Sox put on early fireworks show as they blast Rangers

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Sox put on early fireworks show as they blast Rangers

Kevin Youkilis wasted no time introducing himself to his new home fans. The rest of his White Sox teammates made sure everyone felt at home.

Youkilis had three hits, including a home run and drove in four runs in his White Sox debut at U.S. Cellular Field, leading Chicago to a 19-2 pounding of Texas on Tuesday.

Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski also hit home runs as the White Sox scored a season-high 19 runs, which is also the most theyve ever scored against the Rangers.

They also tied a season high in hits as eight players had at least two hits. Six drove in two runs or more. Four scored three runs.

In his last start before the All-Star break, Chris Sale continued looking masterful, this time against one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball. Despite having five All-Stars in the lineup, the Rangers managed only five hits -- all singles -- and one run against Sale.

Sale, who entered 6-0 with a 1.73 ERA in his previous eight starts, pitched 7 innings with one walk and four strikeouts, and didnt allow more than one baserunner in any inning.

The only run charged to Sale came after he left in the eighth as reliever Brian Omogrosso surrendered back-to-back doubles in his major-league debut.

But both pitchers had high margins for errors considering the run support they received. And it started with Youkilis.

In his first plate appearance, Youkilis drove a 1-0 Roy Oswalt offering 369 feet into the White Sox bullpen in right field for a 2-0 lead.

That was just the start of the shellacking Chicago put on Oswalt and the Rangers.

Dunn followed Youkilis lead with another home run, this one a 407-foot shot to right field. It was the seventh time this season the White Sox hit back-to-back home runs.

After Paul Konerko lined out deep to center, Rios stroked the White Soxs third home run of the inning. Rios drive to center went 422 feet, making it the second longest home run of the season hit at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox added three more runs in the second to take a 7-0 lead. Alejandro De Aza, who led the game off with a single, opened the second with a triple to right. That completed the team cycle for the White Sox, who needed only 10 batters to accomplish the feat.

Youkilis drove home De Aza with a single, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Dunn then doubled to right to score Youkilis. A single by Konerko scored Dunn.

Youkilis also sent a buzz through the crowd with a nice defensive play in the fifth on a high bouncer by Yorvit Torrealba. Youkilis leaped for the ball and in one fluid motion started an inning-ending double play.

The White Sox erupted for nine more runs in the fifth, capitalizing on a two-out error by All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler to score seven unearned runs. Alexei Ramirez, and Rios each had two-RBI singles and Pierzynski smashed a three-run home in the inning. Youkilis and Konerko also drove in runs.

Kinslers error on a ground ball by De Aza opened the floodgates and chased Oswalt from the game. Oswalt (2-1) allowed 11 runs -- nine earned -- on 13 hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He gave up three home runs and threw a wild pitch.

Chicago tacked on three more runs in the seventh to complete the scoring.

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.