White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

Another day, another win. This time, the Sox rallied for five runs against James Shields in the sixth and Dayan Viciedo added an eighth-inning home run to push the White Sox past Tampa Bay 7-2. And with Cleveland losing to Kansas City:

The White Sox are in first place. Chuck Garfien has a good rundown of how the Sox got here and how they aim to stay in contention for four more months.

Dayan Viciedo's been a big part of the recent hot streakturnaround, driving in 23 runs in May with eight home runs. After Tuesday's game, Frank Thomas broke down what Viciedo's been doing right:

And, of course, Paul Konerko's been extremely important, even if he's come back down to earth a bit in these last two games. On Tuesday afternoon, he was rewarded for his efforts with AL Player of the Week honors -- the second time he's won that award this year.

Yet with everything seemingly breaking in the White Sox favor, attendance remains an issue. We'll see what the numbers look like for the upcoming nine-game homestand against Seattle, Toronto and Houston, but there seems to be a pretty good movement among the fans to get other fans to head out to the park. Chicago Tribune Live had a good debate on the attendance issues:

Justin Verlander gave up five runs as Detroit fell to Boston 6-3. That has a few bits of significance: First, with a 23-26 record, the Tigers are only one game ahead of the White Sox pace through 49 games from last year; and second, it means Chris Sale now has the best ERA of any American League starter. His 15-strikeout Memorial Day performance ranks as the fifth-best start a White Sox pitcher has had against Tampa Bay, though.

Around the division: Grady Sizemore is frustrated as he tries to work his way back to Cleveland, Magglio Ordonez will announce his retirement and be honored Sunday in Detroit, the Tigers shipped Ryan Raburn off to Triple-A, Minnesota Josh Willingham dealt Oakland their seventh straight loss and Kevin Goldstein looks at the top 15 draft prospects.

Mark Buehrle describes the 'amazing feeling' of having jersey number retired by White Sox

Mark Buehrle describes the 'amazing feeling' of having jersey number retired by White Sox

Mark Buehrle might need time to process everything that took place Saturday afternoon when he was surrounded by friends, family, teammates and fans, showered with gifts and overwhelmed by emotion.

The White Sox officially retired the number of one of the most popular players in team history in front of 38,618 at Guaranteed Rate Field. A banner covering Buehrle’s No. 56 was unfurled during an afternoon ceremony that makes the left-hander one of 11 players in club history whose number has been retired. Surrounded by fellow honoree Frank Thomas among many others, the always humble Buehrle -- who won 161 games in 12 seasons with the White Sox -- said afterward he’s not sure he belongs in the club.

“It doesn’t make sense,” Buehrle said. “It’s going to take time. I don’t know if it’s ever going to sink in and realize there it is.

“Amazing feeling. Can’t really put it into words how you feel. I wasn’t actually as nervous as I thought I would be once I was up there. But obviously glad it’s over with and it’s a special day.”

Buehrle’s list of dignitaries included Thomas, managers Ozzie Guillen and Jerry Manuel, Cliff Polite, Scott Podsednik, Jim Thome, Joe Crede, Jon Garland, John Danks and hitting coach Greg Walker.

White Sox play by play man Hawk Harrelson emceed a ceremony that lasted 30 minutes. Included were speeches by Thomas and White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper as well as an unveiling of a series of gifts. The team presented Buehrle with a new truck, a baseball collage put together by Ron Kittle, a four-seat All-Terrain Vehicle -- much to the enjoyment of his duck hunting club seated on the 400 level -- as well as the flip-through-the-legs ball from Opening Day 2010. Club chairman Jerry Reinsdorf also spoke during the ceremony, dropping in a series of one-liners.

“I’ve never seen him upset,” Guillen said. “I’ve never seen him overreact. Day in and day out he was the same guy. That’s what makes him so special. His teammates loved him.

“Buehrle did something: outsmart people. People don’t have stuff like him they think I’m smart, I can do this and fake it. Buehrle just grabbed the ball and threw it.

“To survive for so many years and have your number retired, there’s not that many people up there.

“It’s amazing with the stuff he had. I’ve seen a lot of better pitchers with better stuff. You don’t see too many guys with the same heart.”

Buehrle said Friday that he anticipated he’d be an emotional wreck for the event. The man beloved by the public isn’t much for public speaking. Throw in all of his friends and family present and Buehrle just hoped to get through his own speech. He said the sight of seeing his number unfurled almost put him over the edge.

“Emotions and trying to breathe deep and don’t start crying, tearing up,” Buehrle said. “I was trying to hold my emotions together. But just looking up there and seeing that. I can’t put it into words.”

When it was his turn to say the words, Buehrle spoke the way he pitched: tidy and efficient. Wearing a suit and sunglasses in case he teared up, Buehrle spoke with his wife and children at his side. Aside from his family, Buehrle said he avoided naming names during the 4-minute, 19-second speech because he had too many people to thank for the journey from 38th round draft pick to all-time great.

Buehrle said he wouldn’t be able to pick out his favorite part until he watches the ceremony again later.

“When I watch it back in a couple hours and realize what happened and what really went on,” Buehrle said. “It’s kind of hard to hear out there, but it’s just everything. I had Frank Thomas and Jim Thome behind me. They’re here for my day. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

James Shields makes history in loss to Athletics

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USA TODAY

James Shields makes history in loss to Athletics

James Shields put his name in the record books twice on Mark Buehrle Day. 

Making his second start since returning from injury, Shields became the 81st pitcher in major-league history to record 2,000 career strikeouts. He then became the first pitcher in major-league history to allow three players to hit their first career home runs in a single game. 

Matt Olson, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto each tagged the White Sox pitcher for their first career blast, resulting in the Athletics jumping out to a 6-0 lead. They held on to a sizable lead all game, scoring a 10-2 victory in front of 38,618 at Guaranteed Rate Field. 

Shields' day was done after three innings, allowing seven hits, six earned runs and striking out five. He also walked three batters. 

The White Sox offense picked up two unearned runs in the third and fourth inning, thanks to infield errors. Melky Cabrera singled home Yolmer Sanchez, who reached on a Barreto miscue. The following inning, Tim Anderson roped a sac fly to center, plating Todd Frazier. 

Frazier later picked up his first ejection in 855 MLB games for arguing after umpires called and reviewed that Jose Abreu had slid off the bag while stretching for the third baseman's errant throw. For the second time in as many games, Rick Renteria followed suit. He slammed his hat while vehemently disagreeing with two umps in the middle of the infield. 

Olson homered again - this time off Jake Petricka - in the seventh to extend the A's lead to eight runs. 

Alen Hanson, who improved his batting average to .333 in a White Sox uniform, was the only player with multiple hits in the Sox order. He went 2-for-4 with two singles. Frazier recorded the team's lone extra-base hit when he delivered a double in the fourth. 

For the Sox, it was another case of starter struggles. Saturday marked the 25th time in 31 games that a South Side starter has failed to make a quality start.