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Angels sweep White Sox as losing skid hits four

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Angels sweep White Sox as losing skid hits four

Sunday, April 17, 2011
Posted: 4:09 p.m. Updated: 4:26 p.m.

Associated Press

Dan Haren has't had a problem following every Jered Weaver masterpiece.

WATCH: Dunn feeling fine but 'stinks'

Haren pitched into the seventh inning for his fourth win of the season, Maicer Izturis had three hits and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Haren (4-0) joined Weaver as the major leagues' first four-game winners. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits over 6 13 innings, striking out six and not allowing a walk.

"He's started the series three times and he's set the tone every time," Haren said. "There is a lot of teams with a bunch of good pitchers and we're a few of them. What we hope is that when take the mound our team expects to win. That's how I feel and I feel like when I'm on the mound that the eight other guys with me feel like we're going to win that game."

After initially struggling in the ninth, rookie closer Jordan Walden got Juan Pierre to pop out to left with the bases loaded for his third save in as many opportunities.

Mark Trumbo added a solo shot in the fourth inning off White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (1-1), as Chicago lost its fourth straight game. The White Sox opened their 10-game homestand winning four of the first six, and three of their losses were blown saves by the bullpen.

"In most of the games we were one shot away from winning it, but we didn't," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "The beginning it was the bullpen letting the team down. We're struggling to swing the bat right now. Leaving Chicago, long road trip, those guys will come around and start swinging the bat like we know they can."

Haren retired nine straight White Sox batters until allowing a double to Carlos Quentin in the seventh inning. After an infield hit by Alex Rios, Haren gave up back-to-back run-scoring singles to A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez.

Haren had pitched 19 scoreless innings until giving up the two RBI singles.

"He is on a terrific roll. He's not going to throw one-hitters every time out. You can look at a lot of different numbers, but I don't think you need numbers to see how well Dan has been pitching. This guy has been very consistent early on," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Haren, who has 1.16 ERA, is even surprising himself with his dominance.

"I didn't see it coming," he said. "I felt pretty good in spring. I've done a really good job of keeping the defense in the game, minimizing walks and working ahead in the account. That's my game, nothing fancy. I just pitch my game and hitters adjust to me."

Hisanori Takahashi and Francisco Rodriguez each got one out in the seventh inning and Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless eighth before turning the game over to Walden.

He gave up a leadoff double to Quentin and walked Rios in the ninth. Pierzynksi moved the runners over on a sacrifice bunt, but Walden rebounded by striking out Ramirez. After issuing a walk to Omar Vizquel, Walden got Pierre to pop out to end the game.

The Angels struck first when Izturis lined Buehrle's fourth pitch of the game down the line in left for a double. Howie Kendrick followed with a hard grounder back at Buehrle, who kicked the ball and misdirected it from Ramirez at shortstop into the outfield for a single. Bobby Abreu struck out before Torii Hunter drove in Izturis on a sacrifice fly.

Izturis doubled again in the third and scored on Abreu's double to make it 2-0.

"He's pitched great for us the second half of last year and even though we're not giving him tons of support those early runs this afternoon were important for him, especially for a guy that pounds the zone," Scioscia said.

Trumbo's homer in the fourth made it 3-0, and Vernon Wells hit a liner off the outfield wall in the sixth. He went to third on the triple and eventually scored on Alberto Callaspo's single.

Scioscia questioned whether Wells' drive was a home run. The umpires reviewed the video and determined the original call was correct.

Buehrle allowed four runs on 10 hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.

"I made a couple mistakes today and they made me pay for it," he said. "Any time you run into Weaver and Haren in two out of three games, it's a tough task at hand."

NOTES

SS Erick Aybar (strained left oblique) hopes to get a few more right-handed at-bats before joining the club in Texas this week. Aybar will likely join Triple-A Tucson on Sunday and Monday. ...Chicago begins an 11-game road trip with Tampa Bay on Monday. ... According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last starting pitcher before Weaver to have four wins in his team's first 13 games was Roger Clemens in 1991 for the Red Sox. ... White Sox DH Adam Dunn was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Box Score

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Could the Price be right for a big White Sox move?

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USA TODAY

Could the Price be right for a big White Sox move?

SAN DIEGO — The White Sox still need two pitchers, and the pool of free-agent options is shrinking.

Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, the two names at the tippy top of the starting-pitching market, might never have been true possibilities for the White Sox, but they sure won’t be now, each signed to a massive deal at this week’s Winter Meetings.

Zack Wheeler spurned the White Sox and their high bid to take less money and pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies. Jordan Lyles is now a Texas Ranger. Tanner Roark is now a Toronto Blue Jay. Josh Lindblom is now a Milwaukee Brewer. Michael Wacha is now a New York Met.

Yes, the options still out there remain attractive. Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel or Hyun-Jin Ryu would do the job of firing up the fan base and pairing with Lucas Giolito atop the South Side starting staff. But those are just three pitchers. And there are a lot of teams on the hunt for starting pitching.

Of course, it’s also not that simple. Hahn might have said this in talking about losing out on Wheeler: “You either get the guy or you don't. When you don't, you move on to the next one.” But it’s not as easy as just moving down to the next biggest name on the free-agent market.

