Andre Rienzo could start Wednesday for White Sox

Andre Rienzo could start Wednesday for White Sox
April 21, 2014, 10:30 am

DETROIT -- He may have thrown 26 pitches on Sunday but that won’t keep Andre Rienzo from a potential start on Wednesday.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Rienzo is still the leading candidate to assume Felipe Paulino’s spot in the starting rotation when it comes up on Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers.

Of course, Rienzo starting Wednesday hinges upon how much Ventura has to rely on his bullpen the next two games. With John Danks and Chris Sale on the mound against the Tigers on Monday and Tuesday it seems unlikely Ventura would need heavy work from his relievers. But Rienzo is essentially the de facto fresh arm in the bullpen in case of an emergency. Though several pitchers have had a few consecutive days off, Rienzo’s presence is needed considering White Sox relievers have averaged nearly 3 1/3 innings per game through their first 19.

[RELATED: White Sox Road Ahead -- Big series with Tigers looms]

Rienzo was one of three relievers who combined for four shutout innings in Sunday’s 16-2 win over the Texas Rangers. After allowing a walk, a hit and hitting a batter, Rienzo stranded the bases loaded in the eighth inning when Alex Rios popped out.

Upon further review

Chaos reigned in the sixth inning Sunday when the White Sox challenged a strikeout call in Alejandro De Aza’s at-bat. Initially, plate umpire James Hoye ruled that De Aza had been struck by Robbie Ross’ two-strike pitch and awarded him first base. But third-base umpire Bob Davidson ruled on appeal that De Aza hadn’t been able to hold up on a checked swing and was out on strikes, even though replays showed the ball hit the outfielder’s right wrist.

[MORE: White Sox offense rewards Johnson for hard work in 16-2 win]

Informed by umpires De Aza hadn’t been hit by the pitch, Ventura challenged that call and that the ball didn’t hit the bat, meaning it would have been foul. After a brief review in New York, MLB officials said the call stood, which meant there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn or confirm the original ruling.

The White Sox are now 0-for-3 on instant replay challenges this season.

“They say it hit him and then that he swung,” Ventura said. “(De Aza) said it hit the bat. I was challenging that it actually also hit the bat. … It’s another one of those vague ‘It just stands.’ ”

Other notes

-- Catcher Tyler Flowers finished Sunday’s game with three hits, his sixth multi-hit game of 2014. Flowers, who has 21 hits and a .389 average through 16 games, had nine multi-hit games in 84 contests last season.

[ALSO: Marcus Semien comes through with big hit in White Sox rout]

-- Jordan Danks’ third-inning homer off Ross was the first he has hit off a left-handed pitcher in his career. The ball traveled 397 feet and hit off the facing of the upper porch in right field at Globe Life Park.

-- Erik Johnson became the first pitcher to walk at least five batters in five innings or less and earn the win against the Rangers since Rich Harden accomplished the feat on July 25, 2004. The five walks were a career-high for Johnson.

-- The 106 runs scored by the White Sox are the most in the American League and tied with the Colorado Rockies for tops in the majors.