Errors prove costly, sink White Sox' win streak

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Errors prove costly, sink White Sox' win streak

Saturday, July 17, 2010
Updated: 12:01 AM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

MINNEAPOLIS Sometimes, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen might malaprop, you cant lose for winning.

See, his White Sox are on such a spirited run that even when their effort flags and another long winning streak is hacked at the knees at the ripe age of nine, the second-place Detroit Tigers are romper stomped by the ill-mannered, prepubescent Wahoos somewhere south of Lake Erie.

Thus, the Chicago Nines 7-4 setback to the former Dominican Wunderkind, Francisco Liriano was a mere flesh wound. The Windy City Wonders will remain all alone in first place for another day.

What Im most proud of is our guys fought back, Guillen said. We didnt give up, we made a run, and at the end we had a chance to tie or win the game with our two best hitters Alex Rios and Paul Konerko up.

Perhaps the bigger effect of Lirianos stellar 7.2 innings of workscattering six hits and two earned runs, while striking out eightwas the way it spared the Minnesota bullpen after an ineffectual effort in the series opener.

You have to hand it to Liriano, he was great, said White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, who along with Alexei Ramirez paced the Sox with 2-4, one RBI nights. He worked both sides of the plate, had tough stuff, both hard and off-speed.

Chicago inflicted little damage on its hurling nemesis, using a Gordon Beckham double-Juan Pierre single to plate its first run in the fifth and an Alex Rios safety on a dropped third strike and Paul Konerko double to draw the White Sox within two in the eighth.

Minnesota struck for its second big inning in as many nights. On Thursday, the Twins offense was fueled by a six-run second that would not hold up against a churning, burning Pale Hose O. On Friday, a fours wild attack from Minnesota exploited Sox starter Gavin Floyd for four in the fourth, as J.J. Hardy, Denard Span and Orlando Hudson singles accounted for all four runs.

I felt like I had pretty good stuff, Floyd said. It was just one of those games. Its not always going to go your way, even when you hope it does.

It was a disastrous fielding night for the Chisox, with badly-winged tosses from Floyd, Beckham and reliever Tony Pena and a two-step effort from Dayan Viciedo at third totaling four errors. A week ago, Chicago committed an almost-unfathomable five Es in a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels, but thats a bullet to be dodged just once a generation.

Weve got to field the ball, Beckham said. We didnt field it tonight, and it cost us.

Beckham tapped in A.J. Pierzynski with a desperation run with one out in the ninth, and when Minnesota closer Jon Rauch imploded by loading the bases with just one out, then walking in a run, it seemed that the Chisox might be destined to push another win streak into double-digits.

Alas, Rios struck a first-pitch liner to center off emergency closer Jesse Crain that hung up just long enough for Span to snag. Crain then punched out Konerko on three straight pitches, and for just one night the Twins could feel as if they were back in the AL Central race.

Eventually you realize that a win streak is going to stop, Floyd said. Hopefully tomorrow well get going on another good run.

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The Triple Play

Saturdays Pitching Probables (6:10 p.m., WGN)

White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle (8-7, 4.24 ERA)

Twins RHP Carl Pavano (10-6, 3.58 ERA)

Super Sox

Juan Pierre had a rare night where he didnt score a run but did muster a K, but overall the left fielder managed some solid defense and a 1-3, one-RBI, two-walk night.

White Sox Notable Numbers

The six White Sox losses over the last 32 games have been by a total of 11 runs, and this was the first game the team has lost by more than two runs since June 8 Gavin Floyd is 3-2 with a 1.30 ERA and 3.54 strikeouts per walk in his last eight starts. Hes received two runs or less support in seven of his last 10 starts Alexei Ramirez is hitting .361 in his last 20 games and is 6-9 in his career vs. Francisco Liriano Gordon Beckham is batting .357 with six homers and 14 RBI in 19 career games vs. the Twins.

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

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

The White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with five players on Friday, including a $12-million deal for Todd Frazier.

Frazier established a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman in 2016 when he blasted 40 in his first season with the White Sox. A free agent after the 2017 season, Frazier hit .225/.302/.464 in 666 plate appearances, drove in a career high 98 runs and produced 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. 

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is set to earn $5.9 million this season. The team also agreed to deals with relievers Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), Zach Putnam ($1.1175 million) and Jake Petricka ($825,000).

The White Sox acquired Frazier in a three-player trade from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015. It's expected they would try to trade Frazier, who has hit 104 homers since 2014 and participated in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby three consecutive years, before the Aug 1 non-waiver trade deadline as part of the club's rebuilding efforts. 

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Gonzalez went 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) after he was signed to a minor-league deal in early April. 

Jennings posted a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. 

Putnam had a 2.30 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts before he had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. 

Petricka was limited to nine appearances before his season was ended by hip surgery.

Both Petricka and Putnam are expected to be ready for spring training.

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

It was a limited look, but Yoan Moncada made a strong first impression on the White Sox this week.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada arrived in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this week with the franchise hopeful he'd offer a glimpse of the skills that earned him the designation as baseball's top prospect.

Moncada didn't disappoint, either, as he had White Sox evaluators excited throughout a three-day hitters camp. Whether it's his physicality, how he carried himself or his baseball IQ, White Sox staffers couldn't have been happier about their first experience with their new prized possession.

"(Moncada) looks like a linebacker, but he moves like a wide receiver," player development director Chris Getz said. "He's got good actions. He's obviously a switch hitter. He's got power. He can hit. He's got a good smile. He seems to be enjoying himself out here, he interacts well with his teammates.

"So far it has been very impressive, and we look forward to seeing more."

Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Moncada, 21, looked every bit the part when he first observed him from across the hall at the team's facility. Steverson spoke to friends in the scouting community and wasn't the least bit surprised when he encountered the 6-foot-2, 205-pound second baseman. Moncada was just as impressive on the field with his skills and effort, Steverson said.

"This is a large specimen right here," Steverson said. "He's put together pretty well.

"On defense it looks like he has some really good hands.

"He got in the box and he hadn't swung for a while. But still, you could tell he had good hands going through the zone, has a nice approach and wants to work real hard."

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Moncada's fancy tools have been well publicized since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Red Sox in March 2015.

MLB.com graded Moncada's hit tool at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale while his base running is 65 and arm is 60. Moncada's power received a 55 grade, and his fielding is 50. Moncada received an overall grade of 65, which suggests he has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and worth 4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com.

But the White Sox weren't just impressed with Moncada's physical ability.

One of manager Rick Renteria's top objectives for the camp was to emphasize fundamentals and what's important to the team. Renteria wanted to identify specific game situations and how players are expected to handle them so they're well prepared for the future. Moncada handled that area well, too.

"Yoan is a very knowledgeable baseball player who has experience on a multitude of levels," amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "In the brief time we had with him this week, he showed a tremendous ability to drive the ball the opposite way as well as drive balls to the gap and out of the ball park from both sides of the plate. That ability will help him handle and any all situations that Ricky asks him to do at the plate. Defensively his hands and feet are very good and will have no problem there. He's a bright hard-working kid that is part of a bright future for the organization."