“Any guy we target is because we feel strongly that they fit in for the long term, in terms of a big-ticket free-agent acquisition that we feel is going to help make us better throughout the good portion of this upcoming window,” the general manager said Wednesday. “There does come a point on any list, whether it's after the third guy or after the sixth guy or after the 10th guy, where you're no longer describing that type of player. So it's up to us to figure out how quickly we drift into that group.”

The price tags are getting high for these pitchers, and Hahn admitted that the prognosticators missed the mark a bit when it came to predicting the massive paydays Cole, Strasburg and Wheeler received. Those big deals could drive up the price on the Bumgarners and the Keuchels and the Ryus.

It’s not that the White Sox are incapable of spending in that area — they reportedly offered more than $120 million for Wheeler’s services — they just might not be as enamored with those options as folks on the outside might be.

Hahn is still committed to the idea that “the money will be spent,” though he’s not 100-percent committed to it all being spent in one place.

“I think it would be awfully foolish to say we're going to go out and spend whatever the amount of the offer (to Manny Machado) was immediately,” he said. “The point of that comment was there's other ways for us to allocate this money, and it's going to be allocated toward player acquisitions.

“You could argue some of it went to (Yasmani) Grandal, you could argue some of it went to the Eloy (Jimenez) extension or re-signing (Jose) Abreu or whatever we have coming down the pipe next.

“That offer was over an eight- to 10-year period, so to say it's all going out the door in Year 1 just because it's sitting there, maybe, but it's got to be for the right players.”

But does the right player exist anymore? Wheeler certainly seemed to be that for the White Sox, but he’s off the board and they still need two arms. It might be time to get creative.

What about David Price?

Hahn’s been throwing the spotlight on trades this week, talking at length Wednesday about an intriguing proposal the front office was considering, one that might not line up perfectly with the White Sox rebuilding plans.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Tuesday that multiple teams have targeted Price, the Boston Red Sox playoff hero who is still owed a whopping $96 million over the next three seasons. The Red Sox, interested in ridding themselves of salary, could attach him to another player to incentivize a team to take that contract off their hands.

This is where the White Sox could come in. They have the financial flexibility to eat up Price’s remaining dollars. And they’d probably be pretty interested in acquiring one of Boston’s bats to stick in the middle of their lineup. The Red Sox have a lot of hitters who could be of use to the White Sox, but certainly Andrew Beninitendi comes to mind. He’s under club control for three more years, and while his addition would probably require a bit of realignment in the outfield, it’d be a good one to the South Side batting order.

The 34-year-old Price, meanwhile, wouldn’t exactly be, from a production standpoint, the high-quality add to the starting staff that other, still-available arms would be. He had a 4.28 ERA in 2019, the second highest of his career and his highest in a decade, even though he had positive stretches during the Red Sox otherwise miserable World Series hangover.

There are more concerning elements with Price, too. NBC Sports Boston’s John Tomase writing last week: “He's no longer a 200-inning pitcher. His elbow could blow. He considers himself a great teammate, but he consistently brings negativity into the clubhouse, which multiple rival executives have noted warily. He's too expensive. He hasn't made an All-Star team or earned a Cy Young vote since 2015. He's past his prime.”

Certainly none of that is terribly appealing.

But the White Sox need pitching. They need it. They can’t go into next season with what they’ve got or we’ll see the same parade of ineffective fill ins that we saw in 2019. Price might not be Cole. He might not be Wheeler. He definitely is preferable to Manny Banuelos and Odrisamer Despaigne.

And if he brings Benintendi with him? What if he brings J.D. Martinez with him? What if he brings Mookie Betts with him? Well, you can probably forget about Betts, the White Sox not at all interested in trading their top-flight prospects for one year of anyone, but the other two are worth thinking about.

There’s another element to all this: the return cost. When discussing that mysteriously appealing trade offer Wednesday, Hahn alluded to the popularity of the White Sox prospects. That comes as no surprise. What does is that the White Sox would consider trading any of them away. It’s near impossible to envision Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal or Michael Kopech going anywhere. But what about Andrew Vaughn? Or Dane Dunning?

It’s all speculative at the moment, of course. But the White Sox pitching need isn’t going to go away until they make some moves. Other teams are doing just that, making Hahn’s job harder by the minute.

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Hawk Harrelson joins Hall of Fame

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Hawk Harrelson joins Hall of Fame

SportsTalk Live is on location at Day 3 of the MLB Winter Meetings.

0:00- Chuck Garfien, Vinnie Duber and Scott Merkin join David Kaplan to react to Hawk Harrelson making the Hall of Fame. Plus, they share their thoughts the Nomar Mazara trade and what may be next for the White Sox this winter.

10:00- Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer joins Kap and Tony Andracki to talk about the Cubs slow offseason and the importance of staying under the luxury tax. Hoyer also responds to Anthony Rizzo's agent's comment that the team will not be signing the first baseman to an extension this offseason.

19:00- Kap, Chuck, Vinnie and Tony discuss Gerrit Cole's record contract with the Yankees.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

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