White Sox try to snap losing skid, face Rays

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White Sox try to snap losing skid, face Rays

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Posted: 10:45 a.m.

(AP) -- Tampa Bay has turned things around after a dismal start. Leading the way has been surprising Sam Fuld.

Fuld looks to extend his hot stretch when the Rays continue their four-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

In parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Fuld never made much of an impact with 33 hits in 131 at-bats (.252). Traded to Tampa Bay (7-9) in January as part of the deal for Matt Garza, Fuld is leading the Rays with a .396 average and showing impressive range in the outfield.

He had another big game Monday, going 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored as Tampa Bay defeated Chicago (7-9) 5-0 for its sixth win in seven games following a 1-8 start.

READ: Diving Rays drive White Sox downward

David Price pitched four-hit ball over eight innings and Felipe Lopez and Ben Zobrist each homered. Zobrist's home run capped a three-run first.

After scoring eight total runs during a season-opening six-game losing streak, the Rays have averaged 5.6 runs during their 6-1 surge. Fuld is 16 for 31 during that seven-game stretch.

Fuld's hot streak helped carry an offense that on Monday was without designated hitter Johnny Damon, who sat out with a bruised left ring finger. He hopes to play later this week. Center fielder B.J. Upton (rest) and first baseman Dan Johnson (sore left wrist) were also out of the lineup.

Price was too much for the slumping White Sox, who have dropped five straight while batting .199 and scoring 11 runs. They struck out 11 times Monday, including three by Alex Rios, whose average dropped to .203. Adam Dunn, batting 2 for 23 the last six games, was given the night off against the left-handed Price.

"We know we're going to hit," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't worry about that."

READ: Peavy's 'discomfort' sets return back

The losing streak is Chicago's longest since an eight-game skid Sept. 14-21.

James Shields (0-1, 3.98 ERA) will look to keep the Rays rolling as he seeks his first win since Aug. 29 against Boston. The right-hander is 0-5 with a 6.19 ERA over nine starts since, three this season.

Shields, though, is coming off a second strong start in 2011. He allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 4-3, 10-inning win over Minnesota on Thursday. The Rays didn't score while he was on the mound for the second time this season.

The offense bailed him out after he struggled at Chicago on April 8, yielding five runs and eight hits, including three homers, over six innings of a 9-7 victory.

Alexei Ramirez is 6 for 15 with two homers against Shields while Mark Teahen is hitting .385 with two home runs in 26 at-bats.

Sox Drawer: Look out for the Indians (and Orlando Cabrera)

John Danks (0-1, 3.15), who opposed Shields in that April 8 start, has been in line for victories his last two games, but the White Sox bullpen has blown a save each time.

On Wednesday against Oakland, Danks allowed one run and five hits while striking out seven over eight innings, but Chicago went on to lose 7-4 in 10 innings.

In Danks' previous start against Tampa Bay, the left-hander allowed four runs and six hits while walking four over six innings.

Danks is 4-1 at Tropicana Field, losing his last start there May 29 after allowing eight runs in four innings. He had a 2.25 ERA in his previous four visits.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Preview: White Sox face the Mariners Thursday on CSN

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Preview: White Sox face the Mariners Thursday on CSN

The White Sox take on the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Thursday’s starting pitching matchup: Anthony Ranaudo vs. James Paxton

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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James Shields, White Sox lose to Phillies and snap winning streak

James Shields, White Sox lose to Phillies and snap winning streak

James Shields allowed his fewest runs in a month on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a loss.

Shields yielded two more home runs in six innings and his offense couldn’t keep pace as the White Sox lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 in front of 15,630 at U.S. Cellular Field. Shields gave up four earned runs and seven hits. Dioner Navarro homered in the loss, which snapped a three-game White Sox winning streak.

“We’ve seen better,” manager Robin Ventura said. “(Shields) got to two strikes, two outs and gave up a couple there and that’s tough. The homer to left, that’s just one you get in this ballpark. The biggest one, for him, mistake-wise was the homer to Joseph. I think that’s the one that he wants back. But as far as going out there and getting us to a point, he’s still got room to improve on. But he got through it.”

The six innings pitched marks the most by Shields since July 26.

In between, Shields allowed 28 runs (27 earned) and 33 hits in 14 innings over four turns, good for a 17.36 ERA.

He fell behind 3-0 by the third inning before he settled in and retired nine of 11 batters. The Phillies pieced together a two-out rally in the second inning to go up two runs as Tommy Joseph and Freddy Galvis doubled with an Aaron Altherr singled sandwiched in between.

Cesar Hernandez opened the third inning with a solo homer just inside the left-field foul pole.

Joseph also homered with two outs in the sixth inning to put Philadelphia ahead 4-0.

Shields has allowed 31 homers in 143 innings this season, including 22 in 75.2 innings for the White Sox. Eleven of those have come in his last four starts.

He walked none and struck out six.

“I think the only pitch I made a mistake on was that last one, the home run in the sixth inning there,” Shields said. “The ball kind of slipped out of my hand a little bit and kind of left it over the plate. Other than that I felt good with my location tonight. I was hitting my spots consistently. They were getting hits here and there. That’s part of it. One of the positives things, I didn’t walk anyone and I was getting some swings and misses. But we have to move on and move forward and build off that.”

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The White Sox didn’t have much success against Phillies starting pitcher Jerod Eickhoff, who retired the first nine batters he faced. Avisail Garcia led off the sixth inning with a single and Navarro belted a two-run homer to right to make it a 4-2 game.

Eickhoff limited the White Sox to two runs and four hits in six innings.

Garcia kept the White Sox alive with a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning. But Jeanmar Gomez retired Navarro with runners on the corners to end the threat.

“Until Dio hit the homer there wasn’t much going for us,” Ventura said. “We got one --- I think Adam was the one that breaks it up and gets it going. But (Eickoff) was tough on us. A great curveball. That’s the biggest thing that sticks out. When he got in trouble, that curveball was the pitch for us. After that, it just wasn’t a good night offensively. I don’t think we swung it that well.”

White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez felt good in bullpen session

White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez felt good in bullpen session

If all continues to go well, Miguel Gonzalez could pitch in a rehab start as soon as Friday.

On the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, the White Sox starter said he felt good during a second bullpen session on Wednesday.

Gonzalez, who is 2-6 with a 4.05 ERA in 19 games (18 starts), threw 30 pitches. He previously threw a bullpen session on Friday and felt some discomfort the following day. But Gonzalez said he has made progress since he received treatment on Saturday.

“A lot better,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t feel anything while I was throwing my bullpen, which is great. I’m happy with the results today and come back tomorrow and we’ll see.”

Gonzalez left an Aug. 11 start at Kansas City in the bottom of the second inning. Though he wasn’t yet sure if he’d head out on a rehab assignment, Gonzalez said he was on the third day of a five-day schedule in which he was supposed to start. But it’s also possible the White Sox could have Gonzalez first throw a simulated game.

“We're going to have him go back out there again and do a little bit more, that looks more like starting in a game where he's going to throw for a little while, sit down, get back up,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Simulate some innings and hopefully after he does that a couple time he can go out for a rehab assignment.”