Sale can't play stopper, Sox fall again to Tigers


Sale can't play stopper, Sox fall again to Tigers

DETROIT -- The White Sox bats have struggled of late, and Rick Porcello didnt offer any solutions on Saturday afternoon.
The Detroit Tigers starting pitcher matched Justin Verlanders dominance of a night earlier and with the help of some timely hitting against Chris Sale, downed the White Sox 5-1 at Comerica Park.
Porcello and reliever Joaquin Benoit combined on a five-hitter as the Tigers moved ahead of the White Sox into first place in the American League Central.
Now a half-game back of Detroit, the White Sox dropped to 3-6 on their current 10-game road trip. They have scored two runs or fewer in six of their last seven games.
Right before the break, we were swinging it fairly well and eventually it will get back to that, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said before Saturdays game. We havent really clicked back in since the break as far as the way they were swinging it before.
Porcello didnt make it easy.
He retired the first 12 batters he faced. After he allowed a run in the fifth inning, Porcello (7-5) got back on track as he retired nine of 10 heading into the ninth inning.
The right-hander tired in the ninth, allowing consecutive singles to Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza before he was lifted.
Aside from the fifth inning, that was the only sign of life from the White Sox offense.
In the fifth, Paul Konerko led off with a single. Alex Rios then reached on a force at second and moved into scoring position on a groundout. Dayan Viciedo then broke a scoreless tie with a blooper to right to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.
But that wasnt nearly enough to support Sale, who matched his season-high with five earned runs allowed.
Sale (11-3) looked sharp early but walked Gerald Laird and Danny Worth, Detroits eighth and ninth hitters, to start the third inning. That prompted a visit from Ventura and trainer Herm Schneider. But Sale stayed in the game and got out of trouble with a strikeout of Austin Jackson and a double play.
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning on Jacksons two-out double after a pair of two-out singles by Laird and Worth.
Detroit increased its lead in the sixth to 5-1 when Brennan Boesch belted a three-run home run to right off Sale, the first homer he has allowed to a left-handed hitter this season.
Jackson doubled in two runs in the eighth against reliever Dylan Axelrod.

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Giovanni Soto pitched to Geovany Soto at White Sox camp on Monday morning, and the Internet loved it.

The veteran catcher and rookie pitcher, who share similar names and have been friends for two years, worked together during live batting practice. The unrelated pair, who both hail from Puerto Rico, said they’ve been confused for each other several times since reporting to camp last week. Each has also heard the other’s name being called out and thought it was for them, which has led to more confusion. But those mix-ups haven’t limited their enjoyment of the situation, either.

“It’s kind of surreal that he has the same name, last name,” Geovany Soto said. “It’s kind of weird calling him Gio and he’s calling me Geo. It’s kind of weird.

“With the physicals, doctors, the people for the drug testing, we’ve been confused in all three of those. I’m expecting that to happen. Hopefully I can get a big check on his name and cash it.”

The social media world isn’t alone in its enjoyment of the topic as both players smiled while discussing it on Monday.

Giovanni Soto said the players met two seasons ago when he pitched for the Cleveland Indians and the catcher was in his first stint with the White Sox. They grew up about 20 minutes apart from each other in Puerto Rico and now spend time together in the offseason. But what has made the scenario even more confusing is that White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito is seated only a few stalls away from Giovanni Soto in the clubhouse.

“It’s kind of weird, especially in the clubhouse and on the field because when someone says Geo, we turn around to see if it’s for him or for me,” Giovanni Soto said. “And we also have Giolito, and people call him Gio. It’s weird, but it’s funny too.”

Both Sotos could make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Geovany Soto, who signed a minor league contract in January, is the most experienced catcher in camp and is favored to win a job. Giovanni Soto, who was claimed off waivers from the Cubs in November, is one of several relievers competing for a spot and could make the club if the White Sox decide to carry two left-handers in the bullpen. And while Giolito is expected to start the season at Triple-A, he could reach the majors at some point causing more pandemonium.

“There’s a lot of Geo going on with Giolito, Giovanni and then me,” Geovany Soto said. “And can get pretty hectic. But yeah, it’s fun for us.”