Viciedo, White Sox storm back to beat Detroit

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Viciedo, White Sox storm back to beat Detroit

By Paul LaTour
CSNChicago.com Contributor

The White Sox struggling offense got an unexpected boost Monday night from an unlikely source -- left fielder Dayan Viciedo.

One of three players hitting below .200 in the Sox starting lineup, Viciedo drove in a career-high four runs with a home run and two-run single as the Sox rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.

Zach Stewart (1-1) picked up the win relief of starter John Danks, whose home woes continued.

Viciedos home run -- his fourth of the season -- sparked the comeback in the fifth after Chicago fell behind 5-2.

He followed that with a single in the sixth to score Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski with the go-ahead runs. Brent Morel drove in Alexei Ramirez with another single to give the Sox a 7-5 lead.

Viciedos heroics came out of nowhere. He entered the game hitting .196 and had only one hit in his previous 17 at-bats, which including popping out to second in his first plate appearance Monday.

Stewarts effort cant be understated as he not only bailed out Danks, but kept the bullpen from being further stressed. The Sox used four relievers in Sundays 9-1 loss to Kansas City.

Danks couldnt make it out of the fourth inning, this after entering the night 0-3 with a 7.32 ERA over three home starts this season. But Stewart came in with three-plus strong innings in which he allowed only one hit and one walk, which set the table for Chicagos comeback.

The night got off to a rocky start for Danks, who surrendered back-to-back doubles to Prince Fielder and Delmon Young as the Tigers jump to a 3-0 first-inning lead.

Andy Dirks drew a walk and Miguel Cabrera followed with a single to set the stage for Fielders drive to center field. Alejandro De Aza misjudged the ball, taking a step in before trying to recover. But the ball sailed over his head to score Dirks and Cabrera.

Young ripped the next pitch into right-center field to score Fielder and put the Sox in the early three-run hole.

That deficit didnt last long as Adam Dunn hit a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw from starter Drew Smyly. It was Dunns 12th of the season, and first off a left-hander since Aug. 6, 2010.

The Tigers were back at it in the third, adding two runs when Jhonny Peralta drew a bases-loaded walk and Gerald Laird followed with a sacrifice fly to De Aza.

Danks exited after giving up back-to-back singles to start the fourth. He allowed nine hits and five runs with three walks, and a hit batsman in his shortest outing of the season. Only 42 of his 80 pitches were for strikes.

As Danks struggled, Smyly settled into a groove. He retired nine in a row after Dunns home run, including the final three on strikeouts. A Konerko single ended the streak with one out in the fourth.

Still, the Sox found a way back into the game behind Viciedo. Alexei Ramirez led off with a single ahead of Viciedos blast, cutting the deficit to 5-4.

Smyly left after the inning, finishing with five hits and four runs allowed with one walk and four strikeouts in his first appearance on the South Side.

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.