Axelrod recreates college game success

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Axelrod recreates college game success

KANSAS CITY -- Dylan Axelrod found himself in a familiar place when he entered Friday nightSaturday mornings marathon White Sox game.A little more than five years ago, Axelrod, then a pitcher at UC Irvine, was the only pitcher available for the Anteaters, who played Cal State-Fullerton.Just like the June 18, 2007 contest, Axelrod emerged victorious early Saturday after he delivered two scoreless innings in a 9-8 White Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals. Alexrod pitched 4 13 scoreless innings for Irvine in 2007,who prevailed in 5 hours, 40 minutes. The White Sox beat the Royals in a tidy 5:23.It was the same situation, Axelrod said. I pitched four innings and finished the game and I was like the last guy with no one else left.Axelrod threw 31 pitches in the White Sox second-half opener, which leaves his status for Tuesday in Boston up in the air. White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Saturday hes not certain whether the team will start Axelrod of flip-flop him with Philip Humber, who is set to come off the disabled list and start on Wednesday.Its subject to change, but its pretty much the same right now, Ventura said. Especially with Axe going last night, seeing how hes feeling. (Swapping the pitchers is)possible right now. Again, were just going by how theyre feeling and setting them up.Axelrod said he had a strange feel in the seventh inning of Fridays game that he might be needed. After Hector Santiago recorded the final out of the 11th inning, Axelrod received approval from pitching coach Don Cooper to prepare, just in case.We had used quite a few guys already, Axelrod said. Just like weird thoughts started entering my mind, like it might happen. And then once Hector went in, I asked Coop, Should I go down there? You think you guys are going to need me? There were several times Ventura was certain the White Sox wouldnt be around long enough to need Axelrod. The White Sox had the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth inning but only forged a tie against Royals closer Jonathan Broxton.And White Sox relievers got out of several tricky situations, including Santiago retiring Mike Moustakas on a slow grounder in the 11 th inning with the bases loaded.I know we found ourselves defensively in situations where we didnt like the situation we were in, and somehow we got out of it, Ventura said. Thats part of the game I think is fun. Even though it doesnt look good. You can get out of it. Theres no clock for them to run it out.

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

The White Sox will battle the Oakland Athletics today, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 3:05 p.m.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon vs. Kendall Graveman

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White Sox ace Jose Quintana puts on a show in victory over Reds

White Sox ace Jose Quintana puts on a show in victory over Reds

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Those pesky, persistent trade rumors continue to be no match for White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana. 

The 2016 All-Star was outstanding on Thursday afternoon as he made his first Cactus League appearance in nearly a month. Still waiting on word if he'll be the team's Opening Day starter, Quintana pitched seven scoreless innings against a thin Cincinnati Reds lineup in a 4-2 White Sox victory at Camelback Ranch. 

Pitching in front of more than a dozen scouts, Quintana limited Cincinnati to two hits in a 79-pitch outing and struck out three.

"I just try to turn the page quick and keep going," Quintana said. "Never watch behind me and try to go ahead every time I can. I want to put my team in a good position to win games. It's good when you win games in spring training. It brings good energy for the season."

Quintana on Thursday followed the same format he did for Colombia against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on March 10 as he retired the first 17 Reds hitters he faced. Even after he surrendered a hit, Quintana got back to work. Featuring a fastball that sat between 91-93 mph early, Quintana had Cincinnati hitters off-balance all day. After he exited the game, Quintana sprinted to the right-field bullpen to throw 15 more pitches as he continues to build arm strength.

The outing is more of the same consistency the White Sox have come to expect from their trusted lefty. It's also why they refuse to remove the high sticker price attached to Quintana, who has competed at least 200 innings the past four seasons with a 3.32 overall ERA in that span.

As Opening Day approaches, the White Sox continue to listen to offers for Quintana but have refused to budge on their price. Manager Rick Renteria said on Wednesday he needed a few more days before naming his starter for the April 3 opener, which suggests the team would still trade Quintana at this late date. But unless one of the team's suitors finally antes up, it's hard to believe that anyone other than Quintana would take the mound against the Detroit Tigers when the 2017 season kicks off at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Quintana is on target to pitch again Tuesday, though perhaps in a minor league game as the White Sox face Kansas City that day. His next turn would come on April 2, which would easily afford the team the chance to push him back one day. 

Giving Quintana the nod in the opener would be the latest honor bestowed upon him. Earlier this month, Quintana dominated the eventual WBC champion as he didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. That performance came after an outstanding campaign in which Quintana finally appeared in an All-Star Game.

All of the above has Quintana feeling pretty good about his abilities. 

"I have confidence in me, and every time I go out there I just try to have fun and enjoy that time," Quintana said. "I spend good time with my teammates. Every time I go to the mound, I feel pretty good."

Nicky Delmonico homered and singled in a run in the victory for the White Sox. He drove in three runs and hit his third homer of the spring. Leury Garcia also had two hits and made a pair of nice defensive plays at second base.