Rios' bat comes alive to help Sox top Royals

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Rios' bat comes alive to help Sox top Royals

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
Posted: 9:13 p.m. Updated: 10:06 p.m.

Associated Press

Box score
VIDEO: Ozzie on Rios' recent success
VIDEO: Morel chats with Sarah Kustok

John Danks ended a subpar season with a finish he'd like to replicate.Alex Rios and Brent Morel homered to back Danks, leading the White Sox over the Kansas City Royals 6-3 Saturday night and stopping Chicago's five-game home losing streak.Danks (8-12) improved to 5-0 in 12 starts against the Royals, allowing three runs and six hits in 7 13 innings. The lefty was 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA in his first 11 starts, then went 8-4 with a 3.69 in his last 16 outings."Definitely good to end on a good note," said Danks, who went 40-31 in his previous three years. "Obviously, this season hasn't gone the way I planned or hoped, but it's part of the game."Danks retired his first 14 batters before Salvador Perez's fifth-inning single."I knew I had a no-hitter going," Danks said. "A.J. (Pierzynski) and I were talking between innings, this was probably the best stuff I had all year. Everything was working."Rios had three hits, including a two-run homer in the second and a leadoff triple in the eighth. Morel's homer was his 10th of the season, including eight in September.While Chicago won for just the fourth time in 14 games, the Royals lost for the third time in their last 12. At 77-81, the White Sox need to win their remaining games to avoid their third losing season in eight years under manager Ozzie Guillen.Guillen said Danks deserved a better won-loss record."When you manage this guy, you appreciate his effort out there," Guillen said. "No matter whether it's good or bad, he gives you what he has. His record should be a lot better than what it shows because this kid has been consistent all year long."Chicago's Adam Dunn went 0 for 3 with a walk, leaving him with a .162 batting average. He has 485 plate appearances and needs 17 in the team's last four games to become an official qualifier. The post-1900 record for lowest batting average by a qualifier is .179 by Detroit's Rob Deer in 1991, according to STATS LLC.Melky Cabrera had a two-run double and two hits, reaching 199 for the season.Everett Teaford (2-1) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings after giving up one run in 11 innings during his first two major league starts."His command was his whole (problem)," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was up with everything. Two or three walks that inning turned around to bite him."Teaford walked three in the four-run second, when Rios homered, Juan Pierre walked with the bases full and Alexei Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly.Morel homered leading off the fourth. His second-inning walk was his 15th of September - he had just seven this year before then."Being more selective up there, trying to drive the ball a little bit more," Morel said. "I'm not trying to protect so much. That's been keeping me off some of the pitcher's pitches. I'm just trying to get a ball in the middle of the plate."Cabrera's 44th double of the season drove in two runs in the sixth, and Eric Hosmer's RBI single cut the deficit to 5-3.Danks hopes the White Sox can finish strong and carry momentum to next season. He hopes to see familiar faces in next year's clubhouse."If this same group of guys comes back next year, I'm going to be just as optimistic as I was this year," Danks said. "I thought we were the team to beat."NOTES
Gavin Floyd will take the mound for the White Sox in Sunday's series finale, looking to improve upon his 3-7 mark against Kansas City. The Royals will counter with Luis Mendoza, who allowed one run in seven innings Tuesday in his first big league start of the season.Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — If Carlos Rodon starts on the disabled list as expected, the White Sox won't turn to any of their vaunted top prospects in the interim.

The news on Rodon has been encouraging so far as no structural damage has been discovered. Still, the White Sox won't clear Rodon until after he receives a second opinion on Monday. While the length of Rodon's absence won't be determined for several days, the White Sox are certain of one route they won't take — they don't want to disrupt the development of their young starting pitchers. Were a DL trip for Rodon necessary, the White Sox would likely select either Saturday's starter, Dylan Covey, or minor leaguer David Holmberg over their top prospects. Covey made a strong impression on Saturday afternoon with 3 2/3 scoreless innings pitched and the White Sox rallied for a 10-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.

"When you have an opportunity to stabilize action or movement for players it serves them better," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "They get a little more comfortable where they're at. They get comfortable with the staffs they're working with and the information they're gathering, being in a routine. It is a little disruptive going from team to team to team. It happens, but it's not the most conducive (to learning)."

The White Sox are all about development this season. Therefore, they have no plans to call upon Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer or Michael Kopech unless they're A) ready and B) throwing every fifth day in Chicago. Renteria's comments Saturday reiterated Rick Hahn's earlier message, saying the club doesn't want to disrupt the development path.

That puts Covey, a Rule 5 draft pick in December, with a decent opportunity to make the club out of camp. Covey commanded the strike zone on Saturday only hours after Renteria said he hoped to see the young right-hander replicate an Arizona Fall League performance that initially warmed the White Sox up to him.

Aside from a two-out walk in his final inning, Covey was sharp the whole way. He allowed three hits and struck out three.

"My last couple of outings I was definitely feeling the stress," Covey said. "I was kind of pitching a little passive, pitching to not make a mistake instead of just going right after guys. So today and yesterday I just thought I'm just going to throw every pitch with conviction and see what happens. I got a lot of weak contact today and some swings and misses, so I felt good."

Covey threw 44 pitches, 27 for strikes. He potentially could stay in Arizona on Thursday and make an additional minor league start to build arm strength, which would get him to roughly 60 pitches before the regular seasons started.

The White Sox don't officially need a fifth starter until April 9 and they're off the following day. That break could allow the White Sox to start Covey as part of a bullpen day. Covey said he recently changed his mindset after lackluster results in relief this spring. The right-hander has a 6.94 ERA this spring in 11 2/3 innings.

"Obviously my last two outings out of the pen I wasn't getting crushed, but I just wasn't commanding the ball or commanding the count as much as I would like to be," Covey said. "The mistakes get hit a little harder when you're falling behind in the count. Today I wanted to have the mindset of attacking hitters, throwing everything down in the zone and going right after them, and it worked out."

The White Sox blasted six home runs in the contest, including a majestic, go-ahead grand slam by first baseman Danny Hayes in the top of the ninth inning. Hayes is hitting .351/.400/.595 with two homers and is tied for the team lead with 13 RBIs this spring. Jose Abreu, Nick Delmonico, Cody Asche, Everth Cabrera and Jacob May also homered for the White Sox. 

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While he still has a second opinion ahead and is likely to start 2017 on the disabled list, a clean MRI has Carlos Rodon feeling relieved after a bizarre Thursday.

The White Sox pitcher described Saturday the strange experience he’s had the past few days dealing with soreness in his left bicep.

In the span of 48 hours, Rodon -- who will receive a second opinion on Monday -- went from feeling good enough after a midweek bullpen session to request that his first start be moved up to likely landing on the DL. As he prepares to navigate the rehab process, Rodon is more at ease after an MRI on Friday showed no structural damage.

“(Thursday) was a weird day for me,” Rodon said. “I wasn’t very happy with it. I got that checked out, trying to figure it out.

“I feel better. It’s reassuring.”

“(Your arm is) your tool. It’s concerning. But that’s why you go get those things checked out and make sure everything is ok. That’s what we did.”

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Rodon, who went 9-10 with a 4.04 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 165 innings in 2016, has one more checkup before he’s all clear. He travels to Los Angeles on Monday for an appointment with Dr. Neal ElAttrache. General manager Rick Hahn said Friday that a second opinion is “protocol.”

Though he has already been reassured -- the club’s diagnosis was he had no structural issues after a physical exam and then the clean MRI -- Rodon wouldn’t mind more confirmation. The left-hander said he hadn’t experienced the kind of tightness he suddenly felt in his biceps tendon before Thursday. He could lift his arm above his head, but Rodon said his stuff wasn’t the same. After he informed them, the White Sox determined to be cautious.

“It’s pretty tight up there,” Rodon said. “I’ve never really been that tight. I couldn’t really step on some balls I wanted to throw to get that arm going. So, I had to get it checked out. It didn’t feel too good.”

The White Sox already had Rodon on a delayed schedule where he needed to hit every mark to be ready for the regular season. They did so in hopes of helping him avoid the fatigue he experienced last summer and also reaching the 200-inning mark this season. Now it appears Rodon will begin the season on the DL, according to Hahn.

Though he’d like to start the season on schedule, Rodon wants to make sure he’s physically good to go.

“Just trying to be healthy man,” Rodon said. “You don’t want to go the start of the season and be behind the best guys. You are a tick down from the best guys in the world. It’s not fun pitching when you are not feeling too good. I want to be 100 percent when I’m out there. That gives our team the best chance of winning.”