White Sox

Abreu, LaRoche help White Sox snap losing streak with extra inning win


Abreu, LaRoche help White Sox snap losing streak with extra inning win

TORONTO -- They have provided more than their share of disappointment this season but the White Sox aren’t ready to retreat.

After their closer blew his second save attempt in 18 hours, the White Sox bounced back Wednesday afternoon to avoid a three-game sweep with a 5-3 win in 10 innings over the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.

Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche and Gordon Beckham all had key hits shortly after Tuesday night’s hero, Josh Donaldson, tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with another home run off David Robertson. The White Sox won for only the second time in nine games and snapped a four-game losing streak despite Robertson’s second straight blown save.

“We’re not winning like we should, but we’re not giving up,” Beckham said. “I think that’s important. I think that bodes well for the rest of the season. It’s one thing to have a game like last night and come back here and have it happen again and then just die mentally. It’s good to not let down.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The 20-24 White Sox have faced a good deal of adversity but perhaps none has been as daunting as this latest round.

A day after Donaldson sent Toronto to a 10-9 victory by launching a three-run homer off Robertson he did it again. Trailing 3-2, Donaldson ripped a 2-0 Robertson fastball out to left (home run No. 13) to tie the score. Robertson bounced back and retired Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to send it to extras.

Abreu -- who had an earlier two-run double -- started the 10th inning off with a triple to right off reliever Roberto Osuna as outfielder Danny Valencia misplayed the ball, allowing it to carom back toward the infield. LaRoche, who reached base three times, put the White Sox back ahead with a sharp RBI single to right.

Pinch runner Emilio Bonifacio smartly tagged and moved into scoring position on a fly ball out, which was rewarded when Beckham doubled down the right-field line.

Robertson pitched around a single and a walk in the 10th inning to preserve the victory.

“There's some resilience there,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Especially after last night you can just lay down and think it's going to happen all over again and you don't answer the bell. It says a lot about the group.

[MORE: Beck to debut Thursday while Rodon gets the start on Friday]

“We've been knocked around early in the year in different spots of losing games and they've been able to answer it. That's a good sign from these guys.”

The White Sox need much more and quickly.

They’re 20-24 and still have eight games left on this four-city road trip, including two in Baltimore on Thursday. Robertson’s availability after pitching in parts of four innings over two days is up in the air. But Ventura said he knew almost immediately he’d bring Robertson, who has converted nine of 12 saves, back for the 10th once the White Sox pulled ahead. Robertson said he’s grateful for the chance to redeem himself.

“I’m not going to sit there and dwell on the fact,” Robertson said. “You have bad games. This is the big leagues. You’re going to make mistakes. Guys are going to hit home runs. You’re going to have whole runs where you have two or three bad outings in a row. You just have to push those aside and move on to the next thing. It’s over. It’s already done. You can’t change it, so I just look for the positive. If I get another opportunity, I’m going to make the best of it.”

There were plenty of positives in Wednesday’s start by Jeff Samardzija, who didn’t figure into the decision.

Samardzija -- who allowed an unearned run and eight hits -- successfully navigated through seven outstanding innings.

He put a runner in scoring position in four of the seven frames, including the first two, and escaped all but one unscathed.

Jose Reyes doubled to start the game before Samardzija set down the Blue Jays’ 2-3-4 hitters. Samardzija stranded a pair in the second and sixth innings, the latter ending with a strikeout of Ezequiel Carrera. But he didn’t go untouched as, surprise, surprise, Donaldson hit a long sac fly to right in the seventh to cut the White Sox lead to 3-1. Samardzija -- who has a 1.96 ERA in 23 innings in his last three starts -- pitched out of trouble there when Bautista flew out to deep left.

“We needed this one,” Samardzija said. “In baseball you always talk about streaks and when you're going on good streaks you wanna continue you those and ride them out as along as you can. And when it's not going good you wanna put a stop to it as fast as possible because it's a long season but things happen fast.

“We won, that's all that matters.”

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.

He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.

Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.

It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.

Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.

The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.

The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?


Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.