Chicago White Sox

LIVE: White Sox trailing Tigers, 8-0

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LIVE: White Sox trailing Tigers, 8-0

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 1:50 p.m.

Associated Press

The Detroit Tigers signed veteran Brad Penny in the offseason to help bolster a starting rotation led by three-time All-Star Justin Verlander.

While Verlander remains a worthy ace, Penny has yet to step up.

Seeking his first win of the season for the fifth time, Penny takes the mound opposite onetime Detroit starter Edwin Jackson as the Tigers and visiting Chicago White Sox continue their three-game set Saturday.

Verlander, whose 85 wins since 2006 rank third in the majors, gave up three runs and struck out eight over seven innings of Friday's 9-3 win over Chicago (8-12).

Detroit starters have posted a 3.09 ERA in the four games since Penny (0-2, 8.44 ERA) last toed the rubber.

The right-hander, now in his 12th season, will look to regroup Saturday after allowing five runs, four hits and four walks in five-plus innings of Sunday's 5-1 loss at Oakland.

The defeat dropped Penny, who has never faced the White Sox, to 0-6 with a 6.89 ERA over his last nine starts dating to last season, but manager Jim Leyland isn't concerned.

"Penny was OK," Leyland told the Tigers' official website. "He had control problems in the one inning, but I don't worry about him at all."

The Tigers (10-10), who have outscored the White Sox 53-20 during a seven-game winning streak in this series, had averaged just 3.2 runs at home prior to Friday's offensive outburst, which was the first time this season they'd scored more than five runs at Comerica Park. Detroit has won three straight at home, and seven of 10 overall after a 3-7 start.

Utilityman Ryan Raburn homered for the second time in as many games and drove in a season-best four runs.

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is 6 for 13 over his last four games overall, and 6 for 21 (.286) lifetime against Jackson (2-1, 3.51), who surrendered season-worsts of 11 hits and four runs over seven innings in a 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay on Monday.

"Jackson threw the ball pretty good," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We just didn't score any runs."

Other than two solo home runs from outfielder Carlos Quentin and one from first baseman Paul Konerko, the While Sox couldn't get much going offensively again in the series opener. They've batted .199 while dropping eight of their last nine games.

"Twenty games is way too early to be worried about our team," said White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, who gave up six runs to take the loss Friday. "We aren't clicking right now, but we will be."

Slugging designated hitter Adam Dunn and second baseman Gordon Beckham, who was slotted eighth in the lineup after batting second in his first 17 games, both went 0 for 4. Dunn and Beckham have a combined three hits in their last 46 at-bats.

Dunn is 6 for 31 lifetime against Penny with 16 strikeouts, but Quentin and Alex Rios are a combined 14 for 22.

Jackson, who went 13-9 while with Detroit in 2009, is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA in four career road starts at Comerica.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Confidence continues to build after Lucas Giolito's latest strong start

Confidence continues to build after Lucas Giolito's latest strong start

Nothing is proven, Lucas Giolito will have to come back next season and show he can do this once again. But another huge development in the White Sox rebuild has been the continued development and success of Giolito late in the season.

The young White Sox pitcher added another outstanding performance to the ledger on Sunday afternoon.

Giolito pitched seven sharp innings and helped the White Sox officially avoid 100 losses in an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. He allowed a run and five hits with five strikeouts and no walks. It’s another step in a nice turnaround for Giolito, who struggled at Triple-A earlier in the year.

“I feel like this is where I can pitch,” Giolito said. “I can pitch deep into games. I wouldn't really say awestruck or anything like that. I’d say that there’s a lot of struggles there earlier this year. I worked through those … I feel like getting the confidence back up, it’s all I really needed to feel comfortable and be ready to go.”

Some of the metrics would suggest Giolito is in line for a dropoff. While his earned-run average is 2.38, his Fielding Independent Pitching is 4.94. His xFIP is a little lower at 4.42. But the elevated numbers are in part due to Giolito not missing as many bats and striking out 6.75 batters per nine innings.

But Giolito’s big-league numbers also come at a time in which he has never pitched more. He has pitched a combined 174 innings this season, which dwarfs his previous high of 136 2/3 innings in 2016.

Despite the workload, the right-hander continues to bring good stuff. He got seven swings and misses and 10 called strikes with his four-seam fastball, which averaged 92.3 mph, according to Baseball Savant.

“He's got angle, he's got height,” manager Rick Renteria said “He's got good angle so that creates, believe or not, some deception and he can ride it up out of the zone. And then he comes out from that angle with the breaking ball or his changeup. So the angle creates some pretty good deception.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: Conditioned for success: Avisail Garcia vows to work even harder in offseason after breakout campaign]

Giolito has filled up the strikezone since he reached the majors partly because of belief in his stuff. He’s thrown strikes on 63.4 percent of his pitches and was even better Sunday with 65 of 98 offerings. The other part of it is trust in his defense, which made several spectacular plays behind him.

Giolito knows this is only the beginning. But he feels good after a stretch in which he has quality starts in five of six games. Over the stretch he has a 1.83 ERA and 25 hits allowed with 12 walks and 30 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings.

“My confidence is there,” Giolito said. “I trust my stuff, I trust my pitches. There are things to work on, things I’m talking to (Don Cooper) about. There’s always stuff to improve, for sure. I’d say that just the confidence and everything is right where it needs to be so I’m going to continue to try and pitch like I am.”

Conditioned for success: Avisail Garcia vows to work even harder in offseason after breakout campaign

Conditioned for success: Avisail Garcia vows to work even harder in offseason after breakout campaign

When searching for why Avisail Garcia has had sustained success this season, you can’t overlook his fitter frame.

The White Sox outfielder entered a breakout 2017 season approximately 18 pounds lighter than he was a year ago. Garcia, who’s hitting .331, doubled, homered and drove in three runs as the White Sox topped the Kansas City Royals 8-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday afternoon. Given the way he has performed this season, the first-time All-Star said he plans to work even harder this offseason.

“One hundred percent (better),” Garcia said. “I want to keep losing a little bit more. I want to feel way better next year.”

Garcia has provided the White Sox with a boatload of feel-good moments this season. He cut down two base runners in Friday night’s wild victory over the Royals, including on the final play of the game. Overall, Garcia has felt a difference in the field and it’s shown up in his defensive numbers. He headed into Sunday worth 2 Defensive Runs Saved after he finished the 2015 season at minus-11.

But even more of Garcia’s production has come at the plate, where he reached the 80-RBI mark on Sunday. He followed a one-out Yoan Moncada double off Ian Kennedy in the first inning with an opposite-field blast to right field, Garcia’s 18th homer.

Six innings later, Garcia doubled in a run. He’s hitting .331/.379/.504 on the season and entered Sunday worth 3.5 f-Wins Above Replacement.

“It seems likes he’s always finding barrel and like, man, that’s impressive to go up there, have disciplined at-bats and consistently get the barrel of the bat to the ball,” pitcher Lucas Giolito said.

Garcia’s play has offered him more encouragement to continue his efforts. Though he was adamant at the All-Star Game he wanted to duplicate his first-half efforts, Garcia suffered a series of injuries that bothered him throughout July. But he’s found comfort at the plate once again and knows how important a role his improved conditioning has played.

“The offseason, I have to do the same even harder,” Garcia said. “I want to do my best every year so now I have the ability to be here and trying to help my team. Just have to keep working.”