White Sox morning roundup


White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

Paul Konerko returned to the White Sox lineup and went 2-3 with a walk, but it was Orlando Hudson's walk-off single that netted the White Sox a 4-3 win to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays. Alex Rios added a two-run homer in support of Jake Peavy, who walked five in six innings but only gave up three runs, two of which were earned.

Jordan Danks made his major-league debut as a pinch-runner late in the game for Konerko and was promptly doubled off first on a tough-luck liner (it wasn't his fault). John's brother was added to the 40 and 25-man rosters prior to Thursday's game as Kosuke Fukudome was placed on the disabled list.

Here's a nugget: When A.J. Pierzynski was called about being dealt away from Minnesota in November of 2003, he thought he was getting traded to the Cubs. Great stuff in this piece from Chuck Garfien.

Chris Kamka takes on anyone who still is focusing on Adam Dunn's strikeouts and batting average -- which, really, if you're thinking about Dunn's batting average, you're really missing the point -- and looks at Dunn's offensive success in general this season.

David Kaplan looked back at the White Sox draft and previewed the upcoming interleague slate:

Around the division: Detroit beat Cleveland 7-5 to keep the White Sox 1 12 games ahead of the Indians, DL'd Tigers starter Doug Fister is slowly improving, Kansas City moved quickly to sign first-round pick Kyle Zimmer and "Jeff Mansihp."

Seven-run ninth inning dooms White Sox in loss to Royals


Seven-run ninth inning dooms White Sox in loss to Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — What an implosion.

For a second consecutive game, the White Sox bullpen gave away a contest well in hand.

But Saturday’s version was far more unbelievable than Friday’s.

Trailing by six runs, the Kansas City Royals rallied to score seven times in the bottom of the ninth off David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to send the White Sox to a stunning 8-7 loss at Kauffman Stadium. Brett Eibner’s bases-loaded RBI single off Kahnle delivered another crushing blow to the White Sox, who have lost 13 of their last 17.

Cheslor Cuthbert singled to start an improbable rally and Eibner doubled to deep right when Adam Eaton lost the ball in the sun. Robertson walked Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar consecutively to force in a run. Whit Merrifield’s grounder then hit off Robertson’s glove and a potential double play turned into a two-run single and made it 7-4. Lorenzo Cain just beat out a double play ball to score another run before Eric Hosmer doubled off Robertson to get Kansas City within a run. Drew Butera, who entered in the ninth inning after Salvador Perez exited with a knee injury, doubled off Kahnle to score the tying run.

The White Sox entered the ninth inning without a care in the world. They had bounced back definitively from Friday’s stunner, when the bullpen surrendered a four-run lead over the final three innings.

An opposite-field approach against Yordano Ventura took hold with two outs in the fourth inning. Brett Lawrie, Alex Avila and Avisail Garcia all had opposite-field singles with the last one putting the White Sox ahead 1-0. Tyler Saladino fell behind in the count, but crushed a hanging 0-2 slider from Ventura out to left for a three-run homer and a four-run lead.

The White Sox offense continued to add on against Ventura. Avila doubled with one out in the fourth inning and Garcia pulverized a 2-1 changeup for a two-run shot. Garcia’s homer, his fifth, traveled 428 feet with an exit velocity of 113 mph. It gave the White Sox a 6-1 advantage.

They tacked on another run in the fifth when Austin Jackson singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by Omar Infante. Jackson went 3-for-5.

Carlos Rodon didn’t handle the run support very well at first.

He labored in the second inning as the Royals brought the tying run to the plate. But Rodon got Alcides Escobar to ground out with the bases loaded to end the threat.

Rodon gave up a leadoff double in the third inning and Friday’s hero, Eric Hosmer, singled to make it a 4-1 game. The Royals got no closer however as Rodon struck out Perez and got Paulo Orlando to line out with a man on third.

Rodon needed 68 pitches to complete three innings. He retired the side in order on 12 pitches in the fourth, which gave him enough gas to complete the fifth inning despite allowing two hits. Rodon retired Hosmer on a comebacker and got Perez to ground out, both with two runners in scoring position.

Zach Putnam took over in the sixth and recorded seven outs on 27 pitches. Zach Duke got the final two outs of the eighth and gave way to Robertson.

Salvador Perez left the game in the ninth inning after he and Cuthbert collided midway between home and third on Eaton’s foul pop up with one out in the ninth. Perez removed the shin guard on his left knee and had to be helped off the field only six days after Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon severely injured each other on a pop up in Chicago. Moustakas is out for the season with a torn ACL while Gordon is on the disabled list with a broken bone in his hand.

