Danks' first career HR walks off White Sox vs. A's

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Danks' first career HR walks off White Sox vs. A's

Jordan Danks wasnt deceived one bit by Pat Nesheks funky delivery on Friday night.

The White Sox outfielder had not only faced Oaklands side-winding reliever several times at Triple-A the past two seasons, but he also got a well-timed refresher course from a televised game earlier in the week.

As Danks walked by a clubhouse TV, he recalled noticing Neshek on the mound and several of their showdowns came back to him in an instant.

Those previous encounters paid big dividends for Danks on Friday night when the rookie hit the first home run of his career with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Athletics in front of 25,041 at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox hit four solo homers and got three scoreless innings from the bullpen to preserve a one-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.

I remembered whenever I was on deck trying to get the timing down, getting my foot down at a certain point because it is just an awkward delivery, Danks said.

Danks got his front foot down on the first pitch he saw from Neshek with two outs in the ninth inning and blasted away. The 417-foot home run was such a no-doubter that As right fielder Josh Reddick didnt move before he left the field.

The drive capped a night in which the White Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit.

It was his first home run and it couldnt have come at a better time for a better guy, said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who scored the White Sox first run with a solo homer in the second inning, his 22nd. It was a good win, obviously coming back. We fell down early and found a way to battle back.

Ditto for Gavin Floyd.

The right-hander allowed 11 runners to reach base in six-plus innings. Three of those runners scored in the first two innings, including a pair on Brandon Moss 412-foot homer to right to give Oakland a 3-0 lead.

But Floyd settled down and began to strand runners.

He left the bases loaded in the third inning when he struck out Brandon Inge, Floyds third strikeout of the inning. Floyd also stranded a runner in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, including Cliff Pennington in the sixth after he tripled with two outs.

Despite the early trouble, Floyd limited Oakland to three runs and seven hits.

He got to be more aggressive in the zone and was just sharper, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Some guys are just like that. I think he'll bust through it. He's got the stuff. He shows it in the middle of the games.

The White Sox showed theyre capable of production even without first baseman Paul Konerko, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list Friday with a concussion.

Ex-Sox pitcher Brandon McCarthy didnt afford the White Sox many opportunities.

But they rallied behind solo homers from Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo.

Viciedo was mired in a 5-for-43 slump prior to his seventh-inning homer, his first since July 25.

Luckily we hit four home runs, Pierzynski said. Other than that we didnt do a whole lot offensively.

The White Sox only managed to get one other runner -- Alejandro De Aza who doubled in the third inning -- into scoring position against McCarthy.

McCarthy allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings.

You'd like to see a little more driving in a guy from second base and stuff like that, Ventura said. It's a nice win. You take it, but you want to see the offense do a little more.

Like Danks, who said he envisioned himself hitting a game-winning homer while he stood in the batters box. The rookie said it was the first game-winner of his entire career, dating back to Little League.

Its something that everybody dreams about their whole life, Danks said. Right before that I saw myself doing it and it was just one of those things. It was just awesome.

Jose Abreu ready for 2017 after season full of 'different challenges'

Jose Abreu ready for 2017 after season full of 'different challenges'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — A torrid two months at the plate helped Jose Abreu end what he found to be an extremely trying 2016 season with numbers close to his career norms.

But even though he finished with an .820 OPS and 100 RBIs for a third straight season, Abreu admits that 2016 was a season unlike any other he'd faced.

While he didn't disclose any theories for the cause of his lengthy struggles, the White Sox first baseman said Sunday he's pleased to have finished on a positive note and thinks that rebounding from those difficulties will only make him stronger. Abreu — who hit .293/.353/.468 with 25 home runs and 100 RBIs in 695 plate appearances — is also a fan of new White Sox manager Rick Renteria and is equally impressed with the prospects the club acquired this winter.

"Yes, those were different challenges, especially in my mind," Abreu said through an interpreter. "I never in my life experienced some of the kind of struggles like I did last year. But that put me in a better position as a player, as a person too. I'm in a better position now for this season because I learned from the experience."

