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.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Hawk rips Lackey, Swarzak traded, Coop misses Q

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Hawk rips Lackey, Swarzak traded, Coop misses Q

After a wild day at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, Chuck Garfien and Dan Hayes discuss John Lackey hitting four White Sox batters and also play Hawk Harrelson's epic on-air rant directed at the Cubs pitcher.

"Jeff the Sox Fan" appears on the podcast and suggests what he thinks Jose Abreu should have done to Lackey when he was hit for a second time.

While they taped the podcast, Anthony Swarzak was traded to the Brewers. What kind of return did the White Sox get? Garfien also interviews White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper about losing Quintana to the Cubs, why he can't watch Quintana and Chris Sale pitch in different uniform, when some minor leaguers like Reynaldo Lopez will be called up and more.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

How White Sox aggressive deadline strategy paid off in Anthony Swarzak trade

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AP

How White Sox aggressive deadline strategy paid off in Anthony Swarzak trade

The White Sox jumped out ahead of a crowded reliever market once again and traded Anthony Swarzak to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

The White Sox acquired 25-year-old outfielder Ryan Cordell from the Brewers in exchange for the veteran reliever, a baseball source confirmed. The No. 17 prospect in the Brewers farm system, Cordell was hitting .284/.349/.506 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs in 292 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs this season.

A nonroster invitee to big league camp this spring, Swarzak was 4-3 with a 2.23 ERA, one save and 52 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings this season. He’s the third reliever the White Sox have traded since the second half began as they also dealt David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees with Todd Frazier on July 18.

TA free agent after the season, Swarzak has fared extremely well in high-leverage situations, stranding 26 of the 35 runners he had inherited. He pitched in two high-leverage spots in the team’s previous two games, earning his first career save Monday. Swarzak, whose 9.68 strikeouts per nine is a career high, also earned a hold on Sunday in Kansas City.

“I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for a long time,” Swarzak said of Monday’s save. “It’s nice that I went in there and got it done. You think about that moment for years and then it finally happens. You just are trying to take a step back and reflect on what just happened, and I’ll be able to come in tomorrow and be ready to go.”

Two American League scouts said Monday that Swarzak still had good trade value even though he’s viewed as a rental. While he wouldn’t likely net the White Sox a top-150 prospect, they could wrangle a “good” minor-leaguer in a deal. One element that could have potentially derailed the White Sox was an abundance of strong relief options in the market, perhaps as many as 20 pitchers.

[MORE: Carlos Rodon frustrated again after a weird start

After the White Sox traded Robertson and Kahnle, general manager Rick Hahn indicated they moved the pair early in anticipation of a competitive marketplace when they acquired Blake Rutherford and others from the New York Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles are a team that could have wreaked havoc on the relief market if they decide to sell -- something one AL source said they’ve gone back and forth on every day -- because they could flood it with Zach Britton and others.

The move is the third made by the White Sox in a span of two weeks, including the trade of Jose Quintana to the Cubs on July 13. The White Sox still have several veterans on the roster who could draw trade interest, including starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez.

“We are still open for business,” Hahn said last week.

Today’s Knuckleball’s Jon Heyman first reported the deal that sent Swarzak to the Brewers. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal initially reported the teams’ were discussing a trade for Swarzak.