White Sox

Despite series victory, White Sox not playing clean just yet

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Despite series victory, White Sox not playing clean just yet

The Chris Sale-dominates-in-his-return storyline on Sunday was nearly done in by several key White Sox mistakes.

In the end, the White Sox pulled through, as Sale was brilliant, the bullpen showed its mettle once again and the offense provided a late jolt in a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. The triumph gave the White Sox their all-important first series victory of the season.

But it wasn’t until Zach Duke survived a near-disaster created by his defense in the top of the eighth and Gordon Beckham homered in the bottom half that the White Sox pulled away. And it was some of the same miscues that cropped up earlier in the week that nearly cost the White Sox again on Sunday.

“Until you're perfectly clean, there's always room for improvement,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Until you're perfectly clean and everything's perfect, there's always room for improvement.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: Chris Sale returns as White Sox get second straight win vs. Twins]

The White Sox still have room for growth, which isn’t a surprise. With so many new faces, there is a belief, whether in the front office, from the coaching staff or in the clubhouse, that these things take time.

As rookie second baseman Micah Johnson — who is new to the roster along with the team’s 12 offseason acquisitions — said: “It’s still early. We’re always going to be working all year.”

But for a minute there, it looked as if the White Sox were up to the old antics.

They scored twice in the first inning but could have had several more runs as Jose Abreu was easily thrown out trying to advance to third base on Adam LaRoche’s RBI single to left field.

“We had some guys on, it could have been up there four or five runs in that inning,” Ventura said. “Also being aggressive, Jose's trying to take it.

“I’m fine with that.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: White Sox won't rule out Jose Abreu playing some third base]

Twice later, the White Sox couldn’t take advantage of Minnesota’s defensive miscues.

The White Sox didn’t score in the second inning despite a pair of Twins’ miscues, including a three-base error by left fielder Eduardo Nunez on Johnson’s routine fly ball to left.

Then in the fifth, Nunez misread a fly ball off Abreu’s bat, and the White Sox had the first two runners aboard. But Twins pitcher Phil Hughes buckled down to strike out LaRoche and Avisail Garcia before Alexei Ramirez popped out.

Despite Sale dominating them for six innings, Minnesota remained within two runs of the White Sox, a lead that nearly vanished in the top of the eighth.

Duke gave up a one-out single to Joe Mauer in between a pair of misplayed balls by center fielder Adam Eaton and Abreu, allowing the Twins to creep within a run. But Duke retired Trevor Plouffe and Eduardo Escobar with the go-ahead run aboard to maintain a 3-2 lead.

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

The offense then cleaned up any and all messes with a three-run rally highlighted by Beckham’s two-run homer into the bullpen.

“There were a couple of tough plays,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “It’d be nice to capitalize on the couple errors they gave us.

“But that’s why we’ve got some of these guys in the back end to come in and keep the game where it is and give us a chance to add on a few more. Those (rallies) are big.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

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

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.