Danks' first career HR walks off White Sox vs. A's

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Danks' first career HR walks off White Sox vs. A's

Jordan Danks wasnt deceived one bit by Pat Nesheks funky delivery on Friday night.

The White Sox outfielder had not only faced Oaklands side-winding reliever several times at Triple-A the past two seasons, but he also got a well-timed refresher course from a televised game earlier in the week.

As Danks walked by a clubhouse TV, he recalled noticing Neshek on the mound and several of their showdowns came back to him in an instant.

Those previous encounters paid big dividends for Danks on Friday night when the rookie hit the first home run of his career with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Athletics in front of 25,041 at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox hit four solo homers and got three scoreless innings from the bullpen to preserve a one-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.

I remembered whenever I was on deck trying to get the timing down, getting my foot down at a certain point because it is just an awkward delivery, Danks said.

Danks got his front foot down on the first pitch he saw from Neshek with two outs in the ninth inning and blasted away. The 417-foot home run was such a no-doubter that As right fielder Josh Reddick didnt move before he left the field.

The drive capped a night in which the White Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit.

It was his first home run and it couldnt have come at a better time for a better guy, said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who scored the White Sox first run with a solo homer in the second inning, his 22nd. It was a good win, obviously coming back. We fell down early and found a way to battle back.

Ditto for Gavin Floyd.

The right-hander allowed 11 runners to reach base in six-plus innings. Three of those runners scored in the first two innings, including a pair on Brandon Moss 412-foot homer to right to give Oakland a 3-0 lead.

But Floyd settled down and began to strand runners.

He left the bases loaded in the third inning when he struck out Brandon Inge, Floyds third strikeout of the inning. Floyd also stranded a runner in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, including Cliff Pennington in the sixth after he tripled with two outs.

Despite the early trouble, Floyd limited Oakland to three runs and seven hits.

He got to be more aggressive in the zone and was just sharper, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Some guys are just like that. I think he'll bust through it. He's got the stuff. He shows it in the middle of the games.

The White Sox showed theyre capable of production even without first baseman Paul Konerko, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list Friday with a concussion.

Ex-Sox pitcher Brandon McCarthy didnt afford the White Sox many opportunities.

But they rallied behind solo homers from Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo.

Viciedo was mired in a 5-for-43 slump prior to his seventh-inning homer, his first since July 25.

Luckily we hit four home runs, Pierzynski said. Other than that we didnt do a whole lot offensively.

The White Sox only managed to get one other runner -- Alejandro De Aza who doubled in the third inning -- into scoring position against McCarthy.

McCarthy allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings.

You'd like to see a little more driving in a guy from second base and stuff like that, Ventura said. It's a nice win. You take it, but you want to see the offense do a little more.

Like Danks, who said he envisioned himself hitting a game-winning homer while he stood in the batters box. The rookie said it was the first game-winner of his entire career, dating back to Little League.

Its something that everybody dreams about their whole life, Danks said. Right before that I saw myself doing it and it was just one of those things. It was just awesome.

Preview: White Sox­-Twins tonight on CSN+

Preview: White Sox­-Twins tonight on CSN+

The White Sox take on the Twins on Tuesday night, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.

Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight's starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.04 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (0-5, 6.05 ERA).

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

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Chris Sale 'would like to see' Mark Buehrle retire in White Sox uniform

Chris Sale 'would like to see' Mark Buehrle retire in White Sox uniform

While Chris Sale doesn’t know if Mark Buehrle will pitch again, he’s certain about one thing — Buehrle should retire as a member of the White Sox.

His future plans still undeclared, the legendary pitcher made the rounds at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend to visit ex-teammates from two of the three clubs he played for during his 16-year career. Buehrle, who won a World Series title and 161 games and threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in 12 seasons with the White Sox, has yet to sign retirement papers. Whether or not Buehrle would pitch again was speculated upon often this spring even though he struggled down the stretch in 2015 and failed to eclipse 200 innings for only the second time in his career.

Were he to officially call it quits, Sale hopes Buerhle does it here.

“For me personally, I would like to see it,” Sale said. “When you think of Mark Buehrle, you think of him in a White Sox uniform, wearing the black jersey with the pinstripes on the bottom.

“I don’t think he could go out any other way. Especially it would be nice to see him in a White Sox hat when he goes to the Hall of Fame.”

Buehrle spent the first dozen years of his career with the White Sox before agreeing upon a four-year deal with the Miami Marlins in 2012. His stay in Miami lasted only one season before the club held a fire sale and dealt him and shortstop Jose Reyes among others to the Toronto Blue Jays. Buehrle played the last three seasons in Toronto and won 40 games. He won 15 games last season but finished four outs shy of a 15th straight 200-inning campaign.

Sale said he didn’t talk any business with Buehrle during their visit and doesn’t know if he still wants to pitch.

“It was definitely good to see him,” Sale said. “It gives you a little boost. Any time you see guys like that come back around, it’s always fun. He looks good. He looks like he could pitch again.

“We don’t talk about business when he comes around. It was good to see him and whatever unfolds, I think it will be fun regardless of what happens.”

Weekend provides much-needed rest for White Sox bullpen

Weekend provides much-needed rest for White Sox bullpen

A cold beer in hand and shower shoes on his feet, Zach Duke was the epitome of relaxation Sunday afternoon as he leaned back in his chair in the White Sox clubhouse.

A selfie of his feet with a tropical destination in the background is all that was missing.

The chance to relax isn’t wasted on Duke or his relief brethren. After a span in which they combined for 18 appearances in seven games, Duke, Nate Jones, Matt Albers and David Robertson received a weekend pass. While Robertson’s break was interrupted Sunday, the rest of the group is set for three consecutive days without an appearance.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s a nice shot in the arm, if you will,” said Duke, who entered Sunday tied for the major-league lead with 39 appearances. “It’s good. To have a little rest time to get through this next stretch of games is big.

“I’m not sure what we’ll be doing (Monday). Maybe we’ll go out to the beach.”

Life has been anything but easy for the trusted members of the White Sox bullpen.

The workload of the bullpen recently included 30 innings in the eight games leading up to Sunday. While the bullpen’s innings pitched this season ranks low (they’re 21st among 30 teams), it’s the type of work they have been asked to perform that has begun to add up.

An inconsistent offense that has failed to put games away has the White Sox tied for the fourth-most one-run games in the majors (26). Of the 78 games played by the White Sox, 41 have been decided by two runs or fewer. The bullpen has the second-highest leverage index -- a statistic that measures how much pressure each pitcher faces -- in the majors.

Basically, only San Francisco Giants relievers face more tight situations than in baseball than the White Sox.

With that in mind, White Sox manager Robin Ventura prescribed mandatory rest for Jones, Albers, Duke and Robertson on Saturday.

“They need it,” Ventura said. “They need a break, it's that simple.”

What has magnified the team’s issues is the losses of Daniel Webb and Jake Petricka for the season and Zach Putnam, who is out indefinitely with elbow soreness and said to be weighing surgery as an option.

Last season, Putnam and Petricka combined for 100 2/3 innings. The season before it was 127 2/3 innings.

With those trusted arms down, Dan Jennings and rookies Chris Beck, Michael Ynoa and Matt Purke will likely have to consume big innings at times. The scenario arose on Saturday when the White Sox rallied after it appeared they had been blown out by the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though they trailed by as many as five runs twice, the White Sox found themselves down a run headed into the ninth inning. But with their veteran arms down, Ynoa was asked to work an inning and surrendered a pair of runs.

“It’s tough to watch those games,” said Robertson, who earned his 20th save in 22 tries on Sunday. “When we’ve thrown six or seven games out of eight days, you need a day because the chances of you going out there and hurting yourself are possible. And you’re looking at the longevity of this team and the arms we’ve got, you don’t want to lose any of your valuable pieces in one game when you might need them later on in September to make that push to get into the playoffs or even in the playoffs themselves. When you get those days off you have to take them, enjoy ‘em. It’s hard to watch those games because you feel like you should be in there. But it’s just part of baseball. Every now and then you need a day off.”

Chris Sale added another day of rest with his dominance in Sunday’s victory. He consumed eight of nine innings and held Toronto in check until he surrendered two solo homers in his last frame. Though the homers forced Jones to warm up, Sale recovered in time to get through the eighth. Two days after he pitched out of a bases-loaded jam, Robertson needed only 10 pitches to record his second save of the series.

But because Sale worked as late as he did, Duke didn’t have to lift a finger. He had a chance to relax and determine what he and his family might do Monday. “Hopefully,” Duke will get to the beach.

No matter what, he knows what he won’t do.

“There’s going to be no baseball involved,” Duke said.