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.

Preview: Chris Sale starts for White Sox against Rays tonight on CSN+

Preview: Chris Sale starts for White Sox against Rays tonight on CSN+

The White Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Chris Sale (16-9, 3.19 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (1-1, 6.16 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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James Shields gets first win in two months as White Sox beat Rays

James Shields gets first win in two months as White Sox beat Rays

James Shields’ time with the White Sox has not gone well. But Monday night was one of the bright spots, and it came against his former team.

Shields allowed just one run in his six innings of work against the visiting Tampa Ray Bays — with whom he spent the first seven seasons of his career — and earned his first win since July 26 as the White Sox opened this four-game set with a 7-1 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.

Shields didn’t exactly keep the Rays off the bases Monday, running into jams with multiple base runners on in four of his six innings. But he did keep them off the scoreboard, for the most part, getting some help from his defense with a couple double plays. He finished allowing just one run on seven hits with six strikeouts over his six innings.

The win was his first in two months after a brutal August — six starts with four losses and an 11.42 ERA — and a couple of rough outings in September. It was Shields’ sixth victory on the season and fourth since joining the White Sox compared to 18 losses on the season, 11 coming with the White Sox.

“I had a few chances my last few starts to get some wins, but sometimes those things happen,” Shields said. “I’m just trying to finish the season strong right now. Body feels good, arm feels good, so hopefully I can get another win on Saturday to end my season and move into next year.”

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With just one more start on his schedule in the season’s final week, Shields won’t lose a visually upsetting 20 games. Avoiding that number might not make losing 18 or 19 much easier for fans and observers to swallow, but teammates understand what Shields has gone through this season.

“I think we’ve all been through it once or maybe even twice in our career. He works his butt off, though,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “He looks at film. He watches everything he’s doing. To come out with the strong outing today, even in the first inning, getting two runners on and getting out of that jam, it goes to show you his resilience. Whenever he got runners on, he looked relaxed and induced a lot of ground balls which we needed.”

Certainly Shields’ teammates picked him up Monday. The two double plays while he was in the game were just half the infield’s total on the night, two more coming in the seventh and eighth, when Tommy Kahnle and Nate Jones put the first two hitters they faced on in each frame. But the double plays helped end those threats and keep the Rays down.

The White Sox struck first with a run in the first inning, Melky Cabrera scoring on Justin Morneau’s sacrifice fly. After the Rays tied it up in the fourth with an RBI single, the White Sox punched back, Frazier doubling, stealing third base and scoring on Omar Narvaez’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of that inning.

And as Shields and the relief corps danced out of jams, the White Sox added to their score. Jose Abreu singled in a run in the fifth, but it was a pair of two-run homers off the bats of Morneau and Carlos Sanchez in the seventh and eighth innings that provided the real insurance.

The win was the third straight for the White Sox, something that while positive won’t provide much solace in a season where competing for a playoff spot is a distant memory.

But, like Shields finishing his season strong, White Sox players in general can create individual momentum for each of their offseasons and into next year with good finishes to 2016.

“We want to end on a positive note,” Frazier said. “Everybody wants to meet their goals. Baseball is the most individualistic team sport there is. You have to have your individual goals just like your team goals, and our team goals are out the door right now. You don’t want to play for yourself, but at the same time play for your pitcher a little bit and help him out.”