Danks pitches four innings in Triple-A rehab start

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Danks pitches four innings in Triple-A rehab start

John Danks threw 61 pitches in four innings of work Tuesday in a minor league rehab start in Columbus, allowing four hits and three runs with one strikeout and one walk.

Last week, manager Robin Ventura thought Danks may need more than one rehab start to get back up to full strength before returning to the majors. Danks previously threw a two-inning session simulating game action on June 6 and threw a side session June 9, both of which took place in Chicago.

Danks made two rehab starts last season in July, throwing three innings in his first outing and six in his second. Given that he only threw four innings on Tuesday, it seems likely he'll need one more start in the minors before he returns to the White Sox.

In his four innings Tuesday, Danks allowed four hits, three runs (one earned) with a walk and a strikeout apiece.

If Danks does need another rehab start, he would pitch either Sunday or Monday in Charlotte. That would put him on track to return to the majors against Milwaukee the weekend of June 23.

Another rehab start for Danks could afford Philip Humber another opportunity to keep his spot in the rotation. Ventura said after Humber's start Sunday the righty would get at least one more start -- Saturday against Los Angeles -- before the Sox evaluate his immediate future, either as a starter or reliever. If Danks makes that second start in the minors, Humber would likely pitch June 22 against Milwaukee, although an off day could allow the Sox to skip his turn -- or that of Jose Quintana -- in the rotation.

Two days out, White Sox already excited about facing former teammate Chris Sale

Two days out, White Sox already excited about facing former teammate Chris Sale

There are still two days remaining until the White Sox take the field against their old teammate, but the questions are already coming about what it will be like to face Chris Sale on Tuesday night.

The Boston Red Sox come to the South Side for a three-game series starting Monday afternoon, but the highlight of the set will be Tuesday night's matchup: Sale against his old team, which will counter with another All-Star arm in Jose Quintana.

The White Sox jumpstarted their rebuilding effort this offseason when they traded Sale to Boston, getting a hefty haul back in return led by top prospect Yoan Moncada.

Sale was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball during his tenure in a White Sox uniform and has continued that trend in Boston, where he's posted a 2.34 ERA in 10 starts this season, punching out a league-leading 101 batters in a league-leading 73 innings of work.

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Tuesday night he'll go up against his ex-mates for the first time, something those players are pretty excited about.

"I have so much respect. He was one of the best teammates that I had here in my first three years," first baseman Jose Abreu said Sunday. "That will be fun. He’s a very good pitcher, and we’ll see what happens that day."

"Facing Saler is going to be awesome, big time," Quintana said. "A big moment of the season. He was my teammate. It's a different feeling, but it's good to face the best left-hander in the league. I'm excited and I think he's excited, too. But my focus right now is to do my job. Do my work and do my thing and put us in a good position to win. That's all I can do."

There'll be much more reaction to come from both the White Sox and the Red Sox ahead of the matchup on Monday and Tuesday. But already this big-time showdown against Sale — who made five consecutive All-Star appearances in his seven years on the South Side — is demanding everyone's attention.

White Sox settle on starting pitcher for series-opening game with Red Sox on Monday

White Sox settle on starting pitcher for series-opening game with Red Sox on Monday

All eyes are looking ahead to Tuesday night, when the White Sox will welcome Chris Sale back to the South Side, countering with another All-Star hurler in Jose Quintana.

But the pitching matchup has also been set for the series-opening game against the visiting Boston Red Sox on Monday afternoon.

David Holmberg will get the ball for the White Sox on Memorial Day. For Boston, it will be David Price's first start of the season.

It will be Holmberg's first start since joining the White Sox. He's made eight relief appearances this season and posted a 0.87 ERA in his 10.1 innings of work.

Holmberg made 12 starts over three major league seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds, turning in a 3-6 record with a 6.99 ERA in 55.1 innings as a starter in 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons.

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A second-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2009, Holmberg was dealt a year after he was drafted in the trade that brought Edwin Jackson to the South Side. He signed with the White Sox in March of last year and made 32 starts between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, going 10-9 with a 3.72 ERA.

Monday will mark Holmberg's second start of the year at any level. He made one start and five relief appearances at Charlotte earlier this season.

Holmberg allowed one run in his first big league outing of the season back on May 4 against the Kansas City Royals. Since he's allowed just one hit and walked two in 9.2 shutout innings.

Manager Rick Renteria said Sunday that he's hoping to get five innings out of Holmberg, which could mean a busy day for the bullpen, too.

"It could be, but he’s actually done well," Renteria said of Holmberg. "Since he’s been with us, I think we’ve had him get up three times already. We’re hoping that we can take him out to a five-inning stint, depending on how many pitches he throws and things like that nature. He was starting obviously in the minor leagues, so he had been stretched out. We’ll see how it goes. Everybody’s going to have to be available, but I’m hopeful that he’s going to give us a good outing."