In spite of his struggles, Abreu was still a league average player through the first four months of the season. But the 2014 All-Star hardly resembled the player who produced a 153 OPS-plus over his first two seasons. His timing was off and Abreu — hitting .269/.325/.413 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs through July 30 — wasn't driving the ball as he typically had in his first two seasons, when he smacked 66 homers.

Abreu was lost at the plate and nobody could figure out why.

But after the arrival of his son, Dariel, who visited him for the first time since he moved to the United States, Abreu took off. He hit .338/.402/.568 the rest of the season with 14 homers and 44 RBIs in 249 trips to the plate.

"Right after last season ended, I had my meeting at my house with my family, just to explain to them how the season was because they know about baseball," Abreu said. "But sometimes they can't register how the process is in a season as long as the major league season is. We talked about it. I explained to them all of the challenges, the problems I had during that season. Once we ended with that meeting, last season was in the past. We moved on and we were trying just to figure out things and how can I do better for this season."

Now in his fourth season in the majors, Abreu has a firm grasp on how the White Sox operate and likes some of the team's modifications. He likes how Renteria thoroughly communicates what he has in mind for the club. Abreu also enjoys being seen as one of the team's leaders and wouldn't mind being a mentor to prized prospect Yoan Moncada.

Now he hopes to carry over his strong finish to the start of the 2017 campaign.

"I'm working on it," Abreu said. "That's one of my goals. Everybody knows that at the beginning of last season, I wasn't performing good. It was kind of a surprise for me, too. But I'm in good shape right now and I believe I will be able to succeed."

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The leading candidate to be the team’s starting center fielder, Charlie Tilson has been temporarily shut down after suffering a stress reaction in his right foot.

The White Sox rookie said Sunday that he noticed the injury gradually building up before he decided to stop his workout on Friday and headed for the training room. An MRI performed Saturday on Tilson -- who is rehabbing from a torn left hamstring that ended his 2016 season early -- revealed the reaction, which isn’t severe as a stress fracture. Given Tilson previously had a stress fracture in his right foot, the White Sox said he'll be sidelined from impact work for 10 days, at which point he’d be re-evaluated.

“It started very minimal, and I tried to work through it a little bit, and by the time I addressed Herm, thankfully I caught it before it was anything that would keep me out for too long,” Tilson said. “It’s a minor thing, and it will give my other leg a chance to get stronger in the meantime, and hopefully we’ll turn this negative into a positive.”

Tilson wouldn’t be surprised if his injury is related to overcompensating for his left leg, which he has worked tirelessly to rehab since he suffered the injury on Aug. 2 and then had season-ending surgery. Manager Rick Renteria described it as an “irritation” in the area where Tilson suffered a stress fracture in 2013. In the interim, the White Sox will test some of their other options in camp, including veteran Peter Bourjos and minor leaguers Adam Engel and Jacob May, among others.

“But we don’t foresee it to be a long-term issue,” Renteria said. “By being able to shut him down now, it’ll be something he’ll be able to recover from. We’ll just readjust his timetable.”

Minor as Tilson and the White Sox say it is, the outfielder admitted he’s down about having to deal with it after the progress he’d made in his rehab.

The White Sox acquired the New Trier High School product from the St. Louis Cardinals last July in exchange for left-hander Zach Duke. Tilson was immediately called up as the White Sox intended to try him out in center field the rest of the season. But he suffered a season-ending injury in his major league debut while tracking down a fly ball and had surgery several days later.

Tilson made enough progress to be a full participant in a hitter’s camp at Camelback Ranch last month. Earlier this week, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Tilson was a top candidate to take over as the club’s starting center fielder if he was healthy.

“I guess you could say I’m disappointed,” Tilson said. “But it’s a very minor setback and it’s part of the process. I had a major repair, and these things come up and hopefully we can minimize them as much as we can and hopefully this is the last one. But I’m just going to deal with it and do whatever I can to move forward.”