save in 14 chances. He grew up within 45 minutes of Angel Stadium, cheering for former Angels closer Troy Percival. Reed was an Angels fan till the day he was drafted by the Sox.

"I'm not going to lie; That thought crossed my mind when I was coming out of the bullpen and onto the field,'' Reed said. "I kind of had a flashback to when I was in the stands, watching him run in and thought it was a cool feeling I got to pitch tonight."

The Sox improved to 18-21, dropping the Angels to 15-26.

"We're never going to give up, no matter what the score is,'' Reed said. "Breaks are going to start falling our way and we're going to start playing some good ball. It was a nice win. Everyone contributed and [starter Jose Quintana] pitched a great game and our offense was awesome. We're going to keep rolling."

Alex Rios hit a 435-foot homer and threw out Chris Ianetta trying to score on a single, and Keppinger was also credited with an RBI on an error by shortstop Erick Aybar.

"Anything I can do to help the team win,'' Keppinger said.

"We're here to win games. We're sitting at the bottom of the division right now so every win we get moves us up. The offense seems to be coming around, we're getting some hits and some big hits and innings.''

The Angels took a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning against Sox starter Jose Quintana when Kendrick's liner to left field deflected off Dayan Viciedo's glove for a two-run double.


Rios flashes power, arm at the Big A

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Alex Rios is high-fived after hitting a homer against the Angels Thursday. AP PHOTO

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Alex Rios, who has been the steadiest, most productive force in a light-hitting White Sox lineup, launched his ninth home run of the season and saved a run with his arm against the Angels on Thursday night.

Rios, the Sox right fielder, threw out Angels catcher Chris Ianetta at home trying to score on Erick Aybar's single for the third out of the third inning before connecting on a pitch from Jerome Williams that carried over the Sox bullpen beyond left field. The blast was estimated at 435 feet.

Albert Pujols' two-run homer against Sox starter Jose Quintana, the 500th of his career counting 18 postseason homers, gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead in the the fourth. The Sox tied it in the fifth when Conor Gillaspie (leadoff double) scored on Aybar's error at shortstop.

The Angels pulled ahead 4-2 on Howie Kendrick's two-run double off left fielder Dayan Viciedo's glove. The deep, hooking liner appeared to be a catchable ball, but it was a difficult play.

Rios, who bats third in Robin Ventura's lineup, is walking more this season. Through Wednesday, he had 15 walks, in part because the No. 4 and 5 hitters behind him have struggled and he's getting pitched around, but also because of the basic approach he has taken since last season: "Swinging at better pitches,'' Rios said.

"I am focusing on my approach, that's the only thing you can control,'' he said. "And the results will be better if the approach is right.''

Rios, who walked only 26 times last season and 27 times in 2011, is on pace for 64 walks, nine more than his career high in 2007.

Rios needed a perfect throw to catcher Tyler Flowers to get Ianetta, who was out on a close play. Rios' 80 career assists rank third among active AL outfielders behind Torii Hunter (113) and Ichiro (106).

White Sox, Dunn clobber Twins 9-4

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Adam Dunn hit two opposite-field home runs and a double, and Dayan Viciedo also homered to the opposite field as the White Sox offense continued to display signs of a pulse in their 9-4 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

Dunn also walked, reached base four times and drove in five runs. Viciedo added a sacrifice fly and a single and had two RBI and Jeff Keppinger broke an 0-for-16 slump with two hits, including a two-run double. Alex Rios extended his hitting streak to 10 games, going 3-for-4 with a triple, stolen base and two runs scored.

It was the Sox third straight game with 10 or more hits. They out-hit the Twins 14-11.

The win gave the Sox a 17-21 record, the same mark they had last season when they spent 117 days in first place.

Dylan Axelrod pitched 5 1/3 innings to collect his first win after three defeats.

Peavy has way with Twins (again)

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Jake Peavy continued to have his way with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. The right-hander's seven strong innings in a 4-2 White Sox victory hiked his career record against Minnesota to 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA.

Peavy probably deserved even better than his line of seven innings, no walks, five hits and six strikeouts. Replays showed the Twins got a run on a play at the plate they shouldn't have.

He left after the Sox scored two runs in the eighth on consecutive doubles by Dewayne Wise and batterymate Tyler Flowers and an RBI single by Alexei Ramirez.

"That was nice to come back and win one late, to come back after some adversity, some tough breaks,'' Peavy said. "That's a good team across the way. [A Ron] Gardenhire] team just plays hard, they grind it out and for us to do the same and show some fight was nice.''

The Sox, the last place team in the AL Central, improved to 16-21. They play the Twins Wednesday afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game series.

"The boys played great defense behind me after struggling a little bit,'' Peavy said. "We swung the bats, had some timely hitting, big homers early. It was a good team win. Think everybody contributed tonight against some adversity. Some calls that should have went the other way didn't go our way. When you keep your composure, that's not easy, and to win those games shows some character.''

Peavy is 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA this season.


EXPLANATION

Said he didn't see it. That's what I got. I saw it pretty clear from farther away both times. I understand they're going to miss 'em but it cost runs, it cost us the lead there in the (seventh). That's not easy for that to be the explanation to get but it was big for us to keep our composure and I'm not sure the explanation Dunner got.

White Sox defeat Twins 4-2

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MINNEAPOLIS - On top of being just plain bad, the White Sox had to cope with bad luck, bad umpiring and bad equipment on Tuesday night.

There wasn't much they could do about those things except for the bad defensive play, which is why manager Robin Ventura and his staff called a 2 p.m. practice five hours before the start of a 4-2 victory against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

Under a hot sun and unseasonable 90-degree temperatures, infielders, outfielders, catchers and pitchers spent about 45 minutes working on the basics of catching balls and being in the right place. If it felt like spring training, well, that's what Ventura had in mind.

"They have to realize what's important,'' said Ventura, who finally had enough watching a comedy of mental errors in a 10-3 drubbing the previous night. "It can happen again. So, you keep working on it till you get it right.''

It seemed to have a positive effect. The Sox (16-21) were charged with their 30th error but it came on shortstop Alexei Ramirez's throw that broke the web of Adam Dunn's first baseman's mitt in the sixth inning. Right fielder Alex Rios made a strong throw to home attempting to cut down Justin Morneau on Oswaldo Arcia single in the fifth inning, only to have plate umpire Jordan Baker call Morneau safe after Morneau slid past and reached back in for the plate. Replays showed catcher Tyler Flowers tagging Morneau once, if not twice, but the Twins got the call to cut the Sox lead to 2-1.

Dunn, who had a single taken away by first base umpire Dan Bellino - replays showed him easily beating the throw on a would-be hit against a shift into to short right field - had given the Sox a 1-0 lead with a homer against Twins starter Kevin Correia in the second. Dayan Viciedo's blast into the top deck in left gave the Sox back-to-back homers for the first time this season, and a 2-0 lead.

The Sox, who out-hit the Twins 12-5, collected 10 or more hits in consecutive games for the first time this season.

Jake Peavy (five hits, no walks, six strikeouts) pitched seven strong innings, leaving with a 4-2 lead and a chance for his fifth win thanks to consecutive doubles by Dewayne Wise and Flowers and an RBI single by Ramirez in the eighth.

Jesse Crain worked the eighth inning, his 14th consecutive scoreless appearance, and Addison Reed pitched the ninth to record his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

Ventura said the workout was called to rattle his team's cage.

