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.

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.

The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.

Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.

Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:

Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”

Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.