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.

After wild seventh, Carson Fulmer wants another big-time opportunity for White Sox

After wild seventh, Carson Fulmer wants another big-time opportunity for White Sox

The White Sox called up Carson Fulmer from Double-A Birmingham a week ago with the expectation he could add a strong, powerful arm to the back end of a bullpen that’s been taxed quite a bit this season. 

After he struggled in his first high-leverage appearance in the majors, though, the White Sox remain confident their 2015 first-round pick will be an important part of the team’s bullpen down the stretch this summer. 

Fulmer only threw 12 of 30 pitches for strikes and allowed three game-deciding runs in seventh inning of the White Sox 7-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers in front of 22,611 at U.S. Cellular Field Friday night. The leverage indexes of Fulmer’s first two appearances on the West Coast — which spanned 2 2/3 scoreless innings — were .01 and .05 (a leverage index of 1 is average), with those coming in a 8-1 loss and a 6-1 win. On Friday, Fulmer’s leverage index was 2.98. 

Fulmer said nerves weren’t behind his erratic outing, in which plenty of those 18 balls weren’t close to the strike zone. 

“I want to be in those situations,” the 22-year-old Fulmer said. “When you go out there and don’t do your job, it’s obviously frustrating. But you have to have a quick memory and throw it over your shoulder and prepare yourself for tomorrow.”

Fulmer’s electric mid-90’s fastball and wipeout curveball were rendered ineffective by his inability to command them in his two-thirds of an inning. He walked Justin Upton, gave up a single to Tyler Collins and walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia to load the bases with nobody out, and after a pair of groundouts brought a run in, he walked Cameron Maybin to re-load the bases.

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After that walk, Fulmer was pulled in favor of Nate Jones, who surrendered a go-ahead, ultimately game-winning two-run single to Tigers All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera. 

At some point, the White Sox were going to have to test Fulmer. With starter Jacob Turner only lasting 3 1/3 innings, and Fulmer looking comfortable in his first two appearances in the majors, manager Robin Ventura calculated that the seventh inning Friday was a prime opportunity. 

“He’s going to have to have it sooner or later,” Ventura said. “From the way the first (two) went, we felt comfortable he was going to come in there and be able to do that. But tonight, that doesn’t happen. But you have the confidence he can come back from this and be very effective in that spot.”

Morneau, who’s provided offense for bullpens over 14 major league seasons, agreed with his manager’s confidence in Fulmer. 

“We see a lot of good things in him,” Morneau said. “It’s obviously not up to me, but hopefully we get him back out there quick and let him settle back down and get comfortable, because he can really help this team.” 

White Sox relievers entered Friday with the fifth-highest leverage index in baseball, a product of the high volume of one-, two- and three-run games this team has found itself in this season. All those stressful innings — as well as Jake Petricka’s season-ending injury and Zach Putnam’s elbow issue from which he isn’t likely to return anytime soon — have put a considerable strain on Jones, Dan Jennings, Matt Albers, Zach Duke and David Robertson.

Fulmer, by virtue of being in the White Sox bullpen, will get another opportunity at a high-leverage inning. And while his first foray into a pressure-packed relief appearance didn’t go well, he hopes to quickly get a chance to put Friday in the rearview mirror. 

“I can’t ever use the excuse of it being my first big-time experience, especially for me being put in that situation,” Fulmer said. “Hopefully I get the opportunity to do it again. I’ll continue to stay prepared, just like I was tonight, and hopefully the odds turn in my favor. That’s all I can control.” 

Preview: Sale, White Sox continue series with Tigers tonight on CSN

Preview: Sale, White Sox continue series with Tigers tonight on CSN

Chris Sale takes the mound as the White Sox continue their four-game series against the Detroit Tigers tonight, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. 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.

Starting pitching matchup: Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.91 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (14-3, 3.18 ERA)

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Report: Rangers making ‘serious effort’ to trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale

Report: Rangers making ‘serious effort’ to trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday he’s been fielding more calls about trades as he team has slid to six losses in seven games after the All-Star break. 

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, one of those calls has been from a Texas Rangers front office that’s pushing hard to acquire All-Star left-hander Chris Sale. 

Sullivan reports the White Sox want power-hitting 22-year-old prospect Joey Gallo as well as former top prospect infielder Jurickson Profar. 

The 23-year-old Profar is hitting .304/.351/.435 in 42 games with the Rangers this season. Profar missed the entire 2014 season due to a muscle strain in his right shoulder, and underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in the same shoulder prior to the 2015 season, in which he only appeared in 32 games in the Rangers’ minor league system. 

Gallo, who homered in his first career at-bat off then-White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija in June of 2015, has 17 home runs with a .254/.394/.561 slash line and 85 strikeouts in 228 plate appearances for Triple-A Round Rock this season. 

While Hahn said Thursday it “might be extreme” for the White Sox to undergo a full rebuild with Sale and Jose Quintana under control on team-friendly deals through 2019 and 2020, respectively, he did say the organization is considering all of its options as it languishes in both the American League wild card and Central Division races.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday that the White Sox were offered a "king's ransom" for Sale and turned that team down.