White Sox

LIVE: White Sox trail Detroit 1-0

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LIVE: White Sox trail Detroit 1-0

Sunday, April 24, 2011
Posted: 10:17 a.m.

Associated Press

The Detroit Tigers are closing in on their longest stretch of dominance over the Chicago White Sox in 88 years.

Judging by the White Sox's recent struggles, the Tigers stand a good chance of accomplishing that and sweeping a three-game series from their AL Central rivals Sunday at Comerica Park.

Detroit is above .500 for the first time this season, thanks to eight wins in 11 games. The Tigers have outscored the White Sox 18-3 in two games this weekend and 62-20 during eight consecutive wins in the overall series.

Detroit (11-10) hasn't won nine in a row against Chicago (8-13) since a 10-game run during the 1923 season.

The White Sox, meanwhile, have been outscored 53-25 while dropping nine of 10 overall. Chicago, which has batted .195 during that slump, mustered just five hits in a 9-0 loss Saturday.

"We need to cut this off right now," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It seems like we are waiting every day to lose the game. It is time to show people how good we are."

Ryan Raburn drove in three runs to help the Tigers win their third straight, and has seven RBIs in this series. Detroit has totaled 27 hits in the two games with catcher Alex Avila recording five - three for extra bases.

Former Arizona first-round draft pick Max Scherzer (3-0, 4.30 ERA) will toe the rubber Sunday looking to continue his recent strong performance. He is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his last three starts, lasting six innings in each.

Scherzer gave up two runs and six hits and struck out seven in Monday's 8-3 win at Seattle, but also walked a season-high four batters. Those free passes helped Scherzer reach 112 pitches over his six frames, which was too inefficient for manager Jim Leyland's liking.

"A guy like Max should get you into the seventh or eighth inning all the time," Leyland said.

Scherzer pitched through the eighth inning in his last matchup with the White Sox on Sept. 17, allowing two solo homers in a 9-2 victory. He's 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA in four career meetings.

He'll be opposed by John Danks (0-2, 3.00), who is still seeking his first win of the season, despite allowing two runs or fewer in three of his four outings.

The White Sox have given Danks only one run of support in each of his two losses, including a 2-1 defeat in Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

The left-hander gave up two runs and struck out seven over seven innings in that game.

"(Our starters) make one mistake, they could lose the game," Guillen said after that loss. "You have to make every pitch count. You can not have the luxury to make a bad pitch. Obviously, you put more pressure on (the starters)."

Danks was tagged for seven runs over 6 1-3 innings in his last matchup with the Tigers, a 9-7 home loss in 11 innings Sept. 19. He's 3-4 with a 4.12 ERA in 11 career starts against Detroit.

Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez is 14 for 23 with two homers and four doubles off Danks.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

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AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.