White Sox

Four-run fourth hangs White Sox out to dry


Four-run fourth hangs White Sox out to dry

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Posted: April 15, 10:48 p.m. Updated: 12:19 a.m.

Associated Press

Caught in a rain delay but not ready to leave the game, Jered Weaver had to improvise.

After play was halted in the sixth inning, Weaver put some heat packs on his arm, threw his No. 42 jersey in the dryer because there wasn't a spare around, then played catch in the hallway outside the clubhouse.

When Weaver came back, he wasn't as sharp as before, but he - with some help from the Angels' bullpen - was good enough to lead Los Angeles to a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night

"That was kind of weird," Weaver said. "You can have a half-hour inning sometimes. It wasn't too bad. Just came up here and tried to stay warm."

Weaver stayed in the game, but gave up a two-run homer to Adam Dunn just two batters after retaking the mound.

"He doesn't miss many mistakes and that was a mistake on my part," Weaver said. "He put it where he should have. That's what he does."

The Angels bullpen extended its scoreless streak to 25 13 innings behind Weaver (4-0) to seal the win.

Fernando Rodney worked out of trouble with two on and one out in the eighth and Jordan Walden worked a perfect ninth to preserve the win for Weaver, the first in the majors to reach four wins.

"We've got some guys who can throw the heck of the ball," Weaver said. "I'll take any of those guys coming in after me and they were able to get the job done tonight."

Maicer Izturis had three hits and drove in two runs Friday to help Angels win their third straight and seventh in the last nine games.

Weaver (4-0) allowed three runs on four hits to earn the win. Two of the runs were earned. The 2010 strikeout leader added four to his 2011 total and leads the majors with 31 this season.

Filling in for the injured Jake Peavy, Phil Humber (1-1) took the loss for Chicago. He was charged with four runs over his five innings of work, but only two of the runs were earned. Humber struck out four and gave up six hits, but was hit hard all night.

"It was a battle," he said. "I didn't have control of most of my pitches for the most part."

Weaver retired the first six batters he faced, but found trouble in the third inning. He hit A.J. Pierzynski in the back on a 1-2 pitch to lead off and Alexei Ramirez blooped a single into shallow center field to put runners on first and second.

Brent Morel then botched a bunt, popping out to catcher Hank Conger. Juan Pierre followed with a fly out to left field, but Weaver couldn't escape unscathed. Gordon Beckham ripped a 1-1 pitch into left field to drive in Pierzynski. Weaver rebounded to strike out Dunn for the second time.

The Angels responded immediately with a four-run fourth. After a one-out walk to Vernon Wells and a single by Alberto Callaspo, Humber allowed an RBI single to Mark Trumbo. Conger then grounded softly to third with runners on first and third, but a wide throw by Morel allowed a run to score and set the stage for a two-run double off the bat of Izturis, his third hit in four innings, to give Los Angeles a 4-1 lead.

In addition to the delay in the sixth, there was a brief pause in the ninth as the Angels took the field for the bottom half.

Players briefly took shelter in the dugout, but reappeared just a minute later, before the grounds crew could take out the tarp, and began warming up again. Play resumed after just a three-minute delay.

"That's April baseball. You go on the road, you don't know what the elements are going to bring," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.


In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, Robinson's granddaughter, Sonia Pankey, threw out the first pitch. ... Angels RHP Joel Pineiro (right shoulder tendinitis) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session in Arizona Friday. "He still has work to do," Scioscia said. ... Angels LHP Scott Kazmir (lower back soreness) is working out in Houston but will join the team Monday for a three-game series in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. ... White Sox LHP Will Ohman struck out Izturis with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth.

Box Score
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White Sox name James Shields as Opening Day starter

White Sox name James Shields as Opening Day starter

The White Sox have announced who will toe the rubber when the season begins later this month.

As expected, James Shields will be the team's Opening Day starting pitcher when the White Sox kick off the 2018 campaign against the Kansas City Royals on March 29 at Kauffman Stadium.

The starting rotation's elder statesman at 36, Shields seemed the logical pick for the first start of the season.

It's been a rough go for the one-time All Star since he came to the South Side in a trade with the San Diego Padres in the summer of 2016. In two seasons with the White Sox, he's got a 5.99 ERA with 181 strikeouts and 58 home runs allowed in 231.1 innings. Last season, he made 21 starts, finishing with a 5.23 ERA and 103 strikeouts and 27 home runs allowed in 117 innings.

While that trade still smarts considering the player the White Sox gave up, Fernando Tatis Jr., is currently ranked as the No. 8 prospect in baseball, Shields brings plenty of value to the 2018 rotation as a veteran mentor for young major leaguers like Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, as well as pitchers making their way to the big leagues like Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen and Dylan Cease.

If Shields could rediscover some of the magic that made him a great pitcher during his best years with the Tampa Bay Rays and the aforementioned Royals, with whom he made World Series trips in 2008 and 2014, respectively, and have a strong couple months out of the chute, he could provide Rick Hahn's front office with a midseason trade piece, someone who could potentially fetch a prospect or two that could help advance the franchise's rebuilding efforts.

The Royals have announced that it will be Danny Duffy opposing Shields on Opening Day.

White Sox opposition research: What's there to know about the Houston Astros?


White Sox opposition research: What's there to know about the Houston Astros?

What’s there to know about the Houston Astros?

They’re the best, that’s what there is to know.

The Astros are the defending world champions for a multitude of reasons, and it’s all those and more that will have them as a favorite to repeat in 2018. Yes, the Cubs and New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians will all have something to say about that. But right now, no team is better on paper than the team the just won the big enchilada not five months ago.

The best 1-2 starting-pitching in combo in baseball? It belongs to the Astros. Justin Verlander was sensational for them after coming over in a late-summer trade with the Detroit Tigers. All he did was post a 1.06 ERA in five regular-season starts and a 2.21 ERA in six postseason outings. Justin Verlander. Again. And then there’s his running mate Dallas Keuchel — who doesn’t like the Cubs very much, apparently — has been just as good. He had a 2.90 ERA last year and won the American League Cy Young in 2015 with a 2.48 ERA and 20 wins.

Get past those guys and you’ll have to face the new guy. Gerrit Cole is now an Astro, as well, the reigning champs bolstering their already excellent rotation by importing one of the National League’s best pitchers. Cole saw his numbers jump last year (4.26 ERA) but still almost had 200 strikeouts and now has a much better roster around him than the one he left in Pittsburgh.

Charlie Morton? He threw four one-run innings in Game 7 of the World Series. Lance McCullers? He had 2.1 shutout innings in Game 7 of the World Series. This rotation is a force that could mow down the AL. There are questions, sure, but this five is entering 2018 as the best collection of arms in the Junior Circuit.

And we haven’t even gotten to the hitting. Oh, the hitting! The Astros scored 34 runs in seven World Series games. They banged out 56 hits. They hit 15 home runs. This after they were baseball’s best offense during the regular season.

The names are obvious to anyone who watched the postseason. Jose Altuve, surely tired of all the short jokes, is arguably the best player in baseball, and he won the AL MVP last season with a ridiculous .346/.410/.547 slash line. Carlos Correa, perhaps baseball’s best young shortstop, had a .315/.391/.550 slash line. George Springer, your World Series MVP, hit 34 regular-season home runs and got on base at a .367 clip before hitting five homers and slashing .379/.471/.1.000 in the Fall Classic.

Then there’s Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick and Marwin Gonzalez, who were all very good to great in 2017. They shouldn’t all be expected to do what they did last season — you need look no further than the Cubs to see what a deep World Series run can do to a team, especially early. But is there a better lineup than this in the AL? Anyone? Bueller?

It’s hard to repeat, and “hard” is becoming one heck of an understatement considering no one’s repeated in almost two decades. The Yankees last did it when they beat the broken-bat-throwing Mike Piazza and the New York Mets in the 2000 World Series. Since then, no one’s done it twice in a row.

Last year, most of us looked at the Cubs and said, “They have the best team, they are favorites to do it again.” And then they were not even in first place in the NL Central at the All-Star break. A similar fate could await the Astros. But right now, they look like the best team the AL has to offer.

Houston, you are clear for takeoff ... again.

2017 record: 101-61, first place in AL West, World Series champions

Offseason additions: Gerrit Cole, , Joe Smith, Hector Rondon

Offseason departures: Carlos Beltran, Cameron Maybin, Mike Fiers, Tyler Clippard, Luke Gregerson, Francisco Liriano

X-factor: The Astros now count one-time Cubs closer Hector Rondon among their relievers now, but the X-factor pick here is Bregman. After a fine but nothing special first half, he was one of baseball's best after the All-Star break last year, slashing .315/.367/.536 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs in 71 games in the second half.

Projected lineup:

1. George Springer, CF
2. Alex Bregman, 3B
3. Jose Altuve, 2B
4. Carlos Correa, SS
5. Josh Reddick, RF
6. Marwin Gonzalez, 1B
7. Brian McCann, C
8. Evan Gattis, DH
9. Derek Fisher, LF

Projected rotation:

1. Justin Verlander
2. Dallas Keuchel
3. Gerrit Cole
4. Lance McCullers
5. Charlie Morton

Prediction: First place in AL West

Catch up on the AL:

Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros

Catch up on the NL:

San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants