White Sox

Viciedo's homer keys late rally as Sox stun Yankees

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Viciedo's homer keys late rally as Sox stun Yankees

NEW YORK -- Dayan Viciedo ended a frustrating evening for himself and the White Sox with one loud swing on Thursday.

The left fielder made the New York Yankees pay for a ninth-inning error as he blasted a three-run homer off David Robertson to give the White Sox a shocking 4-3 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Viciedo --- who was hitting .157 in June when he came to bat in the ninth --- followed a throwing-error on a potential double play with a homer on 1-0 pitch against Robertson that left a crowd of 44,041 in stunned silence.

The White Sox were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Ivan Nova and Co. prior to Viciedos blast to left.

Alex Rios led off the ninth inning with a single against reliever Cody Eppley and he advanced to third when Clay Rapada threw A.J. Pierzynskis comebacker into center field. Robertson was called upon instead of closer Rafael Soriano, who had pitched four of the last five days. Robertson threw Viciedo a ball before he caught up to a 90-mph fastball for his 14th homer.

Viciedo earlier lined into an inning-ending double play to end the fourth with runners on the corners against Nova, who settled in nicely after an early high-wire act.

Aside from Alejandro De Aza, who went 4-for-5, nobody had any luck against Nova even though he allowed plenty of contact. Kevin Youkilis hit the ball hard twice and also took a called third strike with the tying run on second in the eighth inning against Nova. Adam Dunn was robbed of a hit by Teixeira in the third with a man on.

But the most difficult inning for the White Sox was the top of the fourth. Paul Konerko doubled and moved to third on a Rios single. But Konerko couldnt tag up on Pierzynskis line out to center before Viciedo lined into a double play.

The bad luck appeared to leave Dylan Axelrod on the hook for a rough loss.

Axelrod spoke with total confidence earlier this week when he discussed pitching at Yankee Stadium.

It didnt matter that he hadnt pitched in front of many big crowds aside from his College World Series experience in 2007. He wasnt worried he would be making only his sixth career start. He didnt think to consider what it would take to face a loaded Yankees lineup in front of 44,041 fans.

Axelrod said he would relish the opportunity because pitching with adrenaline only makes him sharper. Then he went out and backed up his words.

Axelrod benefitted from good White Sox defense early, but also successfully navigated his way through a lineup loaded with hitters for seven innings.

Mixing his offspeed pitches, Axelrod kept the Yankees off-balance. He struck out Alex Rodriguez with a 3-2 slider in the first inning and retired Robinson Cano on a grounder ---- both with a man at second.

Axelrod set down nine of the first 11 he faced before he got into trouble as he loaded the bases in the fourth inning with two outs. But Axelrod got Eric Chavez to groundout on a first-pitch slider to keep the game scoreless.

Axelrod couldnt hang on to the 1-0 lead he was given when De Aza hit a second-deck homer to right in the fifth off Nova.

In the bottom of the fifth, Rodriguez and Cano both doubled in runs to take a 2-1 lead.

The Yankees --- who are sixth in baseball with 355 runs --- didnt add on until Teixeira hit a solo home run off Hector Santiago in the eighth as Axelrod posted two more scoreless innings.

Axelrod limited the Yankees to two runs, six hits and walked three batters in seven innings as he threw strikes on 69 of 115 pitches.

White Sox adjust 40-man roster — including adding Eloy Jimenez — ahead of Rule 5 Draft deadline

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USA TODAY

White Sox adjust 40-man roster — including adding Eloy Jimenez — ahead of Rule 5 Draft deadline

The White Sox made some adjustments to their 40-man roster ahead of Monday's deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft.

Rules stipulate that a player who signed when he was 18 or younger and has played five seasons of professional baseball is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not on his team's 40-man roster. Because of that, the White Sox — like the rest of the teams in the league — made some moves Monday to protect certain players.

The White Sox announced Monday afternoon that they purchased the contracts of infielder Casey Gillaspie from Triple-A Charlotte, outfielder Eloy Jimenez from Double-A Birmingham, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and pitcher Ian Clarkin from Class-A Winston-Salem and outfielder Micker Adolfo from Class-A Kannapolis.

Simultaneously, pitchers Chris Beck and Tyler Danish were outrighted to Charlotte.

The most notable name on the list is of course Jimenez, the highly ranked outfielder acquired from the Cubs in July's trade that sent Jose Quintana to the North Side. Jimenez was a no-brainer to be protected after he slugged 19 homers and hit 22 doubles with 65 RBIs in his 89 games in the minors last season, splitting time between Birmingham and Winston-Salem in the White Sox system and Class-A Myrtle Beach in the Cubs' system. Jimenez is ranked as the White Sox No. 1 prospect by MLB.com.

Gillaspie was acquired in the trade that sent Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays. The brother of former White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie, he hit 15 homers and 20 doubles in 125 games all at the Triple-A level. Gillaspie is ranked as the White Sox No. 11 prospect by MLB.com.

Basabe, the White Sox No. 17 prospect, was in last offseason's Chris Sale trade and hit .221 with five homers and 12 doubles at Winston-Salem. Adolfo, the White Sox No. 14 prospect, was signed as a free agent in 2013 and hit .264 with 16 homers and 28 doubles at Kannapolis. Clarkin, the White Sox No. 22 prospect, was acquired in the seven-player trade with the Yankees in July and posted a 2.60 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 86.2 innings of work at the Class-A level.

The 27-year-old Beck posted a very high 6.40 ERA in 64.2 innings out of the White Sox bullpen last season. Danish made just one appearance with the big league club last season, getting his first major league win in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.

Three months till baseball's back as White Sox announce spring training schedule

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USA TODAY

Three months till baseball's back as White Sox announce spring training schedule

Only three more months till the White Sox are back in action.

The South Siders announced their spring training schedule Monday, with Cactus League play commencing Feb. 23 out in Arizona.

The White Sox have the unenviable task of opening the exhibition schedule against the defending National League champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers playing hosts to the Pale Hose in Glendale. The White Sox will be the visitors, though they share the Camelback Ranch facility with the Dodgers, so they'll still be in their home ballpark. Their first official home game comes two days later, in a Feb. 25 matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.

The White Sox will face off against the Cubs in three "Cactus Crosstown" games on Feb. 27 and March 10 in Mesa and on March 16 in Glendale.

And in a cool wrap to the preseason, the White Sox will square off against their own Triple-A affiliate March 26 in Charlotte. The game against the Knights should be a fun watch considering all the future White Sox expected to make their way to the big leagues over the next couple seasons. The Knights' roster could be loaded with highly ranked prospects depending on how things shake out.

Here's the full schedule: