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.

Jose Abreu ready for 2017 after season full of 'different challenges'

Jose Abreu ready for 2017 after season full of 'different challenges'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — A torrid two months at the plate helped Jose Abreu end what he found to be an extremely trying 2016 season with numbers close to his career norms.

But even though he finished with an .820 OPS and 100 RBIs for a third straight season, Abreu admits that 2016 was a season unlike any other he'd faced.

While he didn't disclose any theories for the cause of his lengthy struggles, the White Sox first baseman said Sunday he's pleased to have finished on a positive note and thinks that rebounding from those difficulties will only make him stronger. Abreu — who hit .293/.353/.468 with 25 home runs and 100 RBIs in 695 plate appearances — is also a fan of new White Sox manager Rick Renteria and is equally impressed with the prospects the club acquired this winter.

"Yes, those were different challenges, especially in my mind," Abreu said through an interpreter. "I never in my life experienced some of the kind of struggles like I did last year. But that put me in a better position as a player, as a person too. I'm in a better position now for this season because I learned from the experience."

In spite of his struggles, Abreu was still a league average player through the first four months of the season. But the 2014 All-Star hardly resembled the player who produced a 153 OPS-plus over his first two seasons. His timing was off and Abreu — hitting .269/.325/.413 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs through July 30 — wasn't driving the ball as he typically had in his first two seasons, when he smacked 66 homers.

Abreu was lost at the plate and nobody could figure out why.

But after the arrival of his son, Dariel, who visited him for the first time since he moved to the United States, Abreu took off. He hit .338/.402/.568 the rest of the season with 14 homers and 44 RBIs in 249 trips to the plate.

"Right after last season ended, I had my meeting at my house with my family, just to explain to them how the season was because they know about baseball," Abreu said. "But sometimes they can't register how the process is in a season as long as the major league season is. We talked about it. I explained to them all of the challenges, the problems I had during that season. Once we ended with that meeting, last season was in the past. We moved on and we were trying just to figure out things and how can I do better for this season."

Now in his fourth season in the majors, Abreu has a firm grasp on how the White Sox operate and likes some of the team's modifications. He likes how Renteria thoroughly communicates what he has in mind for the club. Abreu also enjoys being seen as one of the team's leaders and wouldn't mind being a mentor to prized prospect Yoan Moncada.

Now he hopes to carry over his strong finish to the start of the 2017 campaign.

"I'm working on it," Abreu said. "That's one of my goals. Everybody knows that at the beginning of last season, I wasn't performing good. It was kind of a surprise for me, too. But I'm in good shape right now and I believe I will be able to succeed."

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The leading candidate to be the team’s starting center fielder, Charlie Tilson has been temporarily shut down after suffering a stress reaction in his right foot.

The White Sox rookie said Sunday that he noticed the injury gradually building up before he decided to stop his workout on Friday and headed for the training room. An MRI performed Saturday on Tilson -- who is rehabbing from a torn left hamstring that ended his 2016 season early -- revealed the reaction, which isn’t severe as a stress fracture. Given Tilson previously had a stress fracture in his right foot, the White Sox said he'll be sidelined from impact work for 10 days, at which point he’d be re-evaluated.

“It started very minimal, and I tried to work through it a little bit, and by the time I addressed Herm, thankfully I caught it before it was anything that would keep me out for too long,” Tilson said. “It’s a minor thing, and it will give my other leg a chance to get stronger in the meantime, and hopefully we’ll turn this negative into a positive.”

Tilson wouldn’t be surprised if his injury is related to overcompensating for his left leg, which he has worked tirelessly to rehab since he suffered the injury on Aug. 2 and then had season-ending surgery. Manager Rick Renteria described it as an “irritation” in the area where Tilson suffered a stress fracture in 2013. In the interim, the White Sox will test some of their other options in camp, including veteran Peter Bourjos and minor leaguers Adam Engel and Jacob May, among others.

“But we don’t foresee it to be a long-term issue,” Renteria said. “By being able to shut him down now, it’ll be something he’ll be able to recover from. We’ll just readjust his timetable.”

Minor as Tilson and the White Sox say it is, the outfielder admitted he’s down about having to deal with it after the progress he’d made in his rehab.

The White Sox acquired the New Trier High School product from the St. Louis Cardinals last July in exchange for left-hander Zach Duke. Tilson was immediately called up as the White Sox intended to try him out in center field the rest of the season. But he suffered a season-ending injury in his major league debut while tracking down a fly ball and had surgery several days later.

Tilson made enough progress to be a full participant in a hitter’s camp at Camelback Ranch last month. Earlier this week, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Tilson was a top candidate to take over as the club’s starting center fielder if he was healthy.

“I guess you could say I’m disappointed,” Tilson said. “But it’s a very minor setback and it’s part of the process. I had a major repair, and these things come up and hopefully we can minimize them as much as we can and hopefully this is the last one. But I’m just going to deal with it and do whatever I can to move forward.”