Dunn, Quentin lead slugfest on Opening Day

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Dunn, Quentin lead slugfest on Opening Day

Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted 5:21 p.m. Updated 6:19 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

CLEVELAND After a Cactus League campaign where their offense performed impressively in a sort of cute-gal-overdoing-makeup way, the Chicago White Sox attack snarled and bit occasional nemesis Fausto Carmona in Fridays April Fools' opener, bouncing him after just three innings of an eventual 15-10 win.

The Game in a Nutshell

Carmona was bombarded with hits from Juan Pierre (single) and Gordon Beckham (double) to start the game. Both scored, but it took six more outs for the White Sox to destroy the righthander, with towering two-run blasts from Adam Dunn and Carlos Quentin, pushing the lead to 6-0 through three.

And thats when the real damage set in, as the lead was pushed to 10 on successive two-run doubles from Dunn and Quentin. Carmona was bounced, but reliever Justin Germano fared no better, surrendering four more runs before the White Soxs fatigue from heavy-torque swinging began to set in.

One problem: the White Sox pitching staff misinterpreted the concept of All-In, figuring it meant every arm pitches into every win, because around the same time, the Wahoos began mounting a comeback.

First Cleveland dinged Mark Buehrle for four runs (yoking the veteran with a rare, poor Opening Day start after he cruised through his first 5 13 innings), then crushed free-agent acquisition Will Ohman for more earned runs (three) to outs (two). Tony Pena, Chris Sale, and Jesse Crain all had to come on to save what was once a 14-run lead.

White Hot

The White Sox offense, which compiled strong numbers in Arizona but nonetheless suffered from extreme periods of drought, clicked to nearly a historic degree for Chicago. The club lists a 17-run outburst on April 17, 1951 as its biggest Opening Day win. Fridays was undoubtedly more efficient than the offense of 60 years ago, pushing across 15 runs on 18 hits.

Finest Foe

Indians fans have a permanent state of Shin-Soo Choo fever, but catcher Carlos Santana is the real deal as well. He turned in a 3-4, homer, three-RBI day. His catchers ERA did take a bit of a hit as the dial hit 15 runs, all earned.

Magic Numbers:

3: Buehrle is now 3-0 with a 4.55 ERA in his career opening vs. Cleveland.

5: Quentins 5 RBI are the most by a White Sox player in an opener since Sammy Sosa had a two-homer, five-RBI opener at the Baltimore Orioles in 1991.

7: Brent Morel had a 2-for-5 day and stretched his hitting streak to seven games (dating to 2010).

11: With seventh- and ninth-inning Ks, Brent Lillibridge stretched his strikeout streak to 11 in his last 12 at-bats, dating back to 2010.

58: The White Sox are now 58-53 all-time in openers (14-15 vs. the Indians).
Sox Vox

I dont care about home runs, not on a team with this kind of offense. Im all about OBP.Adam Dunn, who did a little bit of both, hitting a home run and putting in a .500 OBP day in his White Sox debut.

Thats cool I would like to beat Junior.Dunn, when informed he now was tied with Frank Robinson and Ken Griffey, Jr. for most Opening Day home runs in baseball history.

When we got to 14, I said, OK, thats good, save some for Edwin Jackson tomorrow.Buehrle, on the offensive outburst.

It was a good game, to come out and swing the batsin spring training, we werent doing that. We had fun, and we were fun to watch.Beckham on the offensive attack.

I was stealing on the play, but the ball went so high, I lost it.Beckham on Dunns homer.

I didnt get three hits until June 15 last year. Wait it might have been July.Beckham on his three-hit day.

Im ecstatic. We won.Quentin, with as straight a face as imaginable for a player opening the season with five RBI.

The bullpen was a little shaky today,manager Ozzie Guillen, on the six earned runs that threw a scare into a runaway win.
First Look: Saturday

Edwin Jackson takes the bump for the White Sox, with an 11-strikeout win as his only prior appearance at Progressive Field.

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

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox continue series with Mariners tonight on CSN

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox continue series with Mariners tonight on CSN

The White Sox continue their series against the Seattle Mariners, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (10-9, 2.84 ERA) vs. Ariel Miranda (1-0, 5.49 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

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Chris Sale strikes out 14 but White Sox fall to Mariners

Chris Sale strikes out 14 but White Sox fall to Mariners

Felix Hernandez has proven for years that he doesn’t need much help.

But the White Sox provided him with three free outs on the bases anyway on Friday night.

Those mistakes allowed Hernandez to hold the White Sox in check as they wasted a 14-strikeout performance from Chris Sale in a 3-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners in front of 25,651 at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale retired 16 in a row to end it, but it wasn’t enough as the White Sox dropped back to five games below .500.