"You get their attention, and the things you consider unacceptable there's consequences to everything that goes on,'' he said, "but there is a responsibility to get it right, too. When it's sloppy you need to figure out ways to let them realize it can't go on. This is one way that it's done.

"Just making sure I'm doing what I need to do, too. I'm supposed to be quality control out of this and that's part of coming out here making sure everybody is doing it the way they're supposed to do it. It's not like covering your tracks, it's more you're trying to give them the right stuff because apparently spring training didn't do it.''

Dunn said he was "100 percent'' on board with the workout, which was attended by general manager Rick Hahn.

"Obviously there's a need to do that especially the way we have got guys out of position on things you worked on the first day of spring training,'' Dunn said. "Somewhere down the line we got away from what we did really well last year. Today kind of put everybody back to doing the little things we needed to do and relearning. It was good.

"I knew something was coming. I didn't know when and where but I think it was perfect timing.''

Having seen enough, Ventura cracks the whip

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Jeff Keppinger fields a ground ball during the White Sox early workout Tuesday. AP

MINNEAPOLIS -- Robin Ventura and his coaching staff ran the White Sox through a 2 p.m. practice on Tuesday, five hours before the start of their game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

Under a hot sun and unseasonable 90-degree temperatures, infielders, outfielders, catchers and pitchers spent about 45 minutes working through the basics, which, Ventura said, apparently were not learned during spring training.

Monday's 10-3 loss was the final straw in a series of badly played baseball games. The Sox were charged with one error - their 29th that ranks them among baseball's leaders -- but made at least a half dozen mental mistakes in the field.

The Sox have been in the unusual habit of taking infield the first day of each series, but this was above and beyond. And it may not be the last early workout. General manager Rick Hahn, who is on the team's seven-game road trip, was there to observe.

"They have to realize what's important,'' Ventura said. "It can happen again. So, you keep working on it till you get it right. As far as getting after it, staying on it, you do it again.''

The curious thing about this Sox ongoing display of bad baseball is that they played clean defensive ball last season, Ventura's first as manager. It started this year during the first week, when a 4-2 start masked mistakes like fielders bumping into each other on fly balls and pop-ups.

Ventura said the workout was in part to get his team's attention.

"You get their attention and the things you consider unacceptable there's consequences to everything that goes on,'' he said, "but there is a responsibility to get it right, too. When it's sloppy you need to figure out ways to let them realize it can't go on. This is one way that it's done.

"It raises your awareness but you know, just making sure I'm doing what I need to do, too. I'm supposed to be quality control out of this and that's part of coming out here making sure everybody is doing it the way they're supposed to do it. It's not like covering your tracks, it's more you're trying to give them the right stuff because apparently spring training didn't do it.''

Monday's loss was riddled with everything from a dropped pop-up to infielders Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Greene mishandling throws in from the outfield, to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, to outfielders throwing to the wrong base.

"In the wrong position, things like that, it's unacceptable,'' Ventura said.
"There's one error in the scorebook but watching it there's too many to put up there.''

First baseman Adam Dunn said he was "100 percent'' on board with the workout.

"Obviously there's a need to do that especially the way we have got guys out of position on things you worked on the first day of spring training,'' Dunn said. "Somewhere down the line we got away from what we did really well last year. Today kind of put everybody back to doing the little things we needed to do and relearning. It was good.''

"I knew something was coming. I didn't know when and where but I think it was perfect timing and hopefully it kind of gets everybody's head where it needs to be and not just worrying about one side of the ball. When you're playing defense know where to go and what to do.

"We can go out there until you're blue in the face, but if it doesn't translate to the game what does that do? It doesn't do anything. It wastes time. Hopefully something like that sinks in because I promise you the coaches didn't want to be out there doing it but its something that had to be done and I wouldn't be surprised if we do it again.''

Defense fails White Sox again in 10-3 loss to Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Center fielder Aaron Hicks sandwiched a pair of home runs around his leaping catch that took a home run away from Adam Dunn, and the White Sox porous defense led to three unearned runs in the Minnesota Twins' 10-3 victory on Monday night.

After the Sox staked left-hander Hector Santiago to a 2-0 lead on Alex Rios' RBI double and Dayan Viciedo's sacrifice fly inn the first inning, the Twins scored four runs -- three unearned -- in the fourth to take the lead for good at 4-2. With the bases loaded and one out, shortstop Alexei Ramirez made an error on Justin Morneau's grounder that could have been a force out at second. A sacrifice fly and a Ryan Doumit double later, and the Sox were down by two.

Ramirez's error was the Sox' 29th of the season, but almost every play that inning besides the miscue - which came on a tough chance -- was a Sox defensive adventure. Left fielder Casper Wells skipped a throw past Ramirez on Florimon's double. Tyler Flowers couldn't handle Rios' one-hopper from short right on Willingham's short fly, scrambling to the Twins on-deck circle to retrieve it while Santiago dashed to cover the plate. And worst of all, De Aza threw to third on Doumit's sacrifice fly, allowing Morneau to take second.

There was more bad defense in the Twins' eighth. A high pop fly by Oswaldo Arcia leading off the inning fell between a hard-charging De Aza and Ramirez, who was the only player with a chance to catch it but he cleared out of the say. After Hicks walked, Floriman beat out a sacrifice bunt when pitcher Deunte Heath was none to quick pouncing off the mound and throwing to first. That set the stage for a four-run inning highlighted by Justin Morneau's three-run double.

"I feel it's guys trying to do too much,'' said third base coach Joe McEwing, who has an important role in overseeing the defense. "You try to make that big play, you try to rush and make every play.''

Ramirez may have done that, trying to start a double play instead of making sure of one at second.
"I don't think it's lack of concentration by any means,'' McEwing said. "The focus is there. The ability to make the plays is there. We're not making some plays right now.''

The Sox miss second baseman Gordon Beckham, who will take batting practice Wednesday or Thursday as he gets closer to returning from a broken hamate bone, in the middle of the infield. But that's only part of the problem.

"At the end of the day, yeah, [defense is] focus,'' said Beckham, who has been with the team as he works his way back. "You have to be thinking. You have to be into the game. If you're thinking about the last at-bat, or last night, or anything, it's going to take away from how well you play defense.
"It's weird. That's the only way I can describe it because I know how we can field the way we normally do. It seems like we can't get any worse.''

Konerko rests vs. Twins lefty Hernandez

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MINNEAPOLIS - Paul Konerko took a rare day off against a left-hander on Monday night, a reminder that the White Sox captain is no longer 30 years old.

"Yeah, I'm a little worn down, like everybody,'' Konerko said.

To keep him fresh as possible, manager Robin Ventura has used Konerko as a designated hitter on artificial turf and cold days and plans regular days off for the 37-year-old who ranks second all-time in homers and RBI in franchise history.

Konerko is hitting in the clutch (.360 with runners in scoring position) but he's batting .172 overall with one homer and five RBI in his last 16 games.

"[It's been] a little bit of everything,'' Konerko said Monday. "I really can't complain with the at-bats I've had lately. I've done what I wanted to do. It's just finishing it off.''

Konerko flipped his bat and was visibly frustrated after grounding out to shortstop on a fastball down the middle from the Angels' C.J. Wilson on Sunday.

"That's everybody,'' Ventura said. "He's frustrated with where it's at.''

Ventura, who played left-handed Adam Dunn at first base and right-handed Casper Wells in left field, said the day off had nothing to do with Konerko's performance.

