White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From the weekend:

The White Sox dropped two of three to Houston, losing their second consecutive series while clinging to a half-game lead over Cleveland for first place in the AL Central. Your weekend arc: Gavin Floyd struggled but showed improvement in Friday's 8-3 loss, Chris Sale dominated and Adam Dunn hit a grand slam in Saturday's 10-1 win and Philip Humber's ERA rose to near 6.00 after a rough outing in an 11-9 loss Sunday.

The weekend started off on a high note, though:

Another neat moment from the weekend: Jordan Danks collected his first career hit on Friday and went 2-5 on Saturday with a stolen base. That debut has been a long time coming for Danks, who spoke about it before Saturday's game.

A few injury updates: John Danks is on track to make at least one rehab start while Brent Morel could need surgery (so good thing Robin Ventura likes Orlando Hudson at third base).

Danks' return could spark an interesting change in the starting rotation. If Humber continues to struggle to find consistency, Ventura intimated a move to the bullpen could happen:

Which would mean Jose Quintana -- the lefty has impressed Don Cooper, who delighted in to-date failed preseason predictions -- could take over in the rotation for as long as he could hold down a spot. More on that today.

Speaking of today, a one-on-one sitdown with Jake Peavy will air on Comcast SportsNet on SportsNet Central tonight. Peavy candidly spoke about his future in the interview, which Ryan McGuffey teased on Saturday.

The latest chapter in the history of White Sox-Astros didn't go as well as things did in 2006 for the White Sox -- a three-game series which I maintain was among the most fun that have taken place in the last decade.

Let's get back to Sale, though, because his dominance kinda got buried here in the midst of the malaise of Floyd and Humber. Here's what he had to say after Saturday's start:

A few farm updates: The White Sox are expected to sign sandwich-round pick Keon Barnum and David Kaplan updated the latest happenings across the Sox minor league system.

Around the division: Cleveland took two of three from St. Louis, Detroit did the same against Cincinnati, Kansas City was swept by first-place Pittsburgh and Minnesota won their series with the Cubs.

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox look to win sixth straight game on CSN

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox look to win sixth straight game on CSN

The White Sox take on the Kansas City Royals on Monday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (13-11, 3.21 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (8-19, 4.02 ERA)

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Todd Frazier, Miguel Gonzalez propel White Sox past Rays

Todd Frazier, Miguel Gonzalez propel White Sox past Rays

Todd Frazier reached the 40-home run plateau on Wednesday night and now his eyes are trained on 100 RBIs.

Frazier’s seventh-inning solo home run not only extended his hitting streak to 12 games, it provided the game’s only offense in a 1-0 White Sox victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in front of 12,976 at U.S. Cellular Field. Frazier became only the seventh player in franchise history to hit 40 homers in a season with his 394-foot drive off Rays pitcher Eddie Gamboa. The blast offered Miguel Gonzalez and David Robertson just enough support as they combined on a three-hit shutout. Robertson recorded his 37th save in 44 tries.

“It’s a big deal any time a guy rounds off that number,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s always a big deal for you. He’s been wanting to get there for a while. I don’t know if you guys know, but he’s been talking about it for a while. I know I’ve heard it a lot. He’s been aiming for that. He wants to get 40 and 100 and especially if it counts like it did tonight and gets a guy a win.”

Frazier entered the game hitting .305/.374/.568 with six homers and 14 RBIs in September, easily his best month of the season. His homer came on a cold, windy night in which offense was at a premium.

The game was delayed for 21 minutes by rain, which continued through the first inning. The rains came again in the bottom of the third inning and delayed the contest for another 76 minutes.

Tampa’s third pitcher of the night, Gamboa’s 76-mph knuckleball caught too much of the plate and Frazier planted it about eight rows beyond the left-field bullpen with two outs in the seventh.

“Not many people have hit 40 home runs in a year so it’s a good feat to have,” Frazier said.

“It’s a great feat to have. I had a bunch of people text me ‘It’s coming. Today is the day.’ It wasn’t that much pressure. It was just a matter of knowing that it’s there and I’m glad to get it over with and now it’s on to another goal of mine.”

Frazier has never driven in 100 runs in a season. His 98 RBIs this season are nine more than his previous career high of 89 that he set in 2015.

Gonzalez hadn’t pitched into the ninth inning since he threw a four-hit shutout on Sept. 3, 2014. To get there he had to stay loose and sharp throughout the second delay of the night. Gonzalez threw twice during the delay, a total of 25 pitches in the indoor cage, and stretched to stay loose.

But being his final start, Gonzalez wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. He returned after the delay and was remarkable. He had stretches where he retired eight in a row in the middle and nine straight into the ninth before he yielded a one-out single to Logan Forsythe.

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He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out five. Gonzalez threw strikes on 71 of 102 pitches.

Robertson took over and needed only one pitch to record the save as Kevin Kiermaier grounded into a game-ending double play.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been out there for the ninth inning,” Gonzalez said. “It took me two years to get there, but they were swinging early. I made some good pitches early on. Got some quick outs, that’s what you got me to the ninth inning.

“Staying loose was really the most important thing for it.

“I was mentally prepared. Obviously you can’t get away with it. It was my last start. I was going out no matter what and didn’t give in and the results were there.”