Teahen tees off as White Sox double up Detroit

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Teahen tees off as White Sox double up Detroit

Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010
Updated 12:16 AM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

As it turned out, Friday the 13th was the luckiest of days for Mark Teahen.

The White Sox super-utilityman, reactivated on Friday and immediately slotted in right field for the first time this season, paced an 8-4 Chicago win with a 2-for-4 night. Teahen jump-started a four-run rally with a single to right in the fifth inning and clocked a stratospheric homer to right-center in the sixth.

I felt great, Teahen said. It was a long time coming, so I wanted to come back and help out right away.

He was swinging the bat very well in Charlotte, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. When you come back, you can be feeling your way and playing a little cautious, so in light of that he had a great game. His success gives the ballclub a lot of flexibility.

Teahen rejoined the team after almost 10 weeks on the disabled list with a fractured right middle finger. In 11 rehabilitation games with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, Teahen hit .364 while playing third base, right field and DH; while in 45 games at first, third and DH earlier in the season with the White Sox, Teahen hit .255 and struggled defensively.

The game suffered a one-hour, 22-minute rain delay that began with one out in the seventh inning, mere minutes after Chicago starter Mark Buehrle had left the game. The southpaw threw an inefficient 100 pitches, but they were good enough to earn the veteran his 11th win on the season. Buehrle is now 5-0 with a 2.47 ERA over his last eight games.

Marks been really good for us, second baseman Gordon Beckham said. It seems like hes been that way for us for the last two months.

After the rain delay, Sergio Santos completed a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in relief with, oh, a mere 81-minute gap between pitches.

Guillen explained that he only let Santos return to the game after he talked the situation over with the rookie, as well as pitching coach Don Cooper. Santos now has 11 straight appearances without allowing a run and 15 without an earned run. His ERA has dropped to a ridiculous 1.42 and Santos has struck out 9.24 batters per nine innings.

It was Beckham who provided the biggest and most decisive blast of the game with a three-run, opposite-field clout in the fifth, putting the White Sox up 4-0. In the bottom of the seventh, Beckham and Juan Pierre hit back-to-back triples, both of which could have been stand-up, marking the first time in nearly nine years the White Sox belted consecutive triples in one game. On the former, Beckham displayed a fifth gear so hot he dried the infield dirt around second base as he made his turn.

I needed oxygen, Beckham said of his triple. It felt like more than a double, but not quite a home run. I felt I had to get to third.

Beckham is swinging at strikes, Guillen said of his scintillating second baseman, whos hitting .379 with 16 extra-base hits in his past 28 games. Early in the season, he was missing a lot of pitches, and now hes making contact and driving the ball.

Brandon Inge continued his terrorization of White Sox pitching with a solo shot in the eighth inning off of Chicago reliever Matt Thorntona blow that snapped the leftys 22-game scoreless appearance streak. Alexei Ramirez answered the blast with a home run to nearly the same spot in left-center in the bottom of the stanza.

With Minnesotas win over the Oakland As, the Twins remain one game ahead of the White Sox for first place in the A.L. Central.

Merely being able to include a paragraph like the one above in an August game story is new for Teahen, who had played all his previous Augusts with the routine also-rans, the Kansas City Royals. Thus the fairly famous owner of a pooch named Espy Teahen is brand-new to dog days play.

Theres a huge difference with the White Sox. Im used to being out of contention at this point, Teahen said. Its fun for me to be back on the field with a legitimate shot to make a run for the playoffs.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Miguel Gonzalez throws six perfect innings as White Sox take series against Tigers

Miguel Gonzalez throws six perfect innings as White Sox take series against Tigers

For six innings Sunday, Miguel Gonzalez was perfect.

The White Sox right-hander put the baseball world on perfect-game alert and conjured memories of Mark Buehrle and Philip Humber with his dazzling work through six innings. Gonzalez lost his bids for a perfect game, no hitter and shutout in the span of three batters to lead off the seventh inning, but that didn’t take away much from how good he was in a 7-3 win for the South Siders at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“He was dominant,” shortstop Tim Anderson said, providing an accurate if brief summation of the day’s proceedings.

Gonzalez, who entered with a 3-5 record and a 4.55 ERA in nine previous starts this season, set down the first 18 hitters he faced in order, with the visiting Detroit Tigers rarely even coming close to reaching base. That streak of 18 straight hitters retired to start the game was the longest by a White Sox starter since Chris Sale sat down the first 19 he faced back in May 2013.

Of course, whenever a performance nears no-hitter territory, players know it and stay away from the pitcher in the dugout, afraid of jinxing things. And the White Sox weren’t immune to that baseball tradition on Sunday.

“It was getting quiet,” Gonzalez said. “I was just trying to do my thing. Just go out there and make pitches, let them make the plays and that’s how things went.”

The Tigers — who trailed big after the White Sox gave Gonzalez a 7-0 lead — finally broke through to start the seventh. Austin Romine reached on an infield single, Alex Avila singled through the right side of the infield, and Miguel Cabrera dumped an RBI base hit into right field.

