Chicago White Sox

Quentin's home run not enough to defeat Dodgers

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Quentin's home run not enough to defeat Dodgers

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Posted: 6:40 p.m.Associated PressGLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Ted Lilly is coming around after an irregular spring schedule.The Dodgers left-hander allowed two runs while striking out six without issuing a walk, and Los Angeles beat the Chicago White Sox 6-2 on Wednesday.Lilly gave up six hits in a solid bounce-back performance after a shaky outing March 12, when he allowed six runs in 2 2-3 innings to the Kansas City Royals."He sounded like he just didn't feel like everything was synced up yet," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's the last of the four (starts) to get a feel for it."Lilly skipped his start March 18 so the San Francisco Giants wouldn't get an early look at him, tossing six innings against Texas Rangers minor leaguers instead. Lilly also missed his first start of the spring due to the flu. This was just his third Cactus League appearance.Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer off of John Danks in the fourth to give Los Angeles a 3-1 lead. It was Kemp's fifth home run of the spring. He also hit a two run shot on Sunday against the White Sox."He's been focused. He's been doing everything we ask," Mattingly said. "He's just really swinging the bat good."Juan Uribe, who spent five seasons with the White Sox, had two hits against his former club. He singled and scored in the fourth inning, and singled in another run in the fifth, receiving friendly jeers from the opposing dugout."He's one of my favorite teammates of all-time," Danks said.Danks took the loss for Chicago, working 5 1-3 innings and giving up four runs, three of which were earned. He walked three and struck out four."I felt awesome," Danks said, despite yielding as many runs Wednesday as he had in his other four starts combined. "The home run in the fourth was just a case of them fouling off some good pitches and then making a mistake to a good hitter."Danks' 2.49 ERA still leads all White Sox starters this spring.Carlos Quentin hit his fourth home run of the spring off Lilly to lead off the second inning. He has 10 hits in his last 13 at-bats.Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel each added two hits for Chicago.NOTES:
The Dodgers won three of four games against the White Sox this spring. The teams share a facility. ... White Sox RHP Jake Peavy (rotator cuff tendinitis) said there was no structural damage when he met with doctors Wednesday. GM Ken Williams called it "encouraging news." ... Dodgers 3B Casey Blake (ribs) took grounders and batting practice Wednesday.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Look away, White Sox fans: Chris Sale makes history

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USA TODAY

Look away, White Sox fans: Chris Sale makes history

This one may sting a bit, White Sox fans.  

On Wednesday evening, former White Sox ace Chris Sale accomplished a feat that no other American League pitcher has since 1999. The current Red Sox left-hander whiffed his 300th batter of the season, becoming the first A.L. hurler since Pedro Martinez to do so. 

Sale reached the impressive milestone in a dominant eight-inning, 13-strikeout gem. Vintage. 

Overall on the season, he's posted a 2.75 ERA with opponents hitting a mere .203 against him. Before his postseason debut in October, Sale has a shot at leading two franchises in season strikeout totals: 

The consolation on the South Side is that the prized prospect acquired in the Sale blockbuster had a pretty nice night himself. Yoan Moncada drilled a two-run blast in Houston, his seventh since being called up from Triple-A Charlotte on July 19. 

The great trade debate wages on. 

Jose Abreu's gift to Yoan Moncada just keeps on giving

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's gift to Yoan Moncada just keeps on giving

HOUSTON -- Yoan Moncada took Jose Abreu’s advice to switch to a lighter bat and the White Sox rookie has been on a tear ever since.

The veteran first baseman thought Moncada would benefit from a slightly smaller piece of lumber and purchased it. Moncada began to use the bat at the start of the team’s current 10-game road trip and has since produced the best stretch of his career. Moncada is hitting 432/.488/.649 with 16 hits, including a triple, two home runs, six RBIs and 11 runs scored in 37 plate appearances.

“I just thought he wasn’t using the bats for him to take advantage of his swing,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “These new bats have better balance with the weight and are a little shorter than the other ones. I just did it thinking of him taking advantage of his power, his hands and to feel more freedom in his swing.”

Neither Abreu nor the White Sox have wavered in their faith in Moncada since his promotion from Triple-A two months ago. Baseball’s top prospect flashed plenty of talent in spring training and further convinced them by showing a consistently good eye at the plate after arriving in the majors.

But while Moncada had his share of highlights early on, he still hadn’t begun to receive the desired results on a consistent basis. Abreu saw him missing his pitch from time to time and suggested that Moncada use a smaller bat.

Moncada previously a 34-inch, 32-ounce bat. The ones purchased by Abreu are 33 1/ 2-inches and 31 ounces. Moncada has said the bats have produced a more fluid swing and he feels like he has a stronger swing since.

[MORE: Top 10 storylines from the White Sox minor league season] 

Manager Rick Renteria thinks it’s a combination of the new bat and Moncada having a better understanding for how teams are approaching him at the plate.

“Lighter bats can help you manipulate the barrel a little more, keep you on the ball,” Renteria said. “You don’t think you have to force yourself to get out in front too much. You can allow the ball to travel and do what it does, so you can see it as much as possible. Just in general, the at-bats and the experience and the sequence of pitches he’s been seeing over time now, he’s starting to understand and get a feel for hitting in the big leagues.”

Abreu said his own bat size has varied during a red-hot second half depending upon how he feels. Moncada’s mentor started the season with a 34-inch, 32-ounce Albert Pujols-model bat, but also began to use the 33-inch, 33 1/2-ounce at the All-Star break.

Abreu has enjoyed watching his protégé have consistent success over the past nine days.

“I knew he had the talent,” Abreu said. “I never had a doubt about it. It was just a matter for him to get to know this process and to get to know the league and for him to use the proper tools to take advantage. We are just seeing what he’s capable of doing and it’s a good sign for him building for next season.”