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White Sox blast Royals to end losing streak

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White Sox blast Royals to end losing streak

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011Posted: 4:20 p.m. Updated: 5:28 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White Sox InsiderFollow @CSNChi_Beatnik
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KANSAS CITY In a game witnessed by 325 canines for Kauffman Stadiums Bark at the K promotion, both of Sundays starters were doggedly determined to reject good fortune.

The worm turned on the Godfather, Ozzie Guillen, measuring words carefully to Kansas City starter Bruce Chen.

I told Bruce Chen Were going to kick your butt today, the Godfather chuckled. I did. Ask him.

However Ozzie said, Chen listened, as the Chicago White Sox surprisingly broke through and touched Cy for four runs and nine hits over 5 13 innings.

Unfortunately on the flip side, struggling Chisox starter John Danks did all he could to return the bounty right back to the Royals, slapped with 10 hits and four runs (three earned) over six-plus innings. But Danks managed to earn the win without a single strikeout (or walk) as the White Sox scored six late runs to secure the 10-5 victory and salvage a win in Sundays four-game series finale.

Early on he was pretty good, catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. He made some good pitches when he had to, Brent Morel threw a guy out at the plate. He wasnt perfect or good as he can be, but he made pitches when he had to and thats what good guys do.

He came through it, Guillen said. He lost it for a couple of innings. He was good, and all of a sudden he lost it and was throwing the all over the place. But he gave us the opportunity to win and keep the team out there.

As an indication of just how sluggish his stuff has gotten, Danks has just two strikeouts over his last two starts (11 innings). Although Danks did earn his seventh win of the season, September has been forgettable for the ace lefty: A 9.14 ERA, 1.98 WHIP and 28 game score over four starts.

I have no idea, Danks said with regard to his stuff in September. My last few, today included, I dont feel Ive had great stuff, I guess. Its part of the learning process, to go out there and throw strikes and compete the best you can without your best stuff. Today it worked out, and in my last few, it hasnt.

Pierzynski didnt get to wreak revenge against Chen for the cagey lefty having broken the catchers wrist with a pitch on August 12, sending Pierzynski to the DL for the first time, although he just missed a deep triple to right-center off him and later clocked a towering home run to right to provide Chicago an insurance run.

The backstop went back-to-back behind Paul Konerko, who clocked his 30th home run of the season and now has five campaigns where he has tapped out at least 30 dingers and driven in 100 runs, second in team history to Frank Thomas.

Its one of those things where theres a balance of thats your job to drive in runs and drive the ball, Konerko said. The last couple of years Im trying to switch up goals, and what is good for me is showing up for 150-plus games. If I make that goal, the byproduct will be the numbers.

A.J. had a great night and Im very excited about PK, Guillen said. He may be the only bright thing we have here this year, 30 home runs, 100-plus RBI, with really no protection in the order. Im very happy for him. I was pulling for that home run more than anything else. A lot of people think Well, 30 home runs, 100 RBI, youre still losing, but it means a lot to him and it means a lot to me seeing one of my players have success and have a great year.

Slumping slugger Adam Dunn broke out, to a degree, vs. Chen, who entered the game 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA vs. the White Sox this season. The DH had a double down the right-field line in the fourth and lined a single off of Chen in the sixth, for a 2-for-5 day. Dunn had his first extra-base hit vs. a lefthander this season and first since August 6, 2010. The RBI on the double was Dunns first since Aug. 8.

As the Royals crept within 6-4 with a run in the seventh, Chicago bit right back with a four-run rally that started with none on and two outs. The key blow was Pierzynskis second homer of the game, a three-run shot off the right field foul pole. It was A.J.s first multihomer game of the year, fourth of his career, and first since July 9, 2010 against the Royals.

The win prevented a season-high eight-game losing streak for the White Sox.

It feels good, especially with the off-day, Pierzynski said of the win. It seems like weve been grinding. Going into the off-day with a good feeling, hopefully we play well the first two games of the doubleheader there on Tuesday. Its nice to win on a travel day, and its nice to win on a football day so we can relax and watch football.

Were all competitive we have pride, Danks said. We dont have many games left, but were going to try to win all of them. Theres nothing else to do but save face and have a decent taste in our mouths going into the offseason. Were not out here going through the motions. Were trying to win more games.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Meet the Prospects: Carson Fulmer

Meet the Prospects: Carson Fulmer

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Carson Fulmer

Fulmer, the 24-year-old right-handed hurler, looks to be on the verge of getting his chance to show the White Sox what he can do as a starter at the major league level.

In other words, he won't be a prospect for much longer.

A Florida native, Fulmer was the eighth-overall pick in the 2015 draft. After pitching at Vanderbilt University, he made eight 2015 starts at Class A Winston-Salem, posting a 2.05 ERA in 22 innings. Things didn't go quite as well in his first full professional season in 2016. He made 17 starts at Double-A Birmingham, turning in a 4.76 ERA there. He made four more at Triple-A Charlotte and had a 3.94 ERA in a mere 16 innings. He also got some work out of the big league bullpen that year, struggling to the tune of 11 runs surrendered in 11.2 innings of work.

Fulmer's ERA continued to jump in 2017, all the way up to 5.79 in his 25 starts at Charlotte. He again got some big league time, though, starting in five of his seven appearances with the White Sox. Throw out the first start, an emergency spot start in one half of a doubleheader in which he got shelled, and the late-season results are a lot more promising. In his final four starts of the season, all in September, Fulmer gave up just three runs in 17.1 innings, striking out 16 batters.

Fulmer figures to be given a shot at a spot in the White Sox rotation this spring, as the team is eager to see what they have and see if Fulmer can carve out his own spot in a crowded projected rotation of the future.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Fulmer rated as the No. 9 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Fulmer in the video above.

Meet the Prospects: Zack Burdi

Meet the Prospects: Zack Burdi

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Zack Burdi

Burdi, the 22-year-old right-handed hurler, has only thrown 71.1 innings in his two seasons with the White Sox.

A Downers Grove native, Burdi was a first-round draft pick in 2016 and already is at the Triple-A level. After playing college ball at the University of Louisville and posting a 3.32 ERA in 26 games over four different levels of minor league baseball in 2016, Burdi tossed just 33.1 innings at Charlotte last season. He turned in a 4.05 ERA in 29 appearances for the Knights before his season came to an end in early July.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Burdi rated as the No. 12 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Burdi in the video above.