LIVE: Quentin homers, Sox trail 4-1

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LIVE: Quentin homers, Sox trail 4-1

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Posted: 11:24 a.m.
Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays have been pitching well over the past week. Facing the slumping lineup of the Chicago White Sox hasn't hurt.

Wade Davis will try to extend the Rays' run of stellar starting pitching and help Tampa Bay reach the .500 mark Wednesday night when it continues its four-game home set against Chicago.

Tampa Bay (8-9) has won seven of eight and the first two of this series, including a 2-1 victory Tuesday.

One night after David Price gave up four hits in eight innings of a 5-0 win, James Shields threw a complete game, allowing four hits and striking out nine. Ben Zobrist scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth on Sean Rodriguez's triple.

"It was really fun to watch," manager Joe Maddon said of Shields. "He kept his tempo. He kept his pace. The quality of the locations was severe. On the money all night long. I could tell he was on right from jump street."

The Rays have a 2.10 ERA during their eight-game surge to the brink of the .500 mark. So far, Chicago's lineup is proving no match for Tampa Bay's arms.

Losers of six straight, the White Sox (7-10) have totaled five runs over their last four games. They're batting .195 in their last eight - a far cry from their .307 average during a 6-3 start.

Designated hitter Adam Dunn went 0 for 4 on Tuesday, and is 2 for 23 since missing six games due to an emergency appendectomy. Manager Ozzie Guillen said he might drop Dunn down in the lineup from his current third spot.

He's far from the only White Sox hitter struggling. Paul Konerko is 4 for 28 over his last seven games while Gordon Beckham is 1 for 29 in his last eight.

"It's a combination of both," Guillen said. "Shields pitched very well and we're not swinging the bat well. We're struggling right now at the plate, big time."

Davis (1-2, 3.26 ERA) will look to extend Chicago's struggles as he aims for his third consecutive strong outing.

The right-hander yielded one run and four hits in seven innings of a 5-2 win over Minnesota on Friday and went six innings against the White Sox on April 9, allowing two runs in a 4-2 defeat.

Phil Humber (1-1, 3.46), who is scheduled to pitch Wednesday for Chicago, opposed Davis in that start - his first with the White Sox in place of the injured Jake Peavy. He gave up one run in six innings to earn the victory.

The right-hander had more troubles in his last start, allowing four runs - two earned - and six hits in five innings of a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

Rays designated hitter Johnny Damon (bruised left ring finger tip) and first baseman Dan Johnson (sore left forearm-wrist) both missed Tuesday's game, and are day to day.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

PHOENIX -- The red-hot White Sox ran into Zack Greinke on Monday night.

He cooled them off in a hurry.

Greinke struck out 12 hitters and Daniel Descalso blasted a three-run home run off Miguel Gonzalez as the Arizona Diamondbacks sent the White Sox to a 5-1 loss in front of 18,333 at Chase Field. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the White Sox, who had scored 24 runs in their final two games against the Seattle Mariners.

Descalso’s three-run shot off Gonzalez followed a two-out walk of Chris Owings in the bottom of the fourth inning. It broke a scoreless tie and gave Greinke all the breathing room he needed.

Not only did Greinke strike out a dozen hitters, he limited the White Sox to four hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez had two hits, the first coming after Greinke opened the game by retiring seven straight batters. Leury Garcia homered off Greinke with one out in the fifth inning to break up his bid for a shutout.

It was quite the turnaround from when the White Sox bashed Yovani Gallardo and Chris Heston on consecutive days in Seattle. The White Sox scored a combined nine first-inning runs in winning three of four against the Mariners.

Gonzalez was sharp for three innings as he faced one over the minimum. After he walked nine batters in his previous two starts, Gonzalez walked only one on Monday. The right-hander also yielded a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt. Gonzalez allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in five innings. 

Luis Robert the latest high-end acquisition for White Sox

Luis Robert the latest high-end acquisition for White Sox

PHOENIX -- The White Sox rebuild has another significant addition in Luis Robert, one general manager Rick Hahn won’t discuss until the deal is final.

But that didn’t stop the White Sox general manager from dropping a massive hint during Monday’s media session at Chase Field. As he discussed each aspect of player acquisition, Hahn briefly and, it would seem purposely, paused when he brought up international prospects. Hahn said he’s pleased with how much talent the White Sox have accumulated in the last 11 months only two days after club signed Robert. While Robert is yet another critical piece to the team’s future, Hahn again suggested the White Sox are only part way through the process.

“We were obviously thrilled with the draft last year and we’re getting ready to hopefully repeat that in the coming weeks,” Hahn said. “We’ve been able to do some things internationally that, umm, nice additions to the system potentially. And the last several trades we’ve done have put us in a stronger position as an organization.

“But we’re pleased with what we’ve been able to do in the last 10-11 months (and) we know we’ve got to repeat that over the next 10-11 again to put ourselves in the position we want to be in for the long term.”

Robert is just the latest puzzle piece that the White Sox have added. Hahn started to scoop up high-end talent last June with the additions of Zack Collins, Zack Burdi and others in the amateur draft. Each of the team’s first five selections was listed in Baseball America’s top-10 White Sox prospect list when it was first issued in November. But that list was totally overhauled when the White Sox added seven more prospects in December with the trades of Adam Eaton and Chris Sale.

The addition of Robert (pronounced Robber), who could be ranked the No. 3 prospect in the White Sox farm system, is the latest big piece. He potentially gives the White Sox another big bat in the future, one that was needed as many of the recent additions have been pitchers.

The White Sox also hold the 11th overall pick in June’s draft and are hopeful for another bountiful draft class. They expect to hold a high pick in the 2018 draft as well.

And that doesn’t count the young talent they could add later this summer when the White Sox begin to sell off more pieces around the Aug. 1 trade deadline. Though the club has outperformed expectations with its 20-22 start, Hahn has always maintained the club is focused on the big picture. That view would appear to include Hahn picking up his mobile phone often over the next few months.

“We’ve received a lot of phone calls because of the talent on this roster,” Hahn said. “We’re remaining very open-minded about whatever opportunities make us better for the long run. Our focus is on doing something that’s more sustainable than one season. We’re in the same mode we were in this past offseason, looking for opportunities to find some long-term pieces to put us in a place to contend on annual basis.

“It’s gotta fit for the long term. That’s sort of the same approach for the entire offseason that was build something for the future. Some of it you’re seeing here in 2017 and some of it’s going to take a little longer.”