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.

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox continue series with Mariners tonight on CSN

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox continue series with Mariners tonight on CSN

The White Sox continue their series against the Seattle Mariners, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (10-9, 2.84 ERA) vs. Ariel Miranda (1-0, 5.49 ERA)

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

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— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

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Chris Sale strikes out 14 but White Sox fall to Mariners

Chris Sale strikes out 14 but White Sox fall to Mariners

Felix Hernandez has proven for years that he doesn’t need much help.

But the White Sox provided him with three free outs on the bases anyway on Friday night.

Those mistakes allowed Hernandez to hold the White Sox in check as they wasted a 14-strikeout performance from Chris Sale in a 3-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners in front of 25,651 at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale retired 16 in a row to end it, but it wasn’t enough as the White Sox dropped back to five games below .500.

“We didn’t run the bases very well tonight,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That ends up costing you. You’re getting something going against them, and it just takes the wind out of your sails. Both guys pitched great.

“They just executed better than we did when they got the chance. Both guys were going strong. The way we ran the bases, we didn’t deserve to win that game.”

Sale (15-7) deserved much better than to lose for the fifth time in his last six decisions.

[MORE: White Sox trade catcher Dioner Navarro to Blue Jays]

Though he allowed a run in the second, third and fourth innings, Sale got on a roll late.

After Adam Lind’s two-out RBI double in the fourth, Sale found an extra gear and retired the last 16 Mariners to hit, including 10 strikeouts. He struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings and afforded his teammates a chance to rally.

“Thank God we did it early because as everybody saw, when he gets on a roll it’s like lights out,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s obviously one of the best pitchers in the league for a reason. We had no chance, really, after the fourth and fifth inning. He got into a groove and got all his pitches working.”

Two of Seattle’s three runs off Sale came on opposite-field drives as Lind doubled to left in the fourth and Franklin Gutierrez homered to right in the second inning. Sale walked none and only allowed five hits and three runs in nine innings. He threw strikes on 88 of 120 pitches.

It was the 13th complete game of Sale’s career and his fifth this season.

“I wanted to find a groove and I felt like after the fourth inning I got into a pretty good groove, that cruising speed I was talking about,” Sale said. “I just tried to lengthen it as much as I could, just fill up as many innings as I could. Just give us a chance to win, keep us in the game.”

While Sale kept his team in the game, they repeatedly took themselves out of it.

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The White Sox had plenty of chances against Hernandez, none better than the bottom of the eighth inning. Trailing by two runs, Avisail Garcia and Tyler Saladino singled on both sides of a J.B. Shuck fielder’s choice. Adam Eaton’s one-out walk knocked Hernandez out of the game after 104 pitches.

But closer Edwin Diaz got Tim Anderson to hit into a fielder’s choice as third baseman Shawn O’Malley made a perfect throw home on the slow roller for a force out. Jose Abreu then fouled out to leave the bases loaded. Diaz retired the side in order in the ninth for his 11th save.

Todd Frazier homered in the seventh inning of Hernandez for the team’s only run, but they should have had more. The White Sox had the leadoff man reach base in five of eight innings started by Hernandez, who allowed a run and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. Hernandez erased two of those five as he picked off Frazier and Shuck in the second and third innings. He also got out of a first-and-third jam in the fifth inning when Shuck lined into a double play and Omar Narvaez was caught leaning.

“That’s the frustrating part,” Ventura said. “You know you’re not really going to have too many opportunities (against Hernandez). You might be able to hit and run or all of a sudden you’re first and third. But if you just take it out of your own hands, that’s where you scratch your head.”

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

The way he dominated the Pioneer League had to boost to Alec Hansen’s confidence. It also prompted his promotion.

When the White Sox sent their second-round pick to Great Falls last month it was in the hope he could rebound from a rough junior season at Oklahoma that caused his draft stock to fall. Once thought to be the potential first overall pick of the 2016 draft, Hansen was selected 49th after he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 batters in 51.2 innings. But Hansen — who made his first start at Single-A Kannapolis on Friday — looked every bit the first-rounder at Great Falls with a 1.23 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 36.2 innings.

“We wanted to put him in a position where there was a little less pressure to start off the season,” White Sox player development director Nick Capra said. “There's always pressure, but it's a little less magnified in the Pioneer League. We wanted to get him on the right road. We did a couple things with him mechanically and he took off with it.”

“We kind of held him hostage in Great Falls a little bit too long. He’s been really good. He’s double-digit strikeouts every night. He’s not walking people.”

Hansen is expected to make two starts at Kannapolis before the team’s season ends. He earned a no decision after he allowed three earned runs and five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Columbia Fireflies on Friday.

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Capra described the mechanical changes the White Sox made with Hansen as minor. Essentially, they want Hansen to take advantage of his 6-foot-8 frame and stay taller and release the ball more quickly. They believe it will help him better command his pitches.

Through 11 minor-league starts, Hansen has walked 18 batters in 49 innings (he also pitched seven innings in Arizona). That’s compared with the 96 batters he walked in 145 innings in college.

“Our player development guys deserve so much credit for the way they've handled it,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “There was a little bit of concern about the confidence part of it, just him taking the ball every fifth day and knowing that we believe in him. Our pitching guys and PD guys deserve a huge amount of credit for just the time they put into it. They really, really know how to make these guys excel and succeed. Been a pretty fun ride to watch and I hope it continues.”