Beckham, Quentin lead Sox assault of A's

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Beckham, Quentin lead Sox assault of A's

Friday, March 18, 2011
Posted: 8:44 p.m. Updated: 10:06 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. A new Bad Bobby strode to the mound on Friday night, but he wasnt pitching for the Chicago White Sox, but against them.

This Bobby was the Oakland As Bobby Cramer, and the Chisox creamed him for eight runs in three innings, punctuated by titanic blows to left field by Gordon Beckham (three runs), Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin (both solo bombs).

Yesterday, we had four hits, and people were screaming about the offense, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. Today, theyll be yelling about saving some for the regular season.

And the White Sox didnt stop with nine taps and eight runs off Cramer; the hit parade continued against Yadel Marti, who extinguished just two of the Chicago Nine while surrendering six runs on six hits in the fourth.

Next in front of the firing squad was Josh Outman, who was rocking an old-school gold-and-green sockstirrup ensemble that made him look like he was pulled off a nearby softball field with the As trailing 13-1. Outman hurled more like Craig Minetto than Rollie Fingers, at least to begin with, getting knocked for five quick hits and two runs.

Every White Sox starter had at least one hit, led by a 4-4 night (with nine total bases) from Quentin, who entered action batting .167. Beckham continued his smash-and-grab on the Cactus League with three hits, three RBI and four runs. Alexei Ramirez was 3-4 with two RBI. Tyler Flowers clubbed a two-run shot, the longest of the night, continuing his torrid spring, and in all these new Hit Men tapped out 21 hits in the game, allowing just four.

I hope this helped, not just because we won, but because well get the confidence back for a few guys, Guillen said, citing Quentin, Beckham, and Brent Morel (2-5) in particular. I dont know why, its just spring training, but they put a lot of pressure on themselves to get five or six hits. Theyre still kids. Sometimes you have to do what you can to make sure those guys are still having fun.

The offensive outburst almost overshadowed a sterling performance from John Danks, who might just yet snatch an Opening Day start away from Mark Buehrle. Danks spun six innings of four-hit, one-run ball and looked ready for the season to begin.

I feel like Im on the way, Danks said. Toward the end of the outing, I started to get a little gassed. By the time I get to the regular season Ill be ready to go. No doubt, this was the biggest step toward being ready, results-wise at least. I threw all four pitches for strikes and fastballs both sides of the plate. It was fun.

Guillen was also pleasednot that he was terribly worried about his star lefthander.

Johns been pitching very well, he didnt walk that many guys none, in fact, he said. One thing about spring training, when you take a comfortable lead, you start playing around and then you give up runs. He did what he was supposed to do, so Im very happy. His changeup was outstanding today.

Danks acknowledge some of the same things, with a broad smile.

During the regular season its a lot different pitching with a 15-run lead than spring training, he said. There were a couple of times where you almost wanted to get right back out there, but the guys just kept on scoring. Its good for them. We need them to get on just as big a roll as us pitchers, so its always a joy to see them go out there and have a night like tonight. Hopefully the way weve been throwing out there carries over into the regular season, and the offense carries over.
Peavy, if he doesnt puke

Jake Peavy is still in line to make his start at the Oakland As on Saturday. Guillen said he talked to the hurler and was talked into letting him pitch.

We will monitor him very closely, Guillen said.

If there is any question of Peavy being too weak to throw, Guillen will pull him from the start. Whats Plan B?

Plan B is whoever is wearing a White Sox uniform, the manager said with a smile.

On the same page?

Guillen didnt have any news on roster cuts or lineup decisions despite insinuating that he would after yesterdays games. But he did offer a glimpse into just how difficult the early discussions have been for the last two roster spots.

Not really, Guillen replied when asked whether the White Sox brain trust was on the same page regarding the roster, while allowing that we have a little idea of what were going to do.

Tomorrow will undoubtedly bring a few more cuts, and possibly the formal announcement of Morel as the starting third baseman. But as for final cuts, those are going down to spring trainings final day.

Guillen, in fact, hasnt decided whether the team will keep 11 or 12 pitchers. That decision is likely to come next week, the manager said.

When Phil Humbers name was mentioned as someone possibly mucking up the plan to break camp with just 11 pitchers, Guillen raised his eyebrow to acknowledge yes. Humber threw three scoreless innings, earning a rare save in a 17-run win.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

Late runs push White Sox past Tigers as winning streak hits five

Late runs push White Sox past Tigers as winning streak hits five

DETROIT — Geovany Soto broke open a tie game with a two-run single in the eighth inning, helping the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Friday night at Comerica Park.

Anthony Swarzak pitched two scoreless innings for the White Sox, who won their fifth straight.

