Sale, White Sox hold off Royals for series win

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Sale, White Sox hold off Royals for series win

KANSAS CITY -- The White Sox had difficulty getting men on base Sunday and even more trouble driving in runners.

But Chris Sale made what little production his teammates offered stand up. Sale earned his 11th victory and Adam Dunn homered again in a 2-1 White Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Sale limited the Royals to a run even though he allowed 10 hits in eight innings while Dunn homered in a third straight game. Along with a scoreless inning from Addison Reed, who bounced back from Fridays blown save, the White Sox increased their lead in the American League Central to 3 12 games over the victorious Detroit Tigers, who moved past the Cleveland Indians into second place.

It didnt seem like the White Sox would have much difficulty scoring after their first two innings against Royals starter Luis Mendoza (3-6).

Dunn lined a first-inning homer to right to make it 1-0 and the White Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning. Alexei Ramirez, who also had a nice day in the field, drilled a ball down the third-base line, but Mike Moustakas nabbed it to take away extra bases and start a run-scoring double play.

From there, however, the White Sox could do little despite numerous chances.

They stranded two runners in the fifth and seventh innings and left the bases loaded in the eighth. The White Sox left 10 men on base and finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

The White Sox still took two of three from the Royals even though they were 6-for-36 with runners in scoring position in the series.

Sale made sure those struggles didnt add up to a loss on Sunday.

Though the All-Star wasnt nearly at his best, he pitched his way in and out of trouble all afternoon. Sale stranded two batters in the third and fifth innings and got a critical double play to end the eighth inning after the Royals led off with consecutive singles.

Sale only struck out four batters, but didnt issue a walk in a 115-pitch performance.

Reed then pitched around a two-out single by Salvador Perez to earn his 14th save in 16 tries this season.

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.

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.