Said Konerko: "At any point, one swing, one at-bat can turn the tide, and that's what you got to tell yourself and that's what you have to believe.''

Pedro Hernandez (1-0, 5.96), who pitched briefly for the Sox last year before going to the Twins as part of the Francisco Liriano trade, started for the Twins.


Adam Dunn's struggles at the plate are at critical again, his average down to .137 and his strikeouts up to 45. He hasn't had a home run or RBI yet in May after getting an RBI in five straight games from April 25 to 30.
That might have been more a reason for manager Robin Ventura sitting him Sunday against Angels lefthander C. J. Wilson.
``I've been trying to find spots to give Casper [Wells] some playing time and with Wilson going, it was a good time to get him in there,'' Ventura said of Wells playing left field and Dayan Viciedo as the DH.
``A day to have a breather is good,'' he added of Dunn, who is hitless in his last three games.
Ventura said Dunn and others may be trying to do too much at the plate. ``You get to a point where you do more than you need to do,'' he said.
Dunn has said he feels comfortable at the plate, but Ventura said the mental part of the game comes into play.
``A lot happens from the time you walk from the on-deck circle to the box,'' he said. ``Simple things are what we need to do.''


MEETING-LESS
Ventura rarely held team meetings last season, a year when the Sox played well. He is hoping for the same this year after holding one before Saturday's game.
``I don't like them. I just think teams that scuffle have meetings a lot, so I don't want to have too many meetings,'' he said. ``Teams that win don't seem to have that many meetings because they don't need to.''
Ventura repeated that he had ``stuff to say'' about the team's sloppy play in general. ``There were things that needed to be said and I'm the guy to say it.''


ROAD SHOWS
The brief three-game home stand wasn't ideal in the schedule or in the outcomes. The Sox begin a new seven game, two-city road trip today to Minnesota and then Los Angeles for a rematch with the Angels.
The Sox are 7-11 on the road.
``Some years I've been on teams that were just better on the road for no particular reason,'' Ventura said. ``For us, I don't think it makes a difference right now. We just need to win a game, whether it's at home or on the road.''


DANKS UPDATE
Lefty John Danks threw six innings Sunday for Class AAA Charlotte in his latest rehab outing. He worked six innings allowing seven hits, three runs but two earned, with three walks and five strikeouts.
``As a whole my command was great and I was ahead in the count to a majority of hitters,'' Danks said. ``I had good stuff and I made the ball do what I wanted it to do.''
Ventura said Danks will throw at least one more minor league game.
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Paul Konerko is still the captain of the White Sox, still the most respected veteran in the clubhouse and in baseball generally.
And even in a different role this season as more a designated hitter, his perspective is still spot-on when it comes to his team, especially now as it struggles almost daily with a wobbly offense and inconsistent offense.
``Sometimes it comes from trying too hard,'' he said after another 3-2 loss to the Los Angels Angels Saturday, a game that included three errors--their seventh multi-error game so far.
`` I think for the pitcher's sake as a team, you have pitchers go out and throw well and you feel badly you can't get them what they deserve,'' he said of the loss that went to Jose Quintana (2-1).
``We work hard in the off season and spring training.
You know there are no guarantees, but this stuff happens. You hope like hell it's not you or your team but you know what? It's our team this year so far. We have to realize that and sometimes when you admit and say yeah you're that team right now, maybe it turns after that instead of trying to fight and deny that's the case. ''
The Sox poor play, especially of late, led manager Robin Ventura to hold a pre-game meeting.
``Stuff needed to be said. It's at the point where I need to say some stuff, and I did,'' he said.
``It wasn't like [he] was jumping on us, but it was also not upbeat or positive,'' Konerko said. ``Sometimes meeting like that, it has a delayed effect.
``Everyone is working. It's just a tough thing sometimes.''
The Sox committed three errors Saturday after two on Friday. They are tied with the Angels for most errors in the American League with 27.
But there are other things like missed cutoff throws and baserunning gaffes--the so-called little things that prove costly.
``This year it's been the mistakes we make, the hits we don't get,'' Konerko said. ``it's coming from a place of trying too hard. It's not work related.. If we weren't going about it right, there would be issues there. That's just not the case. It's coming from a place of wanting to do so good. We've just got to figure out a way to find that happy spot where we're not trying too hard.
``I think everybody knows we're going to get out of this. This isn't the first time this has happened to a player or a team and it's not the last time it's going to happen. This stuff happens every year,'' he said.
``You can talk about it all day, but it always comes back to one thing: what are we going to do tomorrow? We're going to show up and get after it tomorrow night, and that's all you come back to every time.''
An Angels victory Sunday would give them a sweep of the three game series, but it would be a worse mental loss for the Sox who have lost five of their last seven overall and seven of their last 10 at home.
``I feel if we just keep going at it the right way it's got to come out [right],'' Konerko said. ``You've got to believe that. Sometimes it's hard to believe that, but as a player I've seen it happen a lot to yourself and to teams. You just have to keep believing. There's no other choice.''
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Gordon Beckham is ``antsy'' to return, but the timetable for his minor league rehab assignment has to be determined.
But he knows his return and that of rehabbing pitcher John Danks aren't the only answers for the White Sox struggles.
``We all just have to play better in general,'' he said. ``It's not one or two guys coming back. We just have to play better, hit a little better and field better. We just all have to step it up a little more.''
Beckham said he has increased his workouts with conditioning coach Allen Thomas. ``I'm anxious to get back out there.''
Beckham is doing swing drills now, hitting off a tee as he recovers from surgery to remove the hamate bone in his left hand. Fielding will be less a problem because the surgery was on his gloved hand and he will wear extra padding for protection.
Beckham hopes to return in two weeks, perhaps by the next home stand.

BIG D
Manager Robin Ventura continues to stress the need for better defense from his players, repeating it Saturday in a meeting with the team.
It didn't have an effect.
The Sox committed three errors Saturday through five innings, giving them 27 for the season and tying the Angels for the most in the American League.
The Sox had 24 coming into Saturday's game No. 34. Last year they didn't commit their 25th error until their 56th game.
``It's not acceptable and they understand that,'' Ventura said before the game. ``You work at it and preach [because] you can't win unless you play good defense.''

LINEUP MOVES
Conor Gillaspie was scratched from Saturday's original lineup suffering from an upper respiratory infection. But Ventura already had shuffled the lineup to try to shake things up, moving Jeff Keppinger down, first to eighth but then to seventh when Tyler Greene replaced Gillaspie at second. Greene batted ninth and catcher Tyler Flowers was eighth. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez batted second, a move Ventura also employed last week in New York against the Mets.
Keppinger played third on Saturday.
``It's more just mixing it up,'' Ventura said.

FIRST STRIKE
The Sox are 2-10 in the first games of series after losing the first game of the weekend series with the Angels. Their overall series record is 3-4-4 in their first 11 series.
``Winning games is important and you like to get the first one, but winning series is where you want to go,'' Ventura said.
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Dylan Axelrod had received the second lowest run support (2.83 runs per game) of any pitcher in the American League.
But when the White Sox finally gave him five runs Friday, it wasn't enough.
Axelrod (0-3) remained winless and the Sox continued to struggle with runners in scoring position and defensively in falling 7-5 to the Los Angeles Angels.
``We battled back, but you give them multiple opportunities and you'll pay for it,'' manager Robin Ventura said.
The Sox trailed 5-1 after the Angels scored four off Axelrod in the third and added a solo home run by Brendan Harris in the fourth.
But the Sox scored four in the bottom of the fourth, including a two-run double by Dayan Viciedo in his first game back from the disabled list.
Alejandro De Aza had the Sox ahead with a lead off home run off starter Barry Enright--his second in as many games--but Axelrod and Matt Lindstrom gave up two in the seventh, including an unearned run caused when Conor Gillaspie's error at third allowed Hank Conger to reach base.
``It's starting to be like a broken record,'' Ventura said of two more errors, the Sox now with 24. ``Any time you give a lineup like that extra chances, it doesn't work. It just doesn't work.''
The Sox fell to 14-19 overall and 7-8 at home, but general manager Rick Hahn has tried to remain patient with only ``20 percent'' of the season gone by.
``Injuries are a factor and something everyone has to deal with, but it's tough to truly evaluate where you sit when you don't' have that core group together on a regular basis,'' he said before the game.
``But there are other factors besides health that factor into where things go from here, and that's how the team as a whole is performing based on the 25 guys who are out there on a given night.''
Axelrod gave up six runs, five earned, on seven hits.
``It seemed like the hardest ball they hit was an out,'' he said of the four-run third. ``Unfortunately the balls found holes.
``It's tough putting your team in a hole like that, but we battled back and we were in it. I felt really good and that's the frustrating part, when you feel good and give up runs.''
The Sox record fell to 2-5 in two-run games, with the team having lost four of their last six overall and six of their last nine at home.
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Injuries have impacted the White Sox as much as any team, but not enough to excuse the team's wobbly offense and defense.
But general manager Rick Hahn is willing to be patient to see if the impending returns of second baseman Gordon Beckham and pitcher John Danks help get things back in sync.
``Inuries are a factor and something everyone has to deal with, but it's tough to truly evaluate where you sit when you don't have that core group together on a regular basis,'' he said Friday. ``We hope to have John and Gordon back by the end of the month and go from there.
``But there are other factors besides health that factor into where things go from here, and that's how the team as a whole is performing based on the 25 guys who are out there on a given night.''
The Sox had one injury behind them Friday with Dayan Viciedo's return from an oblique strain.
Viciedo was 7-for-14 in his last four games before getting injured April 20. But his ,229 average was symptomatic of the team.
``I don't think you expect it to be where we're at right now,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ``We have guys who haven't swung it, doing what they're capable of doing or what you'd expect them to do. You're hoping that changes.''
Hahn points to the ``track record'' of the team's veterans as reason to expect better days ahead.
``We're talking about a team that last year was fourth in the league in runs scored, and there's no reason to believe this permutation of that team is going to end up in the bottom of the league in runs scored,'' he said, adding, ``but it's time to get going.
``You do have to try to let things unfold and give guys the chance to show their true performance level. Obviously, you don't wait for that indefinitely and you don't spend the whole summer hoping that things will get better. But right now there's still the expectation guys will return to their previous norms.''
As important to Ventura is seeing a turn-around in the team's defensive play.
``That's just something that has to clean up,'' he said. ``It's getting better as far as attention to detail and the small things I think are very important.
``They have to understand I think it's important, and you go from there.''
NOTES: Beckham hit off a tee for the first time Friday, with hopes of returning to the team within two weeks.
``There was a lot to like the first day [swinging],'' said Beckham, who had surgery to remove the hamate bone in his left hand. Beckham plans on playing in three or four minor league games before returning. ``A couple weeks from today [is] the goal,'' he said.
--The Sox optioned Jordan Danks to Class AAA Charlotte Friday after activing Viciedo.
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White Sox' Crain still adjusting after all these years

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Jesse Crain is relying more on his fastball this year. AP PHOTO


Live, learn and adjust.

That explains why White Sox right-hander Jesse Crain is throwing more curveballs and fewer of his other offspeed pitches so far this season.

"Every year is different,'' said Crain, who struck out the side in his 12th straight scoreless appearance in the Sox' 6-3 win against the Mets in New York. "You face the same guys over and over so you mix things in here and there. I've thrown my curveball more than I ever have.''

Crain, 31, is in his 10th year in the major leagues. This is his third with the White Sox after spending the previous seven in Minnesota.

"You always have to make an adjustment, keep things fresh and put more things in a hitter's head,'' Crain said. "But on on the whole, I've thrown more fastballs than the last few years.''

Crain said the adductor that bothered him during spring training is "100 percent.'' He leads American League relievers with 18 appearances, owns a 1.20 ERA and hasn't allowed an earned run at home.

"In the last week or so we have the bullpen lined up [with more defined roles],'' said Crain, who will be asked to face more left-handers now that Matt Thornton is the only left in the bullpen. "It's fun to get in there a lot and hold leads.''

Crain has successfully held a Sox lead nine times.

Peavy, De Aza lift White Sox past Mets 6-3

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Tyler Greene turns a double play after shortstop Alexei Ramirez's diving stop. AP PHOTO


NEW YORK -- The White Sox went out of character and strung together some hits -- a season-high four in a three-run third and three in a row to produce another run in the seventh in a 6-3 victory against the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

The American League's worst offense woke up by matching their season high with 13 hits, giving Jake Peavy a quick 1-0 lead when Alejandro De Aza led off the game with his sixth homer and providing the right-hander a three-run cushion in the third. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez made two diving stops behind Peavy (4-1, 3.03 ERA), one that started an inning-ending double play, and Dewayne Wise made a long running catch in deep center.

'I think overall we played great defense tonight,'' Wise said. "Jake pitched a great game, the defense was solid for nine innings. A big win for us.''

Alex Rios, who was batting .172 over his last 15 games, broke out with a single, double, home run and two RBI. The Sox (14-18), who were held to one hit the night before by Matt Harvey, bounced back with eight against Mets starter Jeremy Heffner (0-4).

The Sox finished a three-city road trip with a 4-4 record. They are off on Thursday before hosting the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend.

Peavy, making his first start since April 26, held the Mets (13-17) to three hits before leaving with two outs in the seventh inning. He threw 114 pitches after he missed a turn in Texas on Thursday because of back spasms. Peavy allowed one run on three hits and two walks. He struck out six.

"Yeah, I felt good, healthwise,'' Peavy said. "I had no problems. I got warm and loosened up, just like I thought it would be. I didn't have a lot of feel for really anything. Command wise I wasn't sharp. But I found a way to get through a lineup that was dangerous.''

De Aza was the Sox spark plug, belting a homer to right in the first and bunting for a single to start a rally in the third. Ramirez followed the bunt hit with an infield single, and Rios doubled to right center to score De Aza. Conor Gillaspie (2-for-4), batting cleanup with Adam Dunn getting a day off, blooped a double to center to score Ramirez and Rios.

"That's what we did last year,'' Peavy said. "We made the plays we were supposed to make, made the outstanding plays from time to time and got some timely hitting. Conor's ball getting in. It was huge.''

Rios, Gillaspie and Konerko singled in succession in the seventh to give the Sox a 5-1 lead.

Jesse Crain struck out the side in the eighth, including cleanup batter Lucas Duda as the tying run at the plate to preserve a three-run lead.

Closer Addison Reed gave up a run in the ninth in a non-save situation.


Cleaning up in New York: Gillaspie bats fourth vs. Mets

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NEW YORK - Manager Robin Ventura gave Adam Dunn a day off in a National League park Wednesday, putting Paul Konerko back at first base. No surprise there, but slotting Conor Gillaspie in the cleanup spot did get a reaction. Starting with Gillaspie.

"Just laughter, kind of, honestly,'' said Gillaspie, a rookie with four homers in his career - 409 fewer than Dunn. "I was like, 'come on.' I don't think it changes a whole lot for me. I'm not a home run guy or whatever. It doesn't matter, we just need hits. Giving a guy a day off, so why not. I'm not hitting that great right now, either.''

That Gillaspie (.280) has been one of the Sox best hitters says a little about his good start - he was a candidate for American League Rookie of the Month honors - and a lot about the Sox' hitting futility. Ventura placed him fourth mainly because he bats left-handed. As Gillaspie said, it's not like he's on fire right now. The third baseman was 1-for-13 in his last four games.

"That's more just splitting lefties and making sure you don't have a lot of righties in a row,'' Ventura said. "Balance it out at some point. He's the guy to go right there."

Alexei Ramirez was moved to second in the order, a spot he prefers over sixth or seventh. Ramirez has the second highest average among Sox regulars.

"I really like it and I'm happy I get to hit in that spot,'' Ramirez said. "I'll benefit from hitting with De Aza on base and I have a chance to score more runs with the middle of the lineup behind me.''

Ventura said Ramirez would likely move back down "unless for some reason he goes 5-for-5 and we get nine runs,'' Ventura said.

Ramirez has not homered since the second game of the season. He can't explain the power outage, although he felt like he had a homer taken away by umpires in Kansas City.

"I don't know why but I know there is a lot of season left,'' Ramirez said.

"I feel good at the plate but I'm not satisfied,'' Ramirez said. "More than anything I'm not satisified with losing games. It's painful. Very much so. There were a lot of games we could have won but we have to move on.''

Danks frustrated but upbeat after mixed results

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NEW YORK -- John Danks chalked up "frustrating" control problems Tuesday night as just one of those nights. The good thing is, his shoulder still feels great and his velocity was more consistent than his first minor league rehab outing.

"It wasn't awful it wasn't great,'' Danks said of his five-walk performance for AAA Charlotte in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday. "The stuff was a little better, a lot more consistent. I was able to make the ball do what I wanted to do, even more consistent than the last time. I was able to make the cutter do what I wanted, and my changeup was good.''

Danks' velocity on his fastball was 88-91. There was less disparity on it this time.

"I just wasn't real sharp. Just one of those days where I was all over the place a little bit. And the weather was kind of [crappy]. It was a good day, I got through it, threw all the pitches I wanted to. It was a positive day. Just continue to get feel for all my pitches. Just have to tighten the strings, put it all together.''

Command hadn't been a problem for Danks, who had shoulder surgery last August and is on pace to rejoin the Sox after one or two more minor league starts. General manager Rick Hahn was in Columbus to watch Danks pitch.

"Control really hasn't been an issue to this point so I'm not really concerned about the walks but it was frustrating last night,'' Danks said. "You know, those things happen.

"I think it's just more stuff, trying to hone in on it a little bit. I think it was a good sign that my velocity was a lot more consistent from start to finish. The cutter was a good pitch. Last year [before going in the disabled list in May], I wasn't always able to make the cutter do what I wanted to. So, to regain feel for that and make it do what I want, that's a big pitch for me because it plays off my changeup big-time.''

As for his fastball, Danks said he looked at the stadium radar readings at every pitch "and there weren't many heaters under 88, 87. I looked up and saw a couple of 90s so we're getting there.''

That should be sufficient when he returns to the Sox.

"Yeah, I think so. If I take that stuff down, with just halfway decent command, I think I have a chance. That's not too far from where I'm at normally,'' he said. "Obviously there were times when I'd get it a little higher than that. I think that will be plenty.''

He said his shoulder felt good the day after, and he likes how the ball felt coming out of his hand.

"Everything is progressing. I'm coming along, I'm on an upswing still,'' he said.

"Dr. Romeo told me I probably won't feel 100 percent to where I was close to a year [from surgery in August]. That could be the next start, no one knows. But he warned me there will be days still where things are a little different still But I'm feeling closer and closer to normal. Last night no pain, the ball was coming out good. I just wasn't throwing it where I wanted to throw it.''

As you'd expect, Danks is champing at the bit to get with his teammates, who have struggled to a 13-18 start.

"Fortunately, we've pitched well,'' he said. "Hector [Santiago] and Dylan [Axelrod] have taken a little of the pressure off but at the same time I want to be there. I'm tired of not being there. I want to be there. Whenever they're ready to have me back I'll be glad to be back.''

White Sox ticket info for postponed games

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From Chicago White Sox media relations.

Here is the ticket information for people who had tickets to the two postponed games.

If people are holding tickets for the game on 4/19 vs. Minnesota, those tickets are good for game one of the split doubleheader on Friday, 8/9 vs. the Twins (1:10 p.m. CT). These tickets are good for the 8/9 game (1:10 p.m.) only and not redeemable for another game.

If people are holding tickets for 4/23 game vs. Cleveland, those tickets are essentially a gift certificate and can be used for any future regular season game on a ticket for ticket basis.

Danks not sharp in AAA outing for Columbus

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John Danks walked five batters and allowed four hits in a five-hitting rehab outing for the AAA Charlotte Knights on Tuesday, not exactly a razor-sharp performance. Danks worked his way through a 92-pitch outing and escaped with only two runs allowed.

Pitching in Columbus against the Clippers, Danks struck out four and threw only 52 pitches for strikes.

The Sox are hoping that Danks can return to the team after one or two more starts in the minors.

Danks pitched seven innings in his first rehab outing, for AA Birmingham on Thursday. He threw 89 pitches, 57 for strikes, walking one and striking out one over seven innings

Reed better equipped to handle more work

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AP PHOTO

NEW YORK - White Sox manager Robin Ventura was hoping closer Addison Reed would be needed for a third straight game Tuesday.

"The way we've been playing he hasn't had that many in a row,'' Ventura said Tuesday. "We hope he has that ability. We want him to have that ability. I think he does. I hope we get to try it out.''

Reed, who pitched three straight days only twice during his rookie season in 2012, said he's more equipped to handle that type of load this year. He racked up saves on consecutive days April 24-26 and would even go four in a row, if needed, he said. Last year, that might not have been possible.

"Factoring into that is I've been doing a lot more cardio,'' Reed said before Tuesday night's game against the Mets. "Last year was my first full season and I didn't know what I need to do to get my arm ready and keep it fresh. This year I'm doing more cardio. If I pitch two days in a row, I up cardio after the game or before the next game. Three days, I up it even more. That has helped me tremendously.''

Reed, who has converted 11 of 12 opportunities, said there's no rhyme or reason to next-day soreness.

"There are some games when I throw one inning and my arm will be sore the next day,'' he said. "Sometimes I pitch back-to-back and it's fine. It's a weird thing.

"It's such an unnatural movement, throwing overhand. It's going to be sore. You pitch with soreness but when it's hurt and you pitch through it, that's when you get injuries. If my arm ever feels any different than soreness I'll tell them maybe I need a day off. Everything has been fine this year and hopefully it will feel this way all year.''

Peavy good to go Wednesday vs. Mets

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy declared himself fit to pitch Wednesday against the New York Mets. Peavy tested his sore back during a bullpen session at Kauffman Stadium on Monday morning and said he's ready to take the ball after missing one start.

Peavy said he is pain free and probably could have started Monday. But he needed to be pain free for two days before pitching.

"Yesterday or the day before we would have been pushing it,'' Peavy said. "It looks like we're on point to go Wednesday night.''