“We didn’t run the bases very well tonight,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That ends up costing you. You’re getting something going against them, and it just takes the wind out of your sails. Both guys pitched great.

“They just executed better than we did when they got the chance. Both guys were going strong. The way we ran the bases, we didn’t deserve to win that game.”

Sale (15-7) deserved much better than to lose for the fifth time in his last six decisions.

[MORE: White Sox trade catcher Dioner Navarro to Blue Jays]

Though he allowed a run in the second, third and fourth innings, Sale got on a roll late.

After Adam Lind’s two-out RBI double in the fourth, Sale found an extra gear and retired the last 16 Mariners to hit, including 10 strikeouts. He struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings and afforded his teammates a chance to rally.

“Thank God we did it early because as everybody saw, when he gets on a roll it’s like lights out,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s obviously one of the best pitchers in the league for a reason. We had no chance, really, after the fourth and fifth inning. He got into a groove and got all his pitches working.”

Two of Seattle’s three runs off Sale came on opposite-field drives as Lind doubled to left in the fourth and Franklin Gutierrez homered to right in the second inning. Sale walked none and only allowed five hits and three runs in nine innings. He threw strikes on 88 of 120 pitches.

It was the 13th complete game of Sale’s career and his fifth this season.

“I wanted to find a groove and I felt like after the fourth inning I got into a pretty good groove, that cruising speed I was talking about,” Sale said. “I just tried to lengthen it as much as I could, just fill up as many innings as I could. Just give us a chance to win, keep us in the game.”

While Sale kept his team in the game, they repeatedly took themselves out of it.

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The White Sox had plenty of chances against Hernandez, none better than the bottom of the eighth inning. Trailing by two runs, Avisail Garcia and Tyler Saladino singled on both sides of a J.B. Shuck fielder’s choice. Adam Eaton’s one-out walk knocked Hernandez out of the game after 104 pitches.

But closer Edwin Diaz got Tim Anderson to hit into a fielder’s choice as third baseman Shawn O’Malley made a perfect throw home on the slow roller for a force out. Jose Abreu then fouled out to leave the bases loaded. Diaz retired the side in order in the ninth for his 11th save.

Todd Frazier homered in the seventh inning of Hernandez for the team’s only run, but they should have had more. The White Sox had the leadoff man reach base in five of eight innings started by Hernandez, who allowed a run and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. Hernandez erased two of those five as he picked off Frazier and Shuck in the second and third innings. He also got out of a first-and-third jam in the fifth inning when Shuck lined into a double play and Omar Narvaez was caught leaning.

“That’s the frustrating part,” Ventura said. “You know you’re not really going to have too many opportunities (against Hernandez). You might be able to hit and run or all of a sudden you’re first and third. But if you just take it out of your own hands, that’s where you scratch your head.”

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

The way he dominated the Pioneer League had to boost to Alec Hansen’s confidence. It also prompted his promotion.

When the White Sox sent their second-round pick to Great Falls last month it was in the hope he could rebound from a rough junior season at Oklahoma that caused his draft stock to fall. Once thought to be the potential first overall pick of the 2016 draft, Hansen was selected 49th after he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 batters in 51.2 innings. But Hansen — who made his first start at Single-A Kannapolis on Friday — looked every bit the first-rounder at Great Falls with a 1.23 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 36.2 innings.

“We wanted to put him in a position where there was a little less pressure to start off the season,” White Sox player development director Nick Capra said. “There's always pressure, but it's a little less magnified in the Pioneer League. We wanted to get him on the right road. We did a couple things with him mechanically and he took off with it.”

“We kind of held him hostage in Great Falls a little bit too long. He’s been really good. He’s double-digit strikeouts every night. He’s not walking people.”

Hansen is expected to make two starts at Kannapolis before the team’s season ends. He earned a no decision after he allowed three earned runs and five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Columbia Fireflies on Friday.

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Capra described the mechanical changes the White Sox made with Hansen as minor. Essentially, they want Hansen to take advantage of his 6-foot-8 frame and stay taller and release the ball more quickly. They believe it will help him better command his pitches.

Through 11 minor-league starts, Hansen has walked 18 batters in 49 innings (he also pitched seven innings in Arizona). That’s compared with the 96 batters he walked in 145 innings in college.

“Our player development guys deserve so much credit for the way they've handled it,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “There was a little bit of concern about the confidence part of it, just him taking the ball every fifth day and knowing that we believe in him. Our pitching guys and PD guys deserve a huge amount of credit for just the time they put into it. They really, really know how to make these guys excel and succeed. Been a pretty fun ride to watch and I hope it continues.”