White Sox show their spirit but fall short

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White Sox show their spirit but fall short

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011Posted: 10:30 p.m. Updated: 11:59 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White Sox InsiderFollow @CSNChi_Beatnik
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WATCH: Humber on being hit by line drives
READ: 'X' marks a tough spot for Guillen, White SoxREAD: Six-man saving sputter out

KANSAS CITY On a night when Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen launched into a long dissertation over the hidden meaning of apparently meaningless baseball, his White Sox bowed their necks and refused to go quietly into the drizzly, chilled night.

But two comebacks werent enough to stave off a 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals, as Eric Hosmer drove a double over Juan Pierres head with one out in the bottom of the ninth off of Matt Thornton to earn K.C. the win. The White Sox have now dropped six straight, just one defeat short of their season high.

We got back in the game and had good at-bats there and a couple of big hits, Guillen said. Unfortunately, Matt couldnt shut it down. I think hes fighting through it with lefties, and both lefties Alex Gordon and Hosmer got him. Matt couldnt get it done today.

For Kansas City, it was Mike Moustakas who was the offensive star, with three straight hits (including a home run) after starting his career 0-for-35 against the White Sox. For good measure, third sacker chipped in his first career steal in the eighth.

Phil Humber started for the White Sox and did not find the same fortune as his previous two starts after returning from the DL (1-0, 1.40 ERA, 64 game score).

Besides the home run by Moustakas, he threw the ball pretty good, Guillen said. He went through a tough time late in the game and I left him in there to resolve his problem, and he did it pretty good.

If you want to put a positive spin on it, yeah, Humber agreed in discussing working out of trouble in the sixth, his last frame. It was definitely a battle. If our guys put up six runs, I expect to win the game, so Im disappointed with my performance. Obviously that was a game we should have won. Same time, tip your hat to those guys, Nos. 1-5 they have a solid lineup over there and hopefully next time I face them Ill make a few better pitches.

The righty was rocked for five runs in six innings and took a ball off his right hip leading off the sixth, as Jeff Francoeur drilled him with a single that bounded off Humber and into right field.

Its more frustrating than anything, Humber said. Paulie made the comment that Im probably due to not have a ball hit me for the rest of my career. I dont know if thats true, but its getting pretty old, to be honest with you. But I got the ball over the plate, and Francoeur did what hes supposed to do with it.

Guillen was more direct: I think we should put a screen up when hes pitching. Its scary every time he goes out there. Balls are close to him.

On the Chicago side, it was Brent Morel with yet another September home run his sixth of the month in the eighth that knotted the game up at six. Morel now has 12 RBI over his past 17 games compared to 22 RBI over his first 97.

Maybe more confidence or more at-bats, Guillen said of Morels success. He knows the pitchers better Hopefully he will finish strong and start next year and have a better season. Having confidence and knowing what youre doing; those two things together give him a lot of pop.

Alexei Ramirez was 3-for-4 and Gordon Beckham scored three runs.

On the mound, the one clear bright spot was a fourth straight scoreless appearance by Addison Reed.

Weve tried different situations, and hes handled them well, Guillen said. But I dont want to overuse somebody who is our future just to see him out there. He did a good job. Every time he goes out there, this kid impresses me more. This kid has a bright future.

WATCH: Reed's main focus is throwing strikes

With every outing I go out there, I feel a little more comfortable, other than my first inning in Detroit, Reed said. I felt pretty good, comfortable kind of realize its the same game, the plate is just as far away as it was in the minor leagues. Once I realized that, and as long as I throw my game, Ill be fine.

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

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Giovanni Soto pitched to Geovany Soto at White Sox camp on Monday morning, and the Internet loved it.

The veteran catcher and rookie pitcher, who share similar names and have been friends for two years, worked together during live batting practice. The unrelated pair, who both hail from Puerto Rico, said they’ve been confused for each other several times since reporting to camp last week. Each has also heard the other’s name being called out and thought it was for them, which has led to more confusion. But those mix-ups haven’t limited their enjoyment of the situation, either.

“It’s kind of surreal that he has the same name, last name,” Geovany Soto said. “It’s kind of weird calling him Gio and he’s calling me Geo. It’s kind of weird.

“With the physicals, doctors, the people for the drug testing, we’ve been confused in all three of those. I’m expecting that to happen. Hopefully I can get a big check on his name and cash it.”

The social media world isn’t alone in its enjoyment of the topic as both players smiled while discussing it on Monday.

Giovanni Soto said the players met two seasons ago when he pitched for the Cleveland Indians and the catcher was in his first stint with the White Sox. They grew up about 20 minutes apart from each other in Puerto Rico and now spend time together in the offseason. But what has made the scenario even more confusing is that White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito is seated only a few stalls away from Giovanni Soto in the clubhouse.

“It’s kind of weird, especially in the clubhouse and on the field because when someone says Geo, we turn around to see if it’s for him or for me,” Giovanni Soto said. “And we also have Giolito, and people call him Gio. It’s weird, but it’s funny too.”

Both Sotos could make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Geovany Soto, who signed a minor league contract in January, is the most experienced catcher in camp and is favored to win a job. Giovanni Soto, who was claimed off waivers from the Cubs in November, is one of several relievers competing for a spot and could make the club if the White Sox decide to carry two left-handers in the bullpen. And while Giolito is expected to start the season at Triple-A, he could reach the majors at some point causing more pandemonium.

“There’s a lot of Geo going on with Giolito, Giovanni and then me,” Geovany Soto said. “And can get pretty hectic. But yeah, it’s fun for us.”