Youkilis walk-off wins it for White Sox in 10th


Youkilis walk-off wins it for White Sox in 10th

It wasnt as emphatic as Tuesdays victory, but the White Sox will take a win any way they can get against the team with the best record in the major leagues.

Kevin Youkilis drove in Alejandro De Aza with the winning run, giving the White Sox a 5-4 10-inning victory over Texas on Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Rangers took a 3-0 lead when they strung together four consecutive two-out hits against Dylan Axelrod. Michael Young broke an 0-for-13 stretch with a two-run double and later scored the third run.

A four-run second put the White Sox into the lead against Scott Feldman, who entered 2-6 with a 6.13 ERA. The rally included five straight batters reaching base, and three consecutive run-scoring hits.

Gordon Beckham, the only Chicago starter without a hit in Tuesdays 19-2 victory, capped the outburst with a two-run double after Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez hit RBI singles.

The inning also featured a collision at home plate between All-Star catcher Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski. Trying to score from second on Ramirezs single, Pierzynski smashed into Napoli just after the ball arrived. Napoli dropped it after the collision.

Josh Hamilton, who singled and scored in the first, tied it 4-4 by leading off the third with this 26th home run of the season, a 428-foot blast to right field.

After a start like that it was more than surprising that both starters managed to reach the sixth inning. But both Axelrod and Feldman recovered to turn in quality outings, though neither factored in the final decision.

In keeping with a season-long signature of the rotation, Axelrod lasted 5 innings despite struggling. He allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in the 107-pitch effort.

Feldman completed six innings, giving up four runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts. All the runs came in the second, and Feldman only allowed one runner in scoring position after that.

The White Sox did threaten in the seventh after putting two runners on base with two outs. But Adam Dunn struck out looking on a full-count pitch from Robbie Ross to end that.

The bullpens took over where the starters left off.

The Rangers trio of Tanner Scheppers, Ross and Mike Adams kept the White Sox off-balance.

The young White Sox bullpen did the same to the Rangers. Rookie Leyson Septimo was the lone blip as he surrendered an infield hit and an intentional walk against the only two batters he faced.

But fellow rookie Nate Jones slammed the door, getting pinch-hitter Craig Gentry to ground into a force at second.

Matt Thornton -- the only nonrookie in the bullpen -- didnt allow a hit in two strong innings before giving way to Addison Reed in the 10th. Reed needed only 10 pitches to retire the heart of the Rangers order on easy fly balls to the outfield.

Jimmy Butler's injury produced memories for Zach LaVine, Fred Hoiberg

Jimmy Butler's injury produced memories for Zach LaVine, Fred Hoiberg

MINNEAPOLIS — That feeling of having your knee buckle out of nowhere, Zach LaVine is all-too familiar with it.

That feeling of being on the sidelines and watching Jimmy Butler’s knee give out, Fred Hoiberg has been there, too.

Different perspectives, and different reactions but Butler’s knee injury produced a sick feeling to many who watched it Friday night. Butler turned to pivot in the Timberwolves’ game against the Houston Rockets and immediately collapsed on the floor, having to be carried off.

LaVine tore his ACL in Detroit over a year ago, while it was revealed Butler suffered a right meniscus injury. But it looked all the same and LaVine understood the uncertainty Butler must’ve been feeling before the MRI revealed it wasn’t an ACL injury.

“It’s scary,” LaVine said following morning shootaround at the Target Center Saturday afternoon. “I wish him the best. You don’t want to see that happen to anybody. Especially a player of his caliber and what he’s done for the team.”

When LaVine injured his ACL, he actually played a few more minutes before being removed and going to the locker room. The time between being evaluated by doctors and them coming back feels like a lifetime.

“It’s scary. You know you hurt yourself, you don’t know how bad,” LaVine said. “You think you’re good, you’re a tough minded person trying to get through it.”

“I saw him on the ground trying to get up, (Rockets guard) Chris Paul made him sit down. Jimmy’s a tough dude. Thoughts and prayers going out to him.”

Butler and LaVine were the centerpieces of the draft day trade involving the Bulls and Timberwolves. With Butler suffering the injury the night before playing his former team a second time, the timing produced a bunch of memories.

In Hoiberg’s first year with the Bulls, Butler went down in a somewhat similar manner in Denver, a non-contact injury. It looked just as bad, and Butler was taken off the floor in a wheelchair.

Thankfully it was a right knee strain that cost him several weeks but it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Considering the minutes he’s played over the last few years, Hoiberg was asked if Butler pushes himself too hard to be on the floor.

“Jimmy he wants to be out there,” Hoiberg said. “I remember the first year in Denver, he went down with what looked to be a serious injury. Thankfully he was back on the floor after 15-16 games.”

Actually, Butler missed 11 consecutive games before coming back for a nationally-televised game against the Rockets, playing 34 minutes in a Bulls win and missing the next three games for recovery.

“We really worried when he went down but it wasn’t something that ended his season,” Hoiberg said. “Jimmy’s a worker. He’s one of the hardest working guys I’ve seen. It’s a huge reason for the type of player he is, that work ethic to make him one of the elite players in the league.”

With Bulls-Timberwolves looming, Jimmy Butler is diagnosed with meniscus injury


With Bulls-Timberwolves looming, Jimmy Butler is diagnosed with meniscus injury

Jimmy Butler won't be facing the Bulls a second time this season.

Butler suffered a non-contact knee injury on Friday night in Houston. The initial X-ray only revealed he didn't have any broken bones, but the MRI had to wait until Saturday.

The Timberwolves announced that the MRI revealed a meniscus injury in Butler's right knee. There is not yet word on how long the All-Star guard will be out of action, but if it wasn't already assumed that he wouldn't play against the Bulls, it's now certain.

Avoiding the ACL tear means avoiding the worse case scenario, but this is likely still going to cause Butler to miss a significant amount of time with about a quarter of the regular season remaining. An update from Shams Charania of The Vertical said Butler could return for the postseason.

The Bulls take on the Timberwolves on Saturday night. Butler dropped 38 points at the United Center in his return to Chicago exactly two weeks ago, but the Bulls won 114-113.

Butler posted on Instagram a reaction to the injury.

Saturday's game will be the returns of Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn to Minnesota after they went the other direction in the Butler trade on draft night last June.