Viciedo's homer keys late rally as Sox stun Yankees

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Viciedo's homer keys late rally as Sox stun Yankees

NEW YORK -- Dayan Viciedo ended a frustrating evening for himself and the White Sox with one loud swing on Thursday.

The left fielder made the New York Yankees pay for a ninth-inning error as he blasted a three-run homer off David Robertson to give the White Sox a shocking 4-3 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Viciedo --- who was hitting .157 in June when he came to bat in the ninth --- followed a throwing-error on a potential double play with a homer on 1-0 pitch against Robertson that left a crowd of 44,041 in stunned silence.

The White Sox were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Ivan Nova and Co. prior to Viciedos blast to left.

Alex Rios led off the ninth inning with a single against reliever Cody Eppley and he advanced to third when Clay Rapada threw A.J. Pierzynskis comebacker into center field. Robertson was called upon instead of closer Rafael Soriano, who had pitched four of the last five days. Robertson threw Viciedo a ball before he caught up to a 90-mph fastball for his 14th homer.

Viciedo earlier lined into an inning-ending double play to end the fourth with runners on the corners against Nova, who settled in nicely after an early high-wire act.

Aside from Alejandro De Aza, who went 4-for-5, nobody had any luck against Nova even though he allowed plenty of contact. Kevin Youkilis hit the ball hard twice and also took a called third strike with the tying run on second in the eighth inning against Nova. Adam Dunn was robbed of a hit by Teixeira in the third with a man on.

But the most difficult inning for the White Sox was the top of the fourth. Paul Konerko doubled and moved to third on a Rios single. But Konerko couldnt tag up on Pierzynskis line out to center before Viciedo lined into a double play.

The bad luck appeared to leave Dylan Axelrod on the hook for a rough loss.

Axelrod spoke with total confidence earlier this week when he discussed pitching at Yankee Stadium.

It didnt matter that he hadnt pitched in front of many big crowds aside from his College World Series experience in 2007. He wasnt worried he would be making only his sixth career start. He didnt think to consider what it would take to face a loaded Yankees lineup in front of 44,041 fans.

Axelrod said he would relish the opportunity because pitching with adrenaline only makes him sharper. Then he went out and backed up his words.

Axelrod benefitted from good White Sox defense early, but also successfully navigated his way through a lineup loaded with hitters for seven innings.

Mixing his offspeed pitches, Axelrod kept the Yankees off-balance. He struck out Alex Rodriguez with a 3-2 slider in the first inning and retired Robinson Cano on a grounder ---- both with a man at second.

Axelrod set down nine of the first 11 he faced before he got into trouble as he loaded the bases in the fourth inning with two outs. But Axelrod got Eric Chavez to groundout on a first-pitch slider to keep the game scoreless.

Axelrod couldnt hang on to the 1-0 lead he was given when De Aza hit a second-deck homer to right in the fifth off Nova.

In the bottom of the fifth, Rodriguez and Cano both doubled in runs to take a 2-1 lead.

The Yankees --- who are sixth in baseball with 355 runs --- didnt add on until Teixeira hit a solo home run off Hector Santiago in the eighth as Axelrod posted two more scoreless innings.

Axelrod limited the Yankees to two runs, six hits and walked three batters in seven innings as he threw strikes on 69 of 115 pitches.

Preview: White Sox try to sweep Phillies tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox try to sweep Phillies tonight on CSN

The White Sox take on the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Wednesday’s starting pitching matchup: James Shields vs. Jerad Eickhoff

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

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White Sox reward Carlos Rodon's outstanding start with win over Phillies

White Sox reward Carlos Rodon's outstanding start with win over Phillies

Carlos Rodon has once again found the kind of groove that makes the White Sox hopeful about the direction in which he’s trending.

The left-hander continued a strong August on Tuesday night with his best start of the season.

The 2014 first-rounder pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and the White Sox crushed the Philadelphia Phillies 9-1 in front of 18,843 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Rodon — who has a 1.46 ERA in 24 2/3 innings this month — won for the second time in four starts and Jose Abreu and Justin Morneau homered as the White Sox were victorious a third straight time.

“If (Rodon) keeps running like that, he’s going to be a superstar,” said rookie catcher Omar Narvaez.

Rodon’s second season has begun to shape up much like his rookie campaign.

