AJ's big day keys White Sox sweep

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AJ's big day keys White Sox sweep

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 10-6 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

Pierzynski connected off reliever Rafael Perez in Chicago's five-run, sixth inning that included a two-run shot by Alejandro De Aza off Dan Wheeler. De Aza opened the game with a single and scored during Chicago's four-run first against Justin Masterson (0-1).

Travis Hafner had a long solo homer and three RBIs and Shelley Duncan had a two-run homer for Cleveland. The Indians went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and finished their first homestand 1-4.

John Danks (1-1) gave up four runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings for the White Sox, who head to Chicago for their home opener on Friday against the Detroit Tigers.

James Shields ready to start rehab assignment for White Sox

James Shields ready to start rehab assignment for White Sox

James Shields' first trip to the minor leagues in 11 years won't be totally unfamiliar.

The White Sox pitcher hopes to head out on a rehab assignment after he threw three innings in the bullpen on Monday afternoon. It would be Shields' first foray in the minors since 2006.

From the description, it sounds as if Shields, who has been on the 10-day disabled list since April 21, would head to Triple-A Charlotte for his assignment. Charlotte faces Tampa Bay affiliate the Durham Bulls starting next Monday.

"It's pretty funny because if I go out on Saturday we're going to be facing my old team, Durham," Shields said. "I'm not going to be facing them, but yeah it's always good to see where you came from. I spent six years and a couple months in the minor leagues, so I did the whole minor league grind. So I know how hard those guys work down there."

Shields threw for the third time in five days under the watchful eye of pitching coach Don Cooper. The right-hander continues to feel good in his recovery and said his arm strength has returned faster than he hoped. Ideally, Shields would like to return after one or two rehab starts. He said he'd like to be built up for 5-6 innings before he gets back to the White Sox.

"I worked really hard trying to get back, trying to get my body in shape and get ready for that," Shields said. "I think we're ready to go on a rehab assignment."

Reliever Nate Jones could also be nearing a rehab assignment after he threw his fifth bullpen session on Monday. On the DL with right elbow neuritis, Jones mixed in sliders during his 25-pitch session.

"We are just getting the feel of (sliders) and seeing how they react," Jones said. "We are taking steps in the right direction and if I wasn't feeling good, I would probably not be throwing bullpens and stuff."
 

White Sox Road Ahead: Facing Chris Sale and the Red Sox

White Sox Road Ahead: Facing Chris Sale and the Red Sox

It'll be tough for Chris Sale to be humble when he makes his return to Chicago and faces his old teammates on Tuesday, but he'll do his best.

The former White Sox ace will face off against his old team as a member of the Red Sox (coverage begins at 6:30 on CSN with White Sox Pregame Live) and Dan Hayes and Siera Santos discussed what the atmosphere will be like on this week's Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers. Sale has dominated in his first season in Boston, going 5-2 with a 2.34 ERA.

Sale met with the Chicago media on Monday morning, and Hayes said the biggest takeaway from that presser was just how much Sale appreciated his time in Chicago.

"I think the fact that he realizes how important this was, how much he grew up with the White Sox," Hayes said in the video above. "He talked about that at length. Obviously last year was a little bit of a rouigh year, there were quite a few incidents, he said there were some blips on the radar, but mostly (he) had good times here than (he) had bad times and he said it's what has made him who he is. and he realizes that he apprecaites what he was able to accomplish here. misses the fans buit he's also moved on and he's doing well with the white sox."

See what else Siera and Dan had to say in the video above.