White Sox

Ross stuns White Sox with walk-off blast

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Ross stuns White Sox with walk-off blast

BOSTON --- Cody Ross stunned the White Sox again on Thursday night.

One game after he blasted a pair of three-run homers, Ross hit a game-winning three-run shot off Addison Reed in the ninth inning to deliver a 3-1 victory for the Red Sox in front of 38,413 at Fenway Park.

Ross homered with one out off Reed, who entered after Matt Thornton gave up two singles. The loss dropped the White Sox to 3-4 on their 10-game road trip and decreased the teams lead in the American League Central to 1 1 2 games over the Detroit Tigers. The White Sox open a three-game series at Detroit on Friday.

With Carl Crawford up and Adrian Gonzalez due up third, White Sox manager Robin Ventura went to Thornton to start the ninth inning.

Crawford singled but Thornton appeared to get a double play out of Dustin Pedroia. The throw by Eduardo Escobar skipped however and Gordon Beckham only got the force as he retrieved the ball. Gonzalez followed with a single and Reed was summoned. Ross homered on a 2-1 pitch over the Green Monster.

The loss also took away a victory from Jose Quintana, who pitched eight scoreless innings and out of two critical jams.

An invitee to spring training who had to pitch his way onto the 40-man roster, Quintana was on cruise control until the seventh inning.

He retired 19 of the first 20 hitters he had faced. But with one out, Pedroia singled to right and Gonzalez singled to left. Ross followed with a single to left, but third-base coach Jerry Royster elected to hold Pedroia at third rather than test the arm of White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo.

Will Middlebrooks and Quintana then battled for eight pitches until the rookie left-hander induced an inning-ending double play with the aid of a nifty play by shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Though he was falling, Ramirez retrieved the ball on a short-hop and flipped to second base to start the play.

Quintana -- who allowed five hits and walked none in eight innings -- sailed through the games first six innings.

He wasnt afraid to go inside and the Red Sox were aggressive. Though Quintana pitched to contact, it worked as he set down 18 of the first 19 batters he faced.

Even after Quintana allowed a two-out triple in the third inning, he battled back to strikeout Jacoby Ellsbury on three pitches to end the threat.

The White Sox were without Kevin Youkilis, who missed the game with a tight left hamstring.

The rest of their lineup couldnt muster up much against Clay Buchholz.

Buchholz only got into trouble once in eight innings. Adam Dunn led off with a walk and scooted all the way to third on a single to right by Paul Konerko, who finished 2-for-4. Alex Rios then lined one deep to right field for a sacrifice fly to provide the contests lone run.

Buchholz allowed a run and six hits in eight innings.

Beckham nearly drove in a run in the White Sox ninth, but his hit to right with Viciedo aboard bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.

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.