White Sox

Chris Sale finally picks up 15th win as White Sox cruise past A’s

Chris Sale finally picks up 15th win as White Sox cruise past A’s

After being stuck on 14 wins since July 2, Chris Sale finally picked up his 15th victory of the season on Saturday, tossing a gem as the White Sox cruised past the Oakland Athletics 6-2 in front of 21,178 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.

Sale pitched eight shutout innings and allowed only three hits and three walks on 120 pitches, tying his season-high. The “K-Zone” was in full effect too as the White Sox ace struck out eight batters.

Sale became the league’s first starting pitcher to reach 14 wins on the season but struggled to pick up No. 15.

"It was kind of getting over the hump for me," Sale said. "My last few times out I haven’t been as good as I’ve wanted to be or as good as I’ve needed to be."

"Coming in and getting this one after a loss, we’ll fight for this series tomorrow, so it was important."

Sale barely needed any run support to pick up the win but his offense supplied it anyway 24 hours after being shut out 9-0.

Sale is now two wins away from tying his single-season record (17) set in 2012.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

In Saturday’s win, everything seemed to be clicking for the White Sox, even on offense, which scored at least one run in each of the first four innings.

Jose Abreu got his team on the board early in the first after hitting a solo homer to right field that clipped the glove of A’s outfielder Brett Eibner on its way out.

In the second, Carlos Sanchez and Tim Anderson hit back-to-back two-out RBI singles to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead.

Melky Cabrera (single) and Jason Coats (groundout) tacked on RBIs in the third, and Cabrera added another in the fourth with his second single of the night.

Sale admitted that adding those early runs helped alleviate a little bit of pressure.

"You see your guys fighting," Sale said. "I think it was the third inning, scored all with two outs. When stuff like that goes, you kinda feed off of that, and build momentum and try to execute some pitches."

The offense was quiet on both sides after that until the ninth inning when Nate Jones entered the game and allowed two runs – a solo homer to Danny Valencia and an RBI single by Eibner.

Jones recorded just one out before being relieved by David Robertson, who picked up the final two outs of the game for his 31st save of the season.

[RELATED: White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper: 'It’s either good or it’s bad' with James Shields]

The White Sox are now 58-64 on the season and have 40 games left.

But even though the White Sox postseason hopes seem to be far out of reach, there's still a "no-quit" attitude in the clubhouse.

"Nobody in here has given up," Sale said. "We have too much pride in ourselves and what we do. When you look around this clubhouse, we have some pretty good guys, guys that compete.

"At the end of the day that’s all you can ask for. Anything that happens after that, you can live with it."

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

Reported promotion of Zack Collins adds another piece to White Sox rebuilding puzzle

The White Sox rebuilding puzzle is getting closer to completion.

Zack Collins is reportedly en route to the major leagues, according to a report from Miami talk-show host Andy Slater. That adds another one of the White Sox highly rated prospects to the growing list of them at the big league level as the franchise’s contention window looks set to open relatively soon.

Collins was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016, selected with the No. 10 pick that year out of the University of Miami. Currently ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the farm system, he’s always been praised for his offensive abilities. Last season at Double-A Birmingham, he finished the year with a .382 on-base percentage and launched 15 homers, also winning the Home Run Derby at the Southern League All-Star Game.

In 48 games with Triple-A Charlotte this season, Collins owns a .258/.382/.497 slash line with nine homers, nine doubles, 38 RBIs and 35 walks.

Collins has been lauded as a big bat, but there have been questions about other parts of his game as he’s risen through the system. From the day he was drafted, there were questions about his defensive ability, leading to speculation that he might one day end up at a position besides catcher. He’s also racked up the strikeouts in the minors, with 396 of them in 322 games over his four minor league seasons.

But the White Sox haven’t wavered in their confidence that Collins can be a big league catcher, and it looks like that’s the position he’ll fill should the White Sox call him up before the start of next week’s Crosstown series with the Cubs. Welington Castillo was removed from Sunday’s loss to the New York Yankees with back tightness. The team said Castillo will be reevaluated on Monday. With this report of Collins’ promotion, it looks like Castillo could be headed to the injured list.

Another top prospect reaching the majors adds another tangible example of rebuilding progress. Fans have been clamoring for the promotions of Dylan Cease and Luis Robert all season long, and while Collins might be a little further down in the rankings than those two, this should still please fans who, even in a season filled with positives, want to see a more rapid advancement toward the rebuild’s ultimate goal.

Collins will perhaps benefit from a lack of pressure, what with James McCann in the midst of a potentially All-Star season as the White Sox primary catcher. The White Sox could perhaps continue to lean on McCann, allowing Collins to ease into the major leagues.

But just like Michael Kopech last August and Eloy Jimenez in March, Collins’ mere arrival is a step forward in this process, one that should please fans immensely.

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Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues


Yoan Moncada continues battle with back issues

Yoan Moncada's battle with his back issues might not be as over as we thought.

The third baseman made his return to the White Sox starting lineup Sunday following a four-game layoff due to a mild back strain. But his return didn't last long. After a fourth-inning strikeout in his second plate appearance of the 10-3 loss to the visiting New York Yankees, Moncada was removed from the game with what the team announced as upper back tightness.

Moncada is described as day to day. The White Sox have an off day Monday ahead of the start of a two-game Crosstown series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

"He's doing good. I think I'm not the only one who noticed his grimace in the swing. It made no sense to continue to expose him to that," manager Rick Renteria said after Sunday's game. "All indications are he should be ready to go on Tuesday.

"Didn't seem to put him in any predicament. Hopefully it didn't set him back. All indications are that hopefully he'll be back on Tuesday."

Moncada was removed from Monday's game against the Washington Nationals with what was initially described as back spasms. Renteria updated the verbiage to a back strain in the following days. Moncada missed Tuesday's game against the Nationals, went through a Wednesday off day and then missed the first three games of the four-game weekend set with the Yankees. His return lasted all of four innings Sunday before he was taken out again.

"Just watching the swing, watching the finish, which is what I was concerned with, getting through the ball. He's ready to get through the ball, it's just the finish. He's feeling a little something there," Renteria said. "You can't replicate it in any drill work. We've tried to do it. Everything he did was good. All the work he did was good.

"Everything we tried to do to replicate it, it wasn't existent until you get into the game, then you know. That's why I think it was a good — I don't know if you want to call it a test, but it was a test. We wanted to see where he was at. Didn't make any sense to continue to push him. Get him ready and calm it down and get him ready for the series against the North Siders."

Moncada wasn't the only White Sox hitter removed from Sunday's game. Welington Castillo, who was the designated hitter, was taken out with what the team announced as lower back tightness. Renteria confirmed after the game that Castillo's injury came on his swing in the second inning, a line drive off the center-field wall that ended up as only a single. Castillo will be reevaluated during the off day Monday.

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