White Sox

Miguel Gonzalez sharp in return as White Sox shut out Tigers

Miguel Gonzalez sharp in return as White Sox shut out Tigers

You wouldn’t have known Miguel Gonzalez missed nearly a month the way he pitched on Tuesday night.

Activated off the disabled list prior to the game, the right-hander kept the Detroit Tigers under wraps as the White Sox evened a three-game series with a 2-0 victory in front of 15,155 at U.S. Cellular Field. Jose Abreu continued his onslaught with two more hits, including a solo home run and Gonzalez allowed six hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings for the White Sox.

“I don’t know if you could expect much more out of him,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Coming off the DL and against a lineup like this, he was sharp and breaking stuff getting enough of the plate to get guys swinging.”

Similar to Tuesday, the White Sox didn’t really know what to expect when Gonzalez joined them for the first time in April. Waived late in spring by the Baltimore Orioles, Gonzalez signed a minor league deal the day before the season began. He didn’t first pitch for the White Sox until later in April and didn’t become a full-time member of the starting rotation until May.

But with one year of team control to go, Gonzalez has almost assured himself a spot in next season’s rotation.

Prior to Tuesday, Gonzalez had only made a Thursday start at Triple-A Charlotte and several bullpen sessions since his went on the DL.

Yet the rust from a groin strain that sidelined him since Aug. 11 didn’t show against the Tigers, a team that had scored 30 earned runs off Gonzalez in 30 innings in his career.

He quickly got through the top of Detroit’s lineup with three grounders in the first and retired the first five men he faced. After pitching around jams in the third and fourth inning — he put two men on base in each — Gonzalez retired nine in a row. He struck out J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton with two aboard in the fourth and got Casey McGehee to fly out to end the inning. Gonzalez then retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings.

The White Sox brought Gonzalez back in the seventh inning, but pulled him after McGehee hit the second single of the inning. Dan Jennings recorded one out and walked another before Nate Jones struck out Cameron Maybin to strand the bases loaded.

Gonzalez allowed six hits and struck out four. In his last nine games, Gonzalez has a 2.38 ERA in 53 innings pitched with eight quality starts.

“The most important thing is trying not to do too much when you’re out there,” Gonzalez said. “It’s been a while since I’ve gotten off the mound and pitched a real game. Being able to control that and make my pitches was the biggest thing tonight.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Jones pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings. David Robertson pitched around a single and a walk in the ninth to convert the save.

Abreu gave Gonzalez a little breathing room in the second inning when he crushed a 2-2 slider from Matt Boyd — the ninth pitch of the at-bat — for a solo homer. The drive traveled an estimated 419 feet.

Boyd kept Detroit within striking distance with seven strong innings. The White Sox’ only other run came in the fifth inning when Omar Narvaez followed Jason Coats’ one-out double with an RBI single to make it a two-run game. Narvaez also walked.

It was enough to make a winner of Gonzalez, who improved to 3-6.

“You didn’t really know what to expect, but this was pretty indicative of how he pitches,” Ventura said. “He pitches to contact, moves it around the plate. I thought his poise and everything was outstanding.”

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.