Tigers reliever Alex Wilson allowed two hits and two unearned runs in the eighth. Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos committed two errors in the inning, and three in the game, leading to Soto's go-ahead hit.

Former Tigers pitcher Mike Pelfrey started for the White Sox and went 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out two.

Detroit got to Pelfrey early, jumping out to a 2-0 first-inning lead on Justin Upton's bases loaded, two-run single. The Tigers loaded the bases again that inning, but Jim Adduci grounded into a double play to end the threat.

The White Sox answered in the top of the second, getting back-to-back home runs from Todd Frazier and Avisail Garcia off Detroit starter Matt Boyd to tie the score at 2.

The White Sox took a 3-2 advantage in the third on Garcia's RBI single, and the Tigers tied it on Victor Martinez's RBI single in the fifth.

Melky Cabrera began the top of the eighth with a single, and Frazier reached base on Castellanos' first error of the inning. Garcia followed with a hard hit ball to third, which Castellanos could not handle, loading the bases.

After Wilson induced a double play, with the runner being forced out at home, Yolmer Sanchez received an intention walk to reload the bases. Soto then delivered the big hit.

Tim Anderson added a two-run homer in the ninth to extend the lead to 7-3.

Boyd pitched seven innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. He stuck out five and walked two.

White Sox prospect Luis Basabe adjusts to new organization, playing without his twin

White Sox prospect Luis Basabe adjusts to new organization, playing without his twin

Luis Alexander Basabe’s roommate received a phone call on the road on July 9 in which he learned he had been traded by the Boston Red Sox. What would be a strange experience for most teammates was even more difficult for Basabe and his.

The player traded was his identical twin brother, Luis Alejandro Basabe.

“I was like, ‘Man, I don’t believe that,’ ” Luis Alexander Basabe said.

Nearly five months later, Luis Alexander received a similar call from the Red Sox to inform him he was included in a four-player package headed to the White Sox in exchange for five-time All-Star Chris Sale. Having already experienced the trade of a brother he describes as younger (by five minutes), shorter and weaker, Basabe wasn’t rattled.

While he later found that acclimating to a new organization was "weird" at first, Basabe said he already feels at home with the White Sox. The center fielder currently has a 10-game hitting streak and is slashing .260/.351/.400 with four stolen bases in 58 plate appearances for Single-A Winston-Salem.

“So far everything has been very good,” Basabe said. “When (my trade) first happened it didn’t feel weird or anything because it was in the offseason.

“I felt a little more comfortable because I had been through it with my brother. But I know it’s a business and no matter where I go I’ve got to do my job and play the way I do.

“ ‘Yeah, that’s all right. I don’t care because I’m here with a chance.’ ”

Plentiful opportunity is potentially there with the White Sox.

The No. 8-ranked prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, Basabe, 20, has all the tools needed to be a top-notch defensive outfielder. His speed and arm are both graded at 60 on the 20-80 scout scale and his fielding rates at 55. Basabe’s manager thinks he has everything necessary to play a critical spot.

“He’s a true center fielder to me,” Winston-Salem manager Willie Harris said. “Speed, arm. It’s still a little early to tell if he’s going to hit. Who knows? But from the defensive side of the game, he knows what’s going on. He’s going to learn as he goes on and he’s going to be very, very good.”

Everything may come down to whether or not the switch-hitting Basabe performs at the plate. His hit tool grades at 45, according to MLB Pipeline, which is more in line with the bat of a fourth outfielder.

But so far the White Sox are optimistic Basabe can make the proper adjustment.

“He’s got a sweet swing,” White Sox hitting coordinator Mike Gellinger said. “He’s got a timing thing to handle. But he’ll get it and it should be very helpful.”

The biggest help will be repetitions. Basabe spent almost the entire 2016 season at Single-A Greenville in the South Atlantic League. Only at the end of the season was he promoted to Advanced-A Salem in the Carolina League, the same league he’s in now.

“He’s got a little bit of everything,” player development director Chris Getz said. “He can run, he has the ability to hit and he’s aggressive on the bases.

“He’s still only 20 and he’s had some success. But we feel the more at-bats he gets he’s going to be successful.”

Despite that young age, Basabe, whom his parents call “Chande”, and his twin, “Jandro”, have already learned about the harsh realities of baseball. They had just arrived at the ballpark to play the Lexington Legends that night when Greenville manager Darren Fenster summoned Luis Alejandro to his office with the news of his trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would be assigned to Single-A Kane County.

“It was at 2 p.m. and the manager called my brother outside to come talk to him,” Luis Alexander said. “And then he told me ‘They traded me.’ ‘Really?’

“But then, (you learn) it really was a business and he got more chance over there.”