Detroit added two more runs on three extra-base hits in the eighth, but Gonzalez still finished with a great line, yielding just three runs on six hits in 7.2 innings of work.

Gonzalez’s gem snapped a streak of rough outings that started, coincidentally enough, against this Tigers team, when he was crushed for seven runs on 14 hits in an April 30 loss in Detroit. Entering Sunday’s game, Gonzalez was a nasty 0-5 with a 6.99 ERA in his previous five starts. He hadn’t made it out of the sixth inning in any of his previous three starts.

“I started off really good. I was struggling for a couple outings, and all you can do is keep working hard and things are going to happen,” Gonzalez said. “I think if you work hard in between your starts you have a pretty good chance of getting back on track and that’s how I felt today.”

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That seventh-inning blip by the Tigers ended the day’s only drama, as the White Sox offense put the result of the game out of question earlier, tagging opposing starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann for seven runs in his five innings of work.

Zimmermann entered the day struggling on the 2017 campaign, and that didn’t change Sunday. Willy Garcia tripled in Omar Narvaez for the game’s first run in the third and scored on the same play thanks to a throwing error. Two hitters later, Melky Cabrera hit a solo home run to make it 3-0.

Matt Davidson led off the bottom of the fourth with his 10th home run of the season, and Narvaez drove in Yolmer Sanchez to make it 5-0. Todd Frazier tacked on two more in the fifth with a two-run shot that also scored Jose Abreu.

“As an offense, we’re trying to give that (big cushion) every night. That’d be nice,” Davidson said. “And it really relaxes them. And you can see what happens when they’ve got a lead and you let them do their thing.”

The White Sox took three of four from the Tigers in this weekend series that featured a doubleheader split Saturday. It’s a positive start to this home stand — which continues with a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox — after going 3-7 on a recent 10-game road trip.

“I'm very happy with it, but again I'm not surprised by it, simply because I think they come out every single day to try to play good baseball and do what they need to help each other out and win ballgames,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It's just their character, the way they're put together. They keep battling.”

Jose Abreu relishing opportunity to help mentor Luis Robert, White Sox newest Cuban addition

Jose Abreu relishing opportunity to help mentor Luis Robert, White Sox newest Cuban addition

Call it the White Sox latest Cuban connection.

When news came out of the team pursuing 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Luis Robert, it was pretty easy to guess that Jose Abreu, the franchise’s previous big-time, free-agent signing from Cuba, would be involved.

But not only was Abreu involved in the White Sox courting of Robert, sending a personalized message as part of the team’s video pitch, he’s been a willing participant. And now that Robert is officially signed after Saturday’s much-hyped introduction, Abreu is ready to take on a mentorship role, much like he has with another one of the organization’s Cuban prospects, Yoan Moncada.

In the lead up to Saturday’s press conference, it was Abreu touring Robert around Guaranteed Rate Field, chatting with him in the dugout and taking pictures on the infield.

“I was very excited to have him here, and I’m very happy right now because he’s signing with the team,” Abreu said through a translator ahead of Sunday’s series finale with the visiting Detroit Tigers. “He’s a very good player. I just told him that he has to keep working hard and keep doing the things to get here as soon as he can. He’s a nice guy.

“I’m excited to have that opportunity (to be a mentor). That’s something that I like to do. I like to advise the guys and tell them what to do for their best like I am doing right now with Moncada. I’m just waiting for that opportunity to happen with (Robert).”

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While Abreu arrived on the South Side an older, more experienced player who was ready for the big leagues, Robert’s journey to the majors will be a much different, much longer one. Abreu recognizes that and talked about how tough the transition will be. He also has confidence Robert, who has received glowing scouting reports comparing him to perennial All Stars, can succeed.

“It’s not an easy thing to do to come here straight to play in the majors because this is a very high level and a tough one to play,” Abreu said. “I think the best for him is the decision that he’s making for him, to have some games in the minors and let him develop there. He’s had a long time without playing baseball. Baseball in Cuba is good, but it’s not as good as baseball here in the U.S. and you have to adjust. I think that process for him is going to be perfect in the minors.”

Saturday, Robert talked about the White Sox tradition of Cuban players, mentioning how it helped motivate him to sign with the team. Abreu has been one of the franchise’s most successful Cuban players, a list that includes the legendary Minnie Minoso as well as more recent players like Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo and Moncada in the minor leagues.

While that tradition might not be the entire or even main reason Robert is now a part of the organization, general manager Rick Hahn talked about how it’s created an environment that will help Robert develop. Banners featuring Minoso, Abreu, Ramirez and Moncada flanked the table where Robert signed his contract.

Abreu said it’s a tradition he’s very proud to be a part of.

“That made me feel happy and proud. Not just for this organization that I’m a part of, but also for my heritage because I know that this is a very good organization and they are trying to take care of the Cuban players,” Abreu said. “I also feel a huge respect for Minnie Minoso because he was the first one who opened this door here with the White Sox.”

Through his mentoring, Abreu could keep that tradition going into the future. Robert and Moncada are huge pieces of the White Sox rebuilding puzzle, and Abreu is helping put those pieces together for the White Sox.