Report: White Sox have interest in San Diego pitcher James Shields


Report: White Sox have interest in San Diego pitcher James Shields

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The White Sox reportedly have spoken to the San Diego Padres about acquiring starting pitcher James Shields.

The San Diego Union-Tribune confirmed an internet report Saturday that the White Sox have interest in the 34-year-old right-hander. Shields is 2-6 with a 3.06 ERA in 10 starts for the Padres this season.

A member of the Kansas City Royals from 2013-14, Shields is in the second season of a four-year, $75-million deal he signed with San Diego before last season. He is owed at least $44 million over the next two seasons. The contract includes a $16 million team option for 2019 with a $2 million buyout. He’s earning $21 million this season and in 2017 and 2018. Shields can opt out of the deal at the end of the 2016 season.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has made it no secret he hopes to add to a club that won 23 of its first 33 games in hopes of contending. Though the Sox had lost 12 of their past 16, they entered Saturday with a half-game lead over the Cleveland Indians and a game over the Royals.

The team’s interest in Shields was first reported Saturday on Twitter by @barstoolWSD. 

Robin Ventura: You 'always' review tough White Sox losses


Robin Ventura: You 'always' review tough White Sox losses

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — He’s ready to move forward Saturday, but Robin Ventura spent part of Friday night replaying a tough White Sox loss, his role included.

In great position to make a strong statement at the start of a three-city road trip, the White Sox coughed up a four-run lead on Friday night and lost to the Kansas City Royals 7-5. It was another blow for a team in the midst of a long slump, their 12th loss in 16 games.

The bullpen was the real culprit as it combined with starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez to yield four runs in the bottom of the seventh and allow the Royals to go ahead for good. But Ventura’s bullpen management in the seventh inning — when he used four relievers — left him open for scrutiny, too.

Should Ventura have turned to his bullpen to start the seventh inning clean instead of bringing back Gonzalez, who allowed a one-out double? Did he consider intentionally walking the Royals’ best hitter, Eric Hosmer, with first base open and two outs? How would they have handled it had the game gone to extras with so much of the bullpen used?

“There are plenty of games when you do that, especially when it doesn’t go the way you want it to,” Ventura said. “You always do that. You talk it through. (Don Cooper) and I will talk it through. Rick (Hahn) and I will do the same thing. And when you get back here, you’re back at it getting ready to go for that day.”

The White Sox bullpen was outstanding in April. The group posted a 1.69 ERA that month and the team was 20-0 when leading after seven innings.

But this isn’t April.

The bullpen has struggled mightily since Texas and Friday was no different. White Sox relievers have a 4.05 ERA in May. With a man on second and one out, Dan Jennings immediately fell behind Jarrod Dyson and walked him, bringing the tying run to the plate. Matt Albers took over and Alcides Escobar reached on an infield single to load the bases. Whit Merrifield found a hole against Albers for a two-run single to make it a one-run game. Albers struck out Lorenzo Cain but not before a wild pitch moved Escobar and Merrifield into scoring position.

“You can’t go to Nate every single time in the seventh inning and have him throw the seventh and eighth, or (David Robertson) in the middle of the eighth and ninth,” Ventura said. “We have to get some guys that can get outs and those are the guys you use in that situation.”

At that point, Ventura opted for Duke to face Hosmer with Nate Jones warming in the bullpen.

The numbers favored his choice -- Hosmer had a .580 OPS against lefties while on-deck hitter Salvador Perez had an .862 OPS against righties. But, Hosmer was in the midst of a good game at the plate with an RBI groundout in the first and an opposite-field homer off Gonzalez in the sixth.

“You consider it,” Ventura said. “I mean you load it up, you don’t give (Jones) much to work with there. (Duke) has had some good numbers against Hosmer.”

Duke got ahead of Hosmer with a first-pitch fastball inside for a strike. Though Duke’s next offering, a slider, was outside, Hosmer got enough of it to flip the ball into left field for a two-run, go-ahead single. Kansas City’s bullpen took over from there and the White Sox suffered a cruel defeat.

“When it doesn’t work you’re bringing a guy in and immediately it might not work,” Ventura said. “But it is a long year and you’ve seen what they can do and you want to get back to that. We also went through a stretch where we were using them a lot. Then they get a little rest, and you look at a game like last night where it doesn’t work and doesn’t fit and it always looks different. You can second guess anything at that point.”