White Sox reliever Nate Jones feels good after second bullpen session

White Sox reliever Nate Jones feels good after second bullpen session

SEATTLE -- Nate Jones is a little closer to whatever his next step may be after he threw a second bullpen session on Friday.

The White Sox reliever threw 24 pitches off the mound at Safeco Field on Friday, two days after his first bullpen session in Anaheim. While he has yet to throw a slider, Jones believes if he stays on course that he’d only have one or two more bullpens left before he takes the next step. Whether that would be a rehab assignment or a simulated game is a still a few days away, but Jones has made good progress.

“Everything went well,” Jones said. “Everything felt good.

“Knock on wood, so far, so good. I haven’t had a setback or a slowdown yet. I’m just taking it a day at a time, accomplishing that task each day, and today happened to be a bullpen. So we’re doing good.”

Jones is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to May 1 with right elbow neuritis. Cleared by an MRI on May 3, Jones started to play catch again last week and has steadily progressed. Manager Rick Renteria said he’s optimistic about Jones and the club’s other pitchers on the DL.

[RELATED: Avisail Garcia maintaining consistent approach in potential breakthrough season]

Jones said throwing the slider again would be the final step. Given it wasn’t long ago he thought he might be headed for another Tommy John surgery, Jones is pleased with the methodical approach to his recovery.

“That’s one thing the White Sox wanted to do is make sure everything felt good as I was coming back the whole way,” Jones said. “Just tossing, progressing to long toss and progressing to the bullpens, they wanted to make sure I felt good because there’s no reason for me to come back not feeling good and going through the whole thing all over again.”

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

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White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

PHOENIX -- The red-hot White Sox ran into Zack Greinke on Monday night.

He cooled them off in a hurry.

Greinke struck out 12 hitters and Daniel Descalso blasted a three-run home run off Miguel Gonzalez as the Arizona Diamondbacks sent the White Sox to a 5-1 loss in front of 18,333 at Chase Field. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the White Sox, who had scored 24 runs in their final two games against the Seattle Mariners.

“(Greinke) keeps the ball down out of the zone a lot,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s kind of enticing. He keeps the ball in the hitter’s area and it ends up falling out. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to try to get him up. Our approach was to try to make him throw a lot of strikes. He ended up hammering the strike zone early and then finally he just came into a groove.”

Descalso’s three-run shot off Gonzalez was one of two pitches the White Sox right-hander would have liked back. After Gonzalez walked Chris Owings with two outs in the fourth inning, his only free pass of the night, he left the curveball over the middle and Descalso deposited it in the right-center field stands to break a scoreless tie.

He also left a pitch up to Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth inning and the All-Star first baseman ripped it for a solo shot.

But overall Gonzalez rebounded from his previous two starts when he walked nine batters. He was sharp for three innings as he faced one over the minimum. He just missed to Owings in the fourth, which brought up Descalso.

Gonzalez allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in five innings.

“You see what happens when you walk guys,” Gonzalez said. “That wasn’t in a good situation to walk the guy. You have to keep grinding, keep making my pitches. Really two pitches were the ones that hurt me tonight. A lot of positives. Nothing to worry about. Keep working hard and things are going to go my way.

“Sometimes things don’t go your way. Those two pitches, if I take those back, you never know. It’s a different ballgame.”

Not only did Greinke strike out a dozen hitters, he limited the White Sox to four hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez had two hits, the first coming after Greinke opened the game by retiring seven straight batters. Leury Garcia homered off Greinke with one out in the fifth inning to break up his bid for a shutout.

It was quite the turnaround from when the White Sox bashed Yovani Gallardo and Chris Heston on consecutive days in Seattle. The White Sox scored a combined nine first-inning runs in winning three of four against the Mariners.