White Sox

LIVE: White Sox trailing Twins

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LIVE: White Sox trailing Twins

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Posted: 10:44 a.m.
Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox have finally put together a long winning streak on the road over the Minnesota Twins, but it may not be enough to erase a poor start against their division rivals or get into the postseason.

Clinging to faint playoff hopes, the White Sox will try to complete their second straight road sweep of the Twins Wednesday night.

Chicago got a season-high nine strikeouts from Jake Peavy and a home run from Alex Rios in a 3-0 victory Tuesday. That moved the second-place White Sox (71-69) within eight games of AL Central-leading Detroit with 22 to play, including the final three games of the season series starting Monday night in Chicago.

"We're still in the pennant race," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I know it's going to be hard. ... One thing about it, we're not going to quit."

The White Sox have gone 8-1 against the Twins after dropping seven of the first eight matchups. The surge was sparked by a three-game sweep from Aug. 5-7 - Chicago's first in Minneapolis since 2004.

The White Sox now will try to win seven straight on the road over the Twins franchise for the first time since Aug. 28, 1956-June 30, 1957, when they were the Washington Senators.

Having managed one run in this series, the Twins (58-84) hope to avoid being blanked in three straight games for the first time since Sept. 6-9, 1978, at Metropolitan Stadium. With Tuesday's loss, the two-time defending division champions were officially eliminated from the playoff race.

John Danks (6-10, 4.01 ERA) looks to bounce back from his worst outing of the season for Chicago.

The left-hander was charged with eight runs in 4 2-3 innings of Friday's 8-1 loss to Detroit. Still, Danks is 6-2 with a 2.85 ERA over his last 12 starts after starting 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA.

Danks, who lost at home to Minnesota on May 4, is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in three career starts at Target Field, which opened last year.

Michael Cuddyer is 23 for 51 with five homers all-time against Danks. Cuddyer, who didn't play Tuesday, is 0 for his last 13.

Looking to avoid a fifth straight home loss, Minnesota's Carl Pavano (7-11. 4.60) tries to extend his success over the White Sox. During his skid, Pavano has been reached for 17 runs in 27 2-3 innings while getting a total of seven runs of support.

Since joining the Twins following a trade with Cleveland in 2009, Pavano is 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA and two complete games in seven starts versus Chicago.

The right-hander earned his first win in five starts overall after Friday's 13-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

White Sox leadoff hitter Juan Pierre is 5 for 12 this season against Pavano, who's allowed an AL-high 221 hits. Pierre, 9 for 31 in eight games at Target Field this year, needs two hits to reach 2,000.

Paul Konerko, expected to be back in the starting lineup after being given Tuesday off, is 1 for 9 this year when facing Pavano. Though Konerko is 0 for his last 10, he's batting .311 and leads the team with 28 homers and 92 RBIs.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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.

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sunday marked the first surprise of White Sox spring training, courtesy of first baseman Jose Abreu.

“This year, I’m going to try to steal more bases,” Abreu said through a translator.

This might have sounded like a joke, but Abreu was completely serious.

On paper, he’s not exactly Rickey Henderson. In 614 career games, Abreu has only six stolen bases. However, the slimmed-down first baseman does have some sneaky speed. His six triples last season ranked third in the American League. So there are some wheels to work with.

“I like the challenge. I think that’s a good challenge for me. I’m ready for it,” Abreu said.

How many steals are we talking about? A reporter asked sarcastically if a 30-30 season is in the offing? Abreu didn’t exactly shoot down the possibility.

“Who knows? When you fill your mind with positive things, maybe you can accomplish them,” Abreu said. “The mind of a human being works in a lot of different ways. If you fill your mind with good things, good things are going to happen.”

The morning began with Abreu walking to the hitting cages with his Cuban compadres Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, who the White Sox signed last summer. He held his first workout on Sunday. At the White Sox hitters camp last month, Moncada took Robert under his wing, showing him the ropes, even telling Ricky Renteria, “I got him.”

But Sunday, Abreu was in charge, holding court with the three of them in the cage. Abreu watched closely as Robert hit off a tee, giving him pointers about his swing.

“I just like to help people,” Abreu said. “When I started to play at 16 in Cuba, I had a lot people who hounded me to get better. At the same point, I want to give back things that I’ve learned and pass that along to other people. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not expecting anything else. I’m just glad to help them and get them better.”

What kind of advice has he passed along to Robert?

“Since I came to this country, I learned quickly three keys to be a success: Be disciplined, work hard and always be on time. If you apply those three keys, I think you’re going to be good. Those are the three keys I’m trying to teach the new kids, the young guys,” Abreu said.

Abreu lost about 10 pounds during the offseason. He said he hopes to learn more English in 2018. He also arrived at spring training sporting a scruffy beard which he grew while he was in Cuba so he “could be incongnito.”

Abreu likes his new look. Moncada thinks he should shave it off.

“If the organization doesn’t say anything, I’m just going to keep it,” Abreu said.

Well, so much for that.

Moments after Abreu spoke with the media, Renteria told reporters that Abreu will have to “clean it up a bit.”

The two will find a compromise. Come to think of it, maybe Abreu and the White Sox should do the same about a contract extension in the near future.

Yes, he’ll be 33 when his contract expires in two years, but there have been no signs of a decline with his performance. Instead, Abreu is only getting better both offensively and defensively.

Heck, now he wants to steal bases, too.

After Renteria, Abreu is the leader of this team. He commands ultimate respect inside the clubhouse. He’s become another coach to Moncada, Robert and others. He’s a huge brick in the present and too big of an influence and cornerstone to not have around in the future.

“I hope to play my entire career in the majors with the White Sox,” Abreu said Sunday. “But I can’t control that.”

At some point, a decision will have to be made whether to keep Abreu or trade him. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: What will bring more value to the White Sox, getting a high-end prospect or two in return not knowing if they’ll ever succeed in the majors? Or keeping your best player, the heart and soul of your team, allowing him to show your future stars the way while they’re developing in the major leagues?

Seems like an easy decision to me.