Peavy praised the Sox training staff to get him ready.

"Yesterday I was able to throw for the first time without it grabbing me pretty good,'' he said. "The way I felt today with two more days of treatment I can't see why Wednesday night I won't be on cue.''

"The biggest thing will be getting my feel back. I just have to play some good catch tomorrow. Feel is the toughest thing to get back when you haven't done much of anything. I hadn't played catch at all. I got a lot of work today but you can't work too hard and got to save your bullets. Hopefully I'll have my feel Wednesday night and give us a chance to go into New York and win."

Plane rides usually aren't a bad back's friend, so Peavy will make sure he's hydrated and keep moving around on the team flight from Kansas City to New York after the Sox play the Royals on Monday afternoon.

"Don't sit and be stiff. I'm sure there will be some stretching in the galleys,'' he said. "But that's pretty common on your flights."

Playing in a National League park means Peavy will have to swing a bat but he said that's not a concern. He jumped off the mound as if to field a batted ball when he finished his bullpen session.

"I went through and ran and had no problems,'' he said. "I'll swing a bat if I need to swing a bat. Bunt if it's called on. I love the National League game and if I can pitch and participate in an American League game, I could do the same in a National League game. It wasn't a thought."

Peavy isn't one to hold back, so making sure he's loose was key.

"You can thinking about staying compact and taking care of yourself, but you guys know when I get out there Wednesday night I'll be a wreck at times the way my body moves. Just try to cover those bases, and it felt good."

Royals defeat White Sox 6-5 in 10 innings

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Gordon's bases loaded single carried over the outstretched glove of right fielder Alex Rios, and the Kansas City Royals came from behind for a 6-5 victory in ten innings against the White Sox on Sunday.

Brian Omogrosso walked two, including one intentionally, in the 10th. Lorenzo Cain led off the inning with a single to right and scored the winning run.

Closer Addison Reed suffered his first blown save, allowing two runs in the ninth protecting a 5-3 lead. Reed walked the the first two batters at the bottom of the Royals lineup, then got Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar on fly outs before Billy Butler tied it with a two-run double to right-center field. Alejandro De Aza's diving catch on a liner to left by cleanup man Eric Hosmer sent the game into the tenth inning.

Alejandro De Aza doubled in two runs and scored a run on a wild pitch, and Alex Rios broke out of a slump with his seventh home run in a four-run seventh inning to give the Sox a 5-3 lead.

Rios also drove in the first Sox run in the third inning, hitting a smash to third baseman Mike Moustakas' right with the bases loaded that Moustakas fielded for a force out. Dewayne Wise (3-for-4, two runs s) scored on the play to give the Sox a 1-0 lead against starter Wade Davis.

Sox starter Jose Quintana gave up three runs in five-plus innings after starting with four hitless innings. The Royals scored three in the sixth and had the bases loaded with one out, but Butler lined out to shortstop Alexei Ramirez and De Aza ran down a foul fly by Eric Hosmer with Sox reliever Nate Jones pitching.

After walking the first two batters in the ninth, closer Addison Reed got Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar out on short fall balls before xx Billy Butler to record his 11th save in as many opportunities.

This was far from a masterpiece victory for the Sox (12-17). Second baseman Keppinger (2-for-5) committed the team's 21st error on a slow one-hop spinner off Gordon's bat with the bases loaded in the fifth. A pop-up by Miguel Tejada behind second base fell between shortstop Alexei Ramirez, Keppinger and center fielder Dewayne Wise, who charged hard and ran a long way to get a glove on it. Either infielder had enough room to catch the ball.
After lefty Matt Thornton came in and struck out Gordon, Escobar singled past first baseman Adam Dunn to put runners on second and third. With right-hander Matt Thornton in to face Butler, Keppinger made a nice play on a one-hop smash to his right, starting an inning-ending double play to preserve a 5-3 Sox lead.

White Sox' Floyd at peace with fate

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White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd left for New York Sunday for his Monday morning appointment with orthopedic surgeon David Altchek, who may recommend season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

"Somebody said there are two pitchers, those who've had Tommy John and those are going to have it,'' said Floyd, who ranks seventh or better among American League right-handers since 2008 in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, starts and quality starts.

Floyd said rehab is a potential alternative, but he knows surgery is a strong possibility. Altchek's will be the third opinion for Floyd, who could make the decision as soon as Monday.

The exam will be "pretty thorough, but ultimately you're not going to know exactly what kind of shape it's in until they go in there,'' Floyd said.

Tommy John surgery is reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament, which is replaced with another tendon from the body.

That Floyd is a free agent after the season adds to the emotional stress - it could mean he's thrown his last pitch for a team he's been with since 2007 - but Floyd is at peace with whatever happens.
"I've prayed about it,'' he said. "God is in control. I trust in that.

"I've done everything I can to stay healthy. You just wonder if it's unpreventable after a while. You can only do so much. You want to be strong.''

Sox lefthander Matt Thornton had Tommy John when he was in the Seattle Mariners organization in 2002.

"I just remember the fear of the unknown,'' Thornton said. "They say the success rate of elbow surgery is great and 90-some percent come back better and all that stuff, but still you're having surgery. That's always a worrisome time.''

"When I found out, it was crushing, it really is. So I've talked to Gavin a few times and given him advice if that ends up happening. He's a friend of mine. The doubts, the frustration of the setbacks, the aches and pains. ... It's just one of those things, it's a choice you make, but you have to work your tail off and you can come back better than ever. I've seen guys who that had surgeries don't put the time into rehab and don't make it back.''

Sale to face Royals Monday; Peavy DL a possibility

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chris Sale will face the Royals here in Monday's makeup game, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Sunday. The Sox ace lefty was scheduled to pitch against the Mets and Matt Harvey in New York on Tuesday, but Jake Peavy's back injury forced Ventura to shuffle the rotation.

Hector Santiago will pitch Tuesday on regular four days rest. Sale will also be pitching on four days rest.

The best-case scenario for Peavy would be pitching Wednesday in New York. The worst case is the disabled list. The latter hasn't been ruled out.

"No. It's a possibility,'' Ventura said. " We're going by today and tomorrow and how he feels. He's getting better, but it's one of those that I don't know if it's enough to go out and pitch and expect him to go out and pitch seven or eight innings. I'm not a doctor, but you wait it out and see how he feels."

White Sox starters own a 2.77 ERA over the last 15 games, remarkable considering that Gavin Floyd is out with an elbow injury, John Danks is making a rehab assignment in the minor leagues and Peavy has missed a turn.

"It's a tough road but it happens,'' Sale said. "It's just the game of baseball. I think they're handling it very well, and hopefully we'll get Jake back sooner or later and some positive news for Gavin.''

Guthrie masters White Sox again, this time with shutout

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jeremy Guthrie pitched his first career shutout, continuing his remarkable dominance against the White Sox while setting a Royals record with his 17th straight start without a loss, and Lorenzo Cain drove in two runs with a triple in the first inning on Saturday night, leading Kansas City to a 2-0 victory at Kauffman Stadium.

The Sox had four hits against Guthrie, a single by Paul Konerko in the second, a double by Konerko in the fourth, and singles by Tyler Flowers and Alejandro De Aza in the eighth. Guthrie has been sensational against the Sox, allowing two earned runs in 44 2/3 innings since he joined the Royals.

The Sox' best chance to score might have been on Konerko's two-out double to right-center with Adam Dunn (walk) on first. Dunn rounded third with the intent of scoring, but third-base coach Joe McEwing held him up on what could have been a close play at home. Conor Gillaspie then struck out to end the inning.

