Beckham, Morel, Dunn come alive vs. Mariners

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Beckham, Morel, Dunn come alive vs. Mariners

The White Sox aren't going to lose many games when the three hitters before Adam Dunn get on base a total of six times -- and Dunn looks like the old version of himself.

That's what happened Friday against Seattle, as Gordon Beckham (2B, BB), Alejandro De Aza (two 1B) and Brent Morel (1B, BB) set the table for Dunn, who clobbered two home runs and picked up a double in perhaps his best game with the White Sox.

Okay, it wasn't perhaps Dunn's best game with the White Sox -- it was his best game with the White Sox. The only other game close to Dunn's 3-4, 10 total bases, 5 RBIs effort came last May 11 against Los Angeles, in which Dunn hit a home run and double as part of a 4-5 day against the Angels.

Dunn hadn't had a multi-homer game since Sept. 24, 2010. He hadn't drove in five runs since that day, and the only time he drove in more than three runs with the White Sox came on Opening Day last year in Cleveland.

But the RBIs wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of Beckham, De Aza and Morel. The first inning saw De Aza single, Morel walk and Dunn double to put the Sox up 1-0 early. Dunn's second-inning home run was powered by a Beckham double and then back-to-back singles by De Aza and Morel, the latter of which scored Beckham.

Dunn hasn't struggled as mightily as he did last year out of the gate, but it hasn't been a roaring start to 2012, either. But Dunn has shown some signs of life lately, going 6-10 with four walks, three doubles, two homers and 9 RBIs in his last three games. Even a three-game stretch that good would've been unprecedented in last year's struggles.

For Morel and Beckham, there's a much longer way to go. But, for what it's worth, Beckham has started to see some results in his last few games, and the Sox have to hope that's a product of him feeling more comfortable with his newly-tweaked approach. For Morel, he had only reached base multiple times in a game once this year, that being April 14 vs. Detroit. He followed that up by going 1-17 with no walks and nine strikeouts in his next four games.

These three players -- Beckham, Dunn and Morel -- are extremely important to the success of the White Sox offense, at least as they're positioned now in the lineup. When the lineup turns over, Beckham and Morel sandwich De Aza, who can't be very effective setting the table for the middle of the order with two offensive black holes around him. But if Beckham and Morel are hitting, it'll do wonders for the RBI totals of Dunn and Paul Konerko, assuming Dunn can keep up his .265.378.571 line which, dare I say, looks an awful lot like the Adam Dunn of old.

White Sox rule Austin Jackson, Matt Davidson out for season

White Sox rule Austin Jackson, Matt Davidson out for season

Austin Jackson and Matt Davidson are officially done for the season.

Meanwhile, the White Sox still remain hopeful that Brett Lawrie is on the mend after a second MRI.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday that Jackson, who had surgery June 10 to repair a medial meniscus tear in left knee, and Davidson, who had surgery after he fractured his right foot, won’t return this season.

“Austin is progressing, but it unfortunately it’s been a slow pace,” Hahn said. “He has not taken baseball activities. I wouldn’t expect him back this season.”

Jackson hit .254/.318/.343 with 18 RBIs in 203 plate appearances before he suffered the injury.

At the time of Jackson’s injury, Hahn didn’t think it would end his season. But, Hahn did say it would take at least six weeks before they could re-evaluate Jackson’s knee post-surgery and get a better determination of when he might return. Jackson’s re-evaluation was pushed back a few days from the six-week mark and the White Sox made it clear they weren’t optimistic about him returning.

Davidson went 1-for-2 with an RBI before he broke his foot running the bases in his first game of the season.

“(I) would not expect (Davidson) either. It was a pretty bad fracture. It’s progressing and he’s hitting the early milestones. There just isn’t enough time for either of those two.”

Lawrie, who has been on the disabled list since July 22, had a second MRI earlier this week and is being treated, Hahn said.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Manager Robin Ventura has been adamant all along that Lawrie’s injury was tricky to diagnose. What began as a strained hamstring and later was thought to be a quad injury has been reclassified as a knee and calf issue. Hahn said the MRI showed the area is structurally sound.

“He received some medicine in the joint there,” Hahn said. “We’re let that work for a couple of days and we’ll ramp up the activity and see how it goes. No specific time frame.”

Miguel Gonzalez will participate in one more bullpen — possibly a simulated game — before he starts a rehab assignment, Ventura said. Gonzalez is on the DL with a strained right groin.

Preview: White Sox face the Mariners tonight on CSN

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Preview: White Sox face the Mariners tonight on CSN

The White Sox take on the Seattle Mariners tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Thursday’s starting pitching matchup: Anthony Ranaudo vs. James Paxton

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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James Shields, White Sox lose to Phillies and snap winning streak

James Shields, White Sox lose to Phillies and snap winning streak

James Shields allowed his fewest runs in a month on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a loss.

Shields yielded two more home runs in six innings and his offense couldn’t keep pace as the White Sox lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 in front of 15,630 at U.S. Cellular Field. Shields gave up four earned runs and seven hits. Dioner Navarro homered in the loss, which snapped a three-game White Sox winning streak.

“We’ve seen better,” manager Robin Ventura said. “(Shields) got to two strikes, two outs and gave up a couple there and that’s tough. The homer to left, that’s just one you get in this ballpark. The biggest one, for him, mistake-wise was the homer to Joseph. I think that’s the one that he wants back. But as far as going out there and getting us to a point, he’s still got room to improve on. But he got through it.”

The six innings pitched marks the most by Shields since July 26.

In between, Shields allowed 28 runs (27 earned) and 33 hits in 14 innings over four turns, good for a 17.36 ERA.

He fell behind 3-0 by the third inning before he settled in and retired nine of 11 batters. The Phillies pieced together a two-out rally in the second inning to go up two runs as Tommy Joseph and Freddy Galvis doubled with an Aaron Altherr singled sandwiched in between.

Cesar Hernandez opened the third inning with a solo homer just inside the left-field foul pole.

Joseph also homered with two outs in the sixth inning to put Philadelphia ahead 4-0.

Shields has allowed 31 homers in 143 innings this season, including 22 in 75.2 innings for the White Sox. Eleven of those have come in his last four starts.

He walked none and struck out six.

“I think the only pitch I made a mistake on was that last one, the home run in the sixth inning there,” Shields said. “The ball kind of slipped out of my hand a little bit and kind of left it over the plate. Other than that I felt good with my location tonight. I was hitting my spots consistently. They were getting hits here and there. That’s part of it. One of the positives things, I didn’t walk anyone and I was getting some swings and misses. But we have to move on and move forward and build off that.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox didn’t have much success against Phillies starting pitcher Jerod Eickhoff, who retired the first nine batters he faced. Avisail Garcia led off the sixth inning with a single and Navarro belted a two-run homer to right to make it a 4-2 game.

Eickhoff limited the White Sox to two runs and four hits in six innings.

Garcia kept the White Sox alive with a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning. But Jeanmar Gomez retired Navarro with runners on the corners to end the threat.

“Until Dio hit the homer there wasn’t much going for us,” Ventura said. “We got one --- I think Adam was the one that breaks it up and gets it going. But (Eickoff) was tough on us. A great curveball. That’s the biggest thing that sticks out. When he got in trouble, that curveball was the pitch for us. After that, it just wasn’t a good night offensively. I don’t think we swung it that well.”