He pitched better through his first 14 starts of 2016 than he did a year ago, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 10 of those turns. But Rodon didn’t have much to show for it as he surrendered leads or pitched with a razor thin margin of error because of lackluster run support.

Same as last season, Rodon has turned it on in August. Over his final eight starts in 2015, Rodon went 5-2 with a 1.81 ERA.

With some help from Narvaez and an overpowering fastball, Rodon looked strong throughout a 109-pitch effort.

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He worked around a first-inning jam and took off.  Rodon struck out Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp after he allowed a pair of one-out singles, which began a stretch where he retired 14 of 15 batters. Rodon also worked around a leadoff double in the sixth inning as he lowered his ERA to 4.02.

One key to the effort was finding a different way to make his slider more effective. Narvaez said he and Rodon began to use it as a backdoor slider after he struggled early with command and hitters laid off it.

“The slider wasn’t working too good down and in, they’d take it, so Omar set up a tad outside and just brought it back in,” Rodon said. “It was nice. It was huge. Had something to gauge off of to get that slider off the outside corner and it worked out well.

“Just comfortable, got on a roll and everything worked out.”

Rodon allowed three hits, walked one and struck out four. He has struck out 20 and walked only six batters in his last 24 2/3 innings.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Rodon’s effort has been in large part to improved power pitching. Rodon averaged 95.6 mph with his fastball on Tuesday, according to brooksbaseball.net.

“He’s made some strides from where he was before,” Ventura said. “He was trying to pick. When he’s like that he’s not that guy. Everything he does has effort, and its strength. When he has it going on it looks really good. He doesn’t need to get away from his strength and physicality is one of them. When he picks around and throws soft stuff he’s not as effective.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: First-rounder Zack Collins headed to Arizona Fall League]

Rodon’s offense rewarded him handsomely.

Adam Eaton tripled and scored on Tim Anderson’s RBI groundout in the first inning. Anderson then tripled in Eaton in the third to make it a 2-0 game. Abreu, who blasted a two-run homer in the fifth, singled in a run in the third and Todd Frazier had a sac fly to put the White Sox ahead by four runs.

Morneau’s solo shot in the fifth followed Abreu’s two-run homer off Jake Thompson to put the White Sox ahead 7-0. Carlos Sanchez also had an RBI single and Melky Cabrera had an RBI double.

Rodon was victorious for only the fourth time in 12 decisions this season. Prior to the start of the second half, Rodon said he needed to throw out his rough first half and start over.

The way he has pitched of late has him confident in himself once again. The next step is putting it together from the start of the season, he said.

“When you’re in a zone you just try to stay in it, to be honest,” Rodon said. “Hopefully in the future you have a complete year instead of just doing it in the second half.

“It’s all a process, what Coop says. It’s building up to it and trying to get like Q and Sale. Those guys are very good, top of the line starters, left-handers in the game, probably the very best. I’d love to be like that.”

White Sox first-rounder Zack Collins headed to Arizona Fall League

White Sox first-rounder Zack Collins headed to Arizona Fall League

Zack Collins’ first pro season just got a little longer.

The White Sox’ first-round pick will head to Arizona in October to participate in instructional camp and in the Fall League, player development director Nick Capra said Tuesday.

Taken with the 10th pick in the June draft, Collins has a .794 OPS in 110 plate appearances at Single-A Winston-Salem. Though the plan calls for him to be a catcher, the White Sox have limited how much playing time Collins has had behind the plate this season. Of his 29 professional starts, 11 have come as a designated hitter.

“He’s had a long season,” Capra said. “He caught almost every day in Miami. He looks like he’s beat up a little bit, but he’s been fine. We are kind of taking care of him a little bit. He’s not catching every day. He’s DHing sometime. He looks good.”

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Collins appeared in 62 games for the Miami Hurricanes this season. He received the Johnny Bench Award, which goes to the nation’s top collegiate catcher.

The 21-year-old has nine extra-base hits at Winston-Salem this season, including four homers. He has walked 17 times and struck out 30. Collins would only make a brief appearance for instructs before AFL play.

“Looks good,” Capra said. “Catching well. He’s swinging the bat well.

“We just want to get him out there and see him play.

“He looks like he can swing the bat. We are happy with his progress.”