Power Surge: Sox outslug Twins for series victory

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Power Surge: Sox outslug Twins for series victory

Paul Konerko and Alex Rios hit back-to-back homers and Alejandro De Aza added a grand slam to cap a six-run sixth, leading the Chicago White Sox to an 11-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo also went deep as the White Sox won for the sixth time in seven games.Konerko had two hits and drove in two runs. Rios also had two hits and knocked in three, and Chicago pulled this one out even though Philip Humber couldn't protect an early 4-1 lead.The Twins knocked him out during a four-run fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate. Joe Mauer homered in the inning and Brian Dozier capped the rally with a two-run single to give Minnesota a 5-4 lead, but the debuting Cole De Vries couldn't hold it.Konerko and Rios chased him with back-to-back homers to left leading off the sixth, putting Chicago back on top, and the White Sox kept pouring it on from there.They loaded the bases with one out against Brian Duensing before De Aza, who had an earlier homer wiped out by instant replay, drove a 1-0 pitch over the right-field bullpen to make it 10-5. The grand slam was the first of his career and the first by the White Sox since Rios hit one against Cleveland on Sept. 10, 2011.The big rally made a winner of Nate Jones (2-0), who allowed two hits over 1 2-3 innings. He came in for Humber in the fifth and immediately gave up that two-run single by Dozier, but the White Sox came out on top, anyway.They had their way with De Vries (0-1), who grew up near Minneapolis and played for the University of Minnesota. The 27-year-old right-hander gave up six runs - three earned - and six hits.He was shaky right from the start. Pierzynski drove a solo homer off the right-field pole in the second and the White Sox added to their lead in the third after Alexi Casilla booted De Aza's grounder to second with one out. Konerko extended his hitting streak to 10 with an RBI single, and Rios added a two-run double to make it 4-1.Humber still hasn't won since his perfect game against Seattle on April 21 and the right-hander is 0-2 in his last six starts after allowing five runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.Justin Morneau hit two late homers for Minnesota - a leadoff homer against Will Ohman in the seventh and a two-run drive against Addison Reed in the ninth.NOTES:
Throwing off the mound and from the stretch, Snoop Dogg delivered the first pitch. The rapper was in the area for a concert. ... Asked his favorite Snoop song, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said, "I don't know. They're always X-ed out. All the words are X-ed out, so I don't know. I don't know how to read those." ... The Twins held Ryan Doumit (right calf) out of the lineup so Mauer could serve as the DH. Doumit is not ready to play the field yet. "He felt it a little bit last night, he's been legging out some doubles," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I told him to take it easy, but you always know once you get playing in a game and you see something, you're going to go for it. He was a little bit stiffer last night after the game. I backed him off today." Gardenhire said he wants to see Doumit catch some bullpen sessions and run the bases before using him in the field.

White sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.

The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.

Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.

Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:

Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”

Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.

White Sox reportedly asking for No. 1 prospect plus more in trade return for Chris Sale

White Sox reportedly asking for No. 1 prospect plus more in trade return for Chris Sale

The White Sox could be open for business when the Winter Meetings begin on Sunday in Maryland, with ace left-hander Chris Sale likely to draw the most interest at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. 

The price for the five-time All-Star, of course, will be steep. ESPN’s Jayson Stark offered this as to just how steep it’ll be: To acquire Sale, a team will have to part with its No. 1 prospect plus at least two more players. 

The starting point for the White Sox, according to Stark, will be last offseason’s Shelby Miller trade in which the Arizona Diamondbacks sent former No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson to the Atlanta Braves to acquire the 26-year-old right-hander. 

Miller was coming off a strong season in 2015, in which he crossed the 200-inning threshold for the first time and posted a career best 3.02 ERA. But Miller hadn’t come close to establishing the success Sale has at the time of the trade, spending just three seasons in the starting rotations of the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals without eye-popping peripherals (he had a 4.54 FIP in 2014, for example). And the Braves still managed to swipe Swanson away from a Diamondbacks team that went all in for the 2016 season (and crashed to a 69-93 record with Miller having a 6.15 ERA). 

Only three pitchers — Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and David Price — have racked up more WAR than Sale (26.2) since the start of the 2012 season, and Sale is one of seven starters to have 1,000 or more strikeouts over the last five seasons, too. Durability hasn’t been an issue for Sale, either, as he’s tied for second in baseball with 14 complete games since 2012 (only behind Kershaw) and has thrown the 12th-most innings of any pitcher in the last five years, too. 

That’s the Cliff’s Notes version of why Sale will command such a high price. So that’s why, on MLB Network on Friday, Jon Heyman threw out the following names that could be discussed: Washington Nationals infielder/outfielder Trea Turner, Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman, Boston Red Sox outfielders Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. and Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada. 

Not only are those guys top prospects, but every one them outside of Moncada has had more than a cup of coffee in the major leagues. Whether or not the White Sox could pry one of those players, or someone of their caliber, away from a team in a Sale trade remains to be seen. 

The price may come down, as Stark reported, but the starting point in the Sale sweepstakes certainly appears to be high.