Thome's revenge: Winning blast puts Sox four back

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Thome's revenge: Winning blast puts Sox four back

Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010
Updated 12:19 AM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

MINNEAPOLIS Before Tuesday night's game, Bobby Jenks was nonplussed by the Minnesota Twins.

These three games, yeah, they are important, but not that important, said the erstwhile Chicago White Sox closer. Its not going to matter what we do here if we cant go out and beat the rest of our division.

True enough. But the White Sox would do well to at least stay in Minnesotas rear-view mirror, eh?

Such a goal is becoming less and less of a physical possibility, as the Pale Hose struck two unlikely rallies but still could not drop the Twins.

Jim Thome hit a walk-off, two-run homer to lead Minnesota to a 7-6 win in 10 innings, before a 54th straight sellout at Target Field.

It feels good, Thome said after the game, bleary-eyed from a shaving cream pie dealt him for his heroics. I know I was in for a challenge against Matt Thornton. I couldnt get his first fastball, but then I caught him. Its such a great win for us.

If it was Denard Span who hit the winning home run, Id be crying right now, said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who declared that hed take the matchup of Thornton vs. Thome over and over again. But Jim Thome has what, 600 home runs? Tip your hat, come back tomorrow ready to win.

Alexei Ramirez had extended the game to extra innings with a leadoff, ninth-inning home run off of Minny closer Matt Capps, then pushed home the apparent winning run in the 10th with a single to center field. But the White Sox could muster no more; after rallying to load the bases with one out, Paul Konerko hit into a 4-6-3 double play to extinguish the threat.

As far as can be told, the hustle points the White Sox receive for battling back from a 4-0, first-inning deficit, or tying the game at five in the ninth, or pushing ahead 6-5 in the 10th dont count in the standings. Chicago dug a four-run hole for the second straight game, and starter John Danks put it all on himself.

I put us in a hole against a good team, he said. Ive relied on my cutter all year, and I didnt have it today. We fought back, but I didnt do us any favors.

Tuesdays mugging came in the first frame and was perpetrated by Orlando Hudson (solo homer), Jason Kubel (two-run triple) and Thome (RBI single through the shift), threatening to bury the White Sox early.

Yet as the early night air in the Great White North squeezed wafer-thin, balls started flying off the White Sox bats as well. Konerko led off the second inning with a solo shot, followed two batters later by Mark Kotsay, who deposited out a two-run bomb. Two innings later, it was A.J. Pierzynski scoring Kotsay with a double that completed the comeback.

Minnesota took the lead on Delmon Youngs seven-iron shot in the fifth inning, which put the Twins up by one and reliever Glen Perkins in line for the win. Perkins, Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain strung together 3 13 innings of scoreless relief seemingly to ice the game for Minnesota.

Danks indeed may have deserved a better fate, having fought back after tossing 48 pitching in the first two innings and spreading just 56 over the next five frames.

Despite assuming the responsibility for the loss, it was Danks who sounded determined after this disappointing loss even as he was encumbered by the sobriety of a four-game deficit in the standings.

We know we have a good team over here, and weve rallied hard all season. Were a tough bunch of guys, Danks said. Were not going to stop fighting until they tell us theres no reason to fight any more.

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

Ex-White Sox Jesse Crain hosting charity event featuring Paul Konerko, George Brett

Ex-White Sox Jesse Crain hosting charity event featuring Paul Konerko, George Brett

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ex-White Sox pitcher Jesse Crain is hosting a local charity golfing event featuring Paul Konerko, Matt Thornton and Hall of Famer George Brett among others.

Crain, who pitched for the White Sox for three seasons and was an All-Star in 2013, and his wife, Becky, recently created the Crain Family Foundation to benefit children. 

The couple is hosting the Swing into Spring event at Top Golf in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Monday night, which is designed to benefit the Tandem Resource Center, Arizona RBI Baseball and Autism Speaks. Crain expects between 25-30 current and former players will participate in the event, which is open to the public.

[RELATED: Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain]

"Me and my wife had wanted to start a foundation for a long time with the platform that we'd give back to kids any way possible," Crain said. "We just want to be able to help kids in whatever capacity, whether through medical, hardships or whatever it may be."

Crain, who was at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday, said planning for the event began in October. Though he had wanted to begin a foundation during his playing career, Crain said after planning the event he knows he wouldn't have had the appropriate amount of time while he was an active player.

Among those scheduled to attend are Cody Ross, David Aardsma, Jonny Gomes, Nick Punto, JJ Putz, Brandon Webb, Justin Morneau, Matt Lindstrom, Scott Feldman, Nate Jones, Mark Melancon, Denard Span and Chad Qualls. Crain also hopes to convince a few more current White Sox players. He said reservations for the event or donations can be made through Crainfamilyfoundation.org.

Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain

Todd Frazier out with left oblique strain

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier has been sidelined with what he's describing as a left oblique strain.  

Frazier — who produced a career high 40 home runs and 98 RBIs last season — said he injured himself swinging on Monday. White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Frazier is day-to-day and the club would take advantage of the extra time on the spring training calendar this season.
 
The veteran also said he expects to be cautious with the injury and thorough.

"Just felt a little tightness in my left side," Frazier said. "That's what spring training is for, you've got to just be careful. (Athletic trainer Herm Schneider has) been working with me the past day and a half. I don't feel like it's anything that serious, but we have so much time. Let's take a break, take a few days off and hopefully it keeps getting better and better.

"It's something I've dealt with before. But at the same time, from what I've heard they're not anything to mess with. So let's take a couple days and see how it is after a couple days and go from there."

[MORE: Lighter Avisail Garcia wants to show White Sox his best]

The White Sox begin their exhibition season on Saturday with a contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the team's regular season opener isn't for another 5 1/2 weeks, which should give Frazier ample time to rest, rehab and prepare. The White Sox open the 2017 campaign at home on April 3 against the Detroit Tigers. 

"He's been working good," Renteria said. "I just saw him, he's smiling. He's day to day and we'll re-evaluate and see where he's at.

"We'll back him up. We're taking it day to day. We'll see where he's at before I can determine how far back we can push him back."