Flowers' and De Aza's singles put runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth, but Guthrie got struggling Jeff Keppinger (.186) to hit into a force out to shortstop Alcides Escobar. Keppinger was 0-for-4.

Dyland Axelrod (0-2) made his fourth consecutive quality start, scattering eight hits and allowing two runs over 7 2/3 innings. Axelrod threw a season-high 113 pitches and went into the eighth inning for the first time. Axelrod hit Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas with pitches -- both in the first inning -- walked one and did not strike out a batter, getting 18 fly outs.

The Sox committed their 19th and 20th errors on consecutive plays in the seventh inning, both after two outs, but the miscues did not cost them any runs. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez misplayed a soft linerhit right at him by Billy Butler, and Axelrod fielding a little chopper and rushed the throw past first baseman Adam Dunn for a two-base error.

The Sox (12-16) are 2-2 on a road trip that started with two wins and a loss against the Rangers in Texas. The Royals improved to 16-10 by defeating the Sox for the 12th time in thelr last 16 games at Kauffman.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Friday's rainout, the third of the season for the White Sox, cost the Sox a valued off day but it came at a good time for the starting rotation.

The Sox would have had to dip into their bullpen to pull out Deunte Heath and others on Saturday, but pushing things back a day keeps the starters in line. Jake Peavy is tentatively scheduled to pitch Monday, although he wasn't over-the-top enthusiastic about the possibility even though he said his back felt better Friday, a day after his scheduled start in Texas was scratched.

"Still there,'' Peavy said. "It's not completely gone but I did make a whole lot of progress in a 24-hour period."

Peavy received treatment and had a massage therapist work him over Friday. He said he hopes to be ready Monday.

"I would hope that it would be a possibility pitching in this series,'' he said.

Pitching assignments aside, manager Robin Ventura said the team would have rather played the game. The team was assembled at Kauffman Stadium.

"These don't count as off days, so. I think guys would rather play,'' he said.

Dyland Axelrod starts Saturday against Jeremy Guthrie and Jose Quintana goes against Wade Davis on Sunday.

White Sox, Royals postponed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The White Sox game against the Kansas City Royals has been postponed because of rain and cold weather. The game will be made up Monday at 1:10 p.m.

Monday was an off day for both teams. The Sox play in New York Tuesday and Wednesday.

While the Sox might not be happy about missing an off day in New York, pushing their rotation back allows them to avoid using reliever Deunte Heath in a starting role on Saturday. Dylan Axelrod, who was scheduled to pitch Friday, will pitch Saturday. Jose Quintana will likely pitch Sunday and Jake Peavy will go Monday if he is recovered from the back issue that kept him off his scheduled start Thursday in Texas.

The Sox won two of three games from the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, to open their eight-game road trip.

For one day, Flowers outshines Pierzynski

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Tyler Flowers is congratulated after hitting a 3-run homer Thursday. AP PHOTO

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Take that, A.J.

Tyler Flowers had no reason to go there with an "in your face" reaction after hitting a three-run homer that carried the White Sox to a 3-1 victory against Pierzynski and the Texas Rangers on Thursday night. But there had to be a huge sense of satisfaction for the catcher who is off to an up and down -- and mostly down start -- after taking over for Pierzynski under intense scrutiny.

The win gave the Sox a series victory, a series that didn't go well at all for Pierzynski, who had an eight-game hitting streak snapped. After sitting out the first game with an oblique strain, the former Sox pinch hit in the ninth inning Wednesday with the Rangers chasing a three-run deficit. He was hit by a pitch from Addison Reed, angrily flipped the bat and jawed at Reed, and strongly suggested it was intentional.

He started Thursday and was 0-for-4, flying out against Matt Thornton while representing the tying run and striking out against Reed in the ninth as the tying run.

Communications and banter between player and former team were limited. As Flowers crossed home plate after his homer, Pierzynski kept his head down.

"I didn't really think about it,'' Flowers said. "I thought it was kind of awkward coming home and seeing him standing there just like I thought it was awkward when he came up in the box yesterday. I'm sure he thought it was awkward when he had to face Thornton after catching him for [seven] years. I'm glad we got it over with, though. He's got his at-bats against us, we've gotten him out, we've hit him. All that kind of stuff. It seems like all the drama should be over now when they come to our place.''

The Rangers come to U.S. Cellular Field for three games in a weekend series Aug. 23-25.

Flowers, meanwhile, will be hard-pressed to match Pierzynski's offense. The jury is still out on whether his defense and game-calling will be a significant upgrade. Either way, the Sox had to give him his chance. It was time.

"He keeps grinding and having tough at bats," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "That's what he needs to do. It's not easy, but he has to stay positive and get through it. Tonight he did it. That was a big hit for us."

Flowers is off to a rough start, batting .186 with an on-base percentage of .250. He has fanned 26 times -- which is not unexpected because a high strikeout rate is in his history. His four homers, though, put him on pace to hit 24 this season, and all of his jacks has given the Sox a lead. They've also won all four games in which he has gone deep.

Taking over for an offensively productive, left-handed hitter in Pierzynski -- who also happened to be a fan favorite who hit 27 homers and drove in 77 runs in his last year as a Sox in 2012 -- has come with a fair amount of pressure. Flowers homered on opening day and had a good first home stand but it's been a struggle since.

"It's been a battle at the plate for me all year and I'm just trying to grind it out every time," Flowers said. "Basically the gist of it is swing at good pitches, swing at strikes and lay off the balls. It seems like evidently in those situations I've been getting some decent pitches to hit and taking advantage of them."

It was a full day for Flowers. Before the game, the Rangers held their dog-day event, allowing fans to walk their pooches around the field. One frisky canine got loose and ran all over the outfield, and infield, even stopping to relieve itself in short left field. Security could not corral it.

When the dog went into the Sox dugout, Flowers, in full catcher's gear, went down to his knees to block it and helped security get the situation under control.

"Did you see me it trap him?'' Flower said. "I got nervous though because it had its tail down and they can get all crazy when the tail's down.

"It was definitely a good day.''

White Sox' Floyd to weigh options, including surgery

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Trainer Herm Schneider walks Gavin Floyd off the field Saturday. AP PHOTO


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Gavin Floyd's latest elbow problem -- the third for the White Sox right-hander in 10 months -- appears to be the worst of them all.

Floyd revealed on Thursday that he has a tear in the flexor muscle in his right below and an unstable ulnar collateral ligament. He was examined by Dr. Keith Meister in the Dallas area on Tuesday and will see Dr. David Altchek in New York on Monday for a third opinion.

"We'll wait until the last doctor so I can think about it, pray about it and take it from there," Floyd said after Thursday's game.

"Yes. There's options of surgery. And options of rehab. And everything like that. We just have to weigh the options and see what happens.''

Floyd, who is on the 15-day disabled list, is facing the possibility that he has pitched his last game with the White Sox if he has surgery. The 30-year-old is in the last year of his contract, so his health kills almost any chance of the Sox getting prospects for him at a midseason should they be out of the AL Central race and go into trading veterans for young players mode.

Ventura hopeful Peavy can return soon

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Jake Peavy is the latest White Sox to put trainer Herm Schneider to work. The right-hander was scratched from his scheduled start against the Rangers on Thursday with a sore back.

