White Sox

Comeback falls short as Sox drop series to Astros

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Comeback falls short as Sox drop series to Astros

Philip Humbers woes continue.

Despite a nine-strikeout performance, Humber surrendered three home runs and couldnt get out of the sixth inning as the Sox fell 11-9 to Houston on Sunday in the series finale at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Sox dropped the three-game series after allowing a season-high 11 runs, including four home runs. Houston hit eight home runs in the series.

Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Orlando Hudson each hit home runs for the Sox, who finished 4-5 on their nine-game homestand. Jose Altuve and Justin Maxwell homered and drove in three runs for the Astros.

Humber pitched 5 13 innings, allowing six hits, five earned runs and two walks. He hasnt won at home in almost a year. His last victory at U.S. Cellular Field came June 12, 2011.

Former Sox farmhand Lucas Harrell gave the Astros a solid start in his return to U.S. Cellular Field. Harrell improved to 6-4 after giving up five runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 7 13 innings.

Humber ran into trouble right at the start of the second. J.D. Martinez led off with a 389-foot home run to left field. Humber walked the next batter, Brett Wallace, who advanced to second on a passed ball.

Wallace scored on a two-out single by Justin Maxwell to give the Astros an early 2-0 lead.

But Humber got into a groove for a bit after the rough inning. He retired the next seven batters as the Sox rallied to take their only lead of the day. Of those seven outs, six were by strikeout, including the last five consecutive.

The Sox tied it with two runs in the third after Alexei Ramirez led off with a single followed by a walk to Tyler Flowers. They both advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by Orlando Hudson.

Ramirez came home on a single by Alejandro De Aza. Flowers scored when a Gordon Beckham ground ball went through the legs of Chris Johnson at third and everybody was safe.

The potential for a big inning fizzled quickly as Dunn fouled out to Johnson and Konerko lined out to right, keeping it tied 2-2.

Some small ball helped the Sox take a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Alex Rios led off with a single and then stole second base. He went to third on a wild pitch by Lucas Harrell before scoring on a Ramirez sacrifice fly.

The lead was short-lived as the Astros roughed up Humber again in the fifth. Brian Bogusevic singled to start the inning ahead of a 461-foot crushing home run by Maxwell. The ball landed in the second deck just below the terrace suite. The home run withstood a video replay.

Humbers afternoon ended in the sixth shortly after giving up his third home run -- and second to start an inning. This time it was Wallace, who connected for his second home run of the series and season.

After Johnson followed with a single, Humber left for Nate Jones as the Astros kept rolling. By the time the inning ended Houston added three more runs to take a 9-3 lead.

Dunn homered to lead off the sixth for Chicago. The 407-foot blast was his 20th of the season, but did little to rally the Sox.

A two-out walk by Zach Stewart hurt as Houston tacked on two more runs in the eighth with their fourth home run of the game. Jose Altuve hit this one as the Astros became the first team to score more than 10 runs against the Sox this season.

Konerko got the Sox closer with a two-run home run in the eighth, his 12th of the season and first since May 27. Hudson then struck for his first home run with the Sox, a three-run shot to right in the ninth.

After an off-day, the Sox begin a six-game road trip Tuesday in St. Louis.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.