Peavy said his back locked up on him while the team was stretching before Wednesday's game. He received treatment all day from Schneider on Thursday holding out hope to take the ball, but he will have to wait at least a couple of days.

"I've never had anything like this happen at all,'' said Peavy, who was enjoying normal health for a second straight season. "Now I've had some back soreness because of my leg differential, but I've never had anything like this. It's completely new to me. I was hoping maybe a muscle relaxer and some treatment would do the trick last night and I'd be able to go today. It wasn't the case.''

Hector Santiago, scheduled to pitch the opener of a three-game series in Kansas City on Friday, was moved into Peavy's spot. Dylan Axelrod moved up to Saturday. Jose Quintana pitches Saturday, and manager Robin Ventura said he hoped Peavy could take the ball Sunday.

Peavy's setback was the latest in a series for the rotation, which lost Gavin Floyd to a sore elbow and is waiting on John Danks to climb back to 100 percent. Danks made a minor league rehab start in Birmingham.

Floyd's elbow may be worse than first thought. He will seek multiple opinions, and the fear exists that he could be dealing with an ulnar collateral ligament that would require surgery. The 30-year-old, who is in the last year of his contract, was on the DL twice last year with elbow problems.

"Yeah. I think the news isn't always good,'' Ventura said of Floyd. "It's just one of those where you keep getting a different opinion just to make sure you have all your bases covered. Once you go there [surgery], it's for a long time. I think for him it's the comfort of knowing he's doing the right thing, getting enough opinions from experts. I'm not an expert. I'm going to let them kind of figure that out. Ultimately it's his decision.''

Pierzynski plunked in first at-bat against White Sox

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A.J. Pierzynski gives Addison Reed the stink eye after he was hit by a pitch. AP PHOTO

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Leave it to A.J. Pierzynski to find himself in a minor dust-up with his former team, even when he wasn't an instigator.

The Texas Rangers catcher was hit on the elbow pad by a pitch from Sox closer Addison Reed in the ninth inning of the Sox' 5-2 victory on Wednesday night. Pierzynski seemed to slightly move his elbow in the path of the pitch to get on base, then reacted angrily. Perhaps it was another case of A.J. being A.J. the agitator always looking for a competitive edge. There is a third game of the series Thursday night, and Pierzynski plans on starting after being out with a tender oblique the first two games.

"You never want to get hit by a pitch,'' Pierzynski said of his reaction to getting hit. "I was trying to come back and win a game. When you get hit by a pitch you're not happy about it. Paul [Konerko] basically said he didn't think it was anything on purpose and I expect nothing less.''

Pierzynski batted with two outs, so getting hit in that situation didn't loom large until Ian Kinsler singled after him, bringing the tying run to the plate. Reed struck out Elvis Andrus to end the game.

Pierzynski angrily flipped his bat away and yelled at Reed as he trotted to first base, then glared at him while he stood by former teammate Konerko, the Sox first baseman.

Told that the Sox insisted there was no intent, Pierzynski said, "What am i supposed to believe? You know? What else? It's not the way you're supposed to play the game and it's fine. It's over.''

Pierzynski seemed to think there was more to it. Perhaps it was the heat of the moment, and the emotion of playing against his former team, for whom he helped win a World Series in 2005.

Reed was asked point blank if there was any intent to send a message to Pierzynski, who was allowed to walk in free agency during the off-season after eight years in Chicago.

"Absolutely not,'' he said. "I was trying to go in and went a little too far in. It's over with and we got out of here with a win. That's all that matters. I didn't really watch the replay but I was trying to go in and it happened to hit him.''

"You're not trying to put anybody on,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "I mean, you're not trying to send a message or anything like that. You don't want anyone on base because in about 30 seconds they had the tying run on base. There was no message being sent.
"Any time somebody gets hit they're not happy about it. I understand that.''

Said Sox catcher Tyler Flowers: "It's tough. You have to throw (Pierzynski) in. You have to show him in. I wanted it elevated and in. I didn't really want it that elevated or that far in. But it happens.''

Konerko said he was certain it was not intentional and was glad Pierzynski wasn't injured.

"I didn't expect that,'' Konerko said. "He gave me some good material down at first base. He gave me some laughs but I can't repeat any of it.''

"You know, it just, it gives you guys [media] something to kind of look at or try to make a story out of when really I don't think there was anything to that. It could have happened to anyone. It just happened to happen to AJ.''

White Sox defeat Rangers 5-2

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chris Sale regrouped after a rough second inning with seven strong frames, and Conor Gillaspie and Alejandro De Aza broke open a tie game with home runs in the seventh as the White Sox defeated the Texas Rangers 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Alex Rios drove in De Aza (double) with the Sox first run in the first against Nick Tepesch (2-2). The Sox got their second run when Tyler Flowers hit into a bases loaded double play in the second inning, scoring Paul Konerko (double).

Sale (3-2) climbed above .500 and lowered his ERA to 3.83, striking out seven and walking two. Four of the six hits, including Jeff Baker's homer, were in Texas' two-run second.

Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton combined to pitch a scoreless eighth for the Sox (11-15), and Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his ninth save in as many chances. Reed hit former Sox A.J. Pierzynski on his right elbow pad with two outs and nobody on base. Pierzynski was visibly upset, flipping the bat away and yelling at Reed. Ian Kinsler singled with two outs, bringing Elvis Andrus up as the tying run, but Reed struck out Andrus to end the game.

Lefty Santiago has right stuff for starting

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hector Santiago's wide assortment of pitches suits him better to start.

As long as his catchers can remember all of them, that is.

Santiago, who jumps into the White Sox rotation this weekend to replace the injured Gavin Floyd, throws a fastball, cut fastball, slider, changeup and screwball. Five offerings if you're scoring at home.
"If you want to count a two-seamer [sinking fastball] it's six,'' Santiago said.

So many that, in a recent relief outing, catcher Hector Gimenez went through the entire series of signs twice while Santiago was waiting for him to call for a changeup, his go-to pitch for swings and misses or ground balls against right-handed hitters.
After the inning, Gimenez threw his hands up and told Santiago he has too many pitches.

"He said, 'What did you want to throw right there?' I wanted to throw a changeup. He said, 'You got so many pitches. I didn't think of the changeup.' ''

"It's kind of funny he actually forgot about it. But Flow [Tyler Flowers] gave me something the other day and I was like, 'I dont know what that is.' So it's both sides.''

Flashing sings to Santiago was easier when he was a two-pitch pitcher, but he expanded his repertoire with more offspeed stuff, including a screwball and cutter.

Santiago, 25, was prepped to start during spring training as a possible fill-in for John Danks, and he'll start Friday in Kansas City against Jeremy Guthrie (3-0, 3.06). He was 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA over four starts last season.

Rushed into emergency relief for Floyd Saturday, Santiago (0-1, 2.51) stretched out with 86 pitches and allowed four runs on 10 hits, the first time he was scored on this year.

He's eager to start again.

"For whatever reason, I've had better success throughout my career as a starter,'' he said.

Veal optioned to AAA Charlotte; Omogrosso up

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The White Sox optioned left-hander Donnie Veal to AAA Charlotte and recalled right-hander Brian Omogrosso on Wednesday. Veal, who specialized as a lefty out of the bullpen last season struggled during April.
Omogrosso, 29, is 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA and nine strikeouts over seven relief appearances with the Knights.

Veal, 28, was 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA and one hold over 12 relief appearances with the White Sox this season. Last season, Veal excelled at getting ahead in the count and throwing strikes. This year not so much.

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