White Sox

Errors prove costly, sink White Sox' win streak

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Errors prove costly, sink White Sox' win streak

Saturday, July 17, 2010
Updated: 12:01 AM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

MINNEAPOLIS Sometimes, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen might malaprop, you cant lose for winning.

See, his White Sox are on such a spirited run that even when their effort flags and another long winning streak is hacked at the knees at the ripe age of nine, the second-place Detroit Tigers are romper stomped by the ill-mannered, prepubescent Wahoos somewhere south of Lake Erie.

Thus, the Chicago Nines 7-4 setback to the former Dominican Wunderkind, Francisco Liriano was a mere flesh wound. The Windy City Wonders will remain all alone in first place for another day.

What Im most proud of is our guys fought back, Guillen said. We didnt give up, we made a run, and at the end we had a chance to tie or win the game with our two best hitters Alex Rios and Paul Konerko up.

Perhaps the bigger effect of Lirianos stellar 7.2 innings of workscattering six hits and two earned runs, while striking out eightwas the way it spared the Minnesota bullpen after an ineffectual effort in the series opener.

You have to hand it to Liriano, he was great, said White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, who along with Alexei Ramirez paced the Sox with 2-4, one RBI nights. He worked both sides of the plate, had tough stuff, both hard and off-speed.

Chicago inflicted little damage on its hurling nemesis, using a Gordon Beckham double-Juan Pierre single to plate its first run in the fifth and an Alex Rios safety on a dropped third strike and Paul Konerko double to draw the White Sox within two in the eighth.

Minnesota struck for its second big inning in as many nights. On Thursday, the Twins offense was fueled by a six-run second that would not hold up against a churning, burning Pale Hose O. On Friday, a fours wild attack from Minnesota exploited Sox starter Gavin Floyd for four in the fourth, as J.J. Hardy, Denard Span and Orlando Hudson singles accounted for all four runs.

I felt like I had pretty good stuff, Floyd said. It was just one of those games. Its not always going to go your way, even when you hope it does.

It was a disastrous fielding night for the Chisox, with badly-winged tosses from Floyd, Beckham and reliever Tony Pena and a two-step effort from Dayan Viciedo at third totaling four errors. A week ago, Chicago committed an almost-unfathomable five Es in a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels, but thats a bullet to be dodged just once a generation.

Weve got to field the ball, Beckham said. We didnt field it tonight, and it cost us.

Beckham tapped in A.J. Pierzynski with a desperation run with one out in the ninth, and when Minnesota closer Jon Rauch imploded by loading the bases with just one out, then walking in a run, it seemed that the Chisox might be destined to push another win streak into double-digits.

Alas, Rios struck a first-pitch liner to center off emergency closer Jesse Crain that hung up just long enough for Span to snag. Crain then punched out Konerko on three straight pitches, and for just one night the Twins could feel as if they were back in the AL Central race.

Eventually you realize that a win streak is going to stop, Floyd said. Hopefully tomorrow well get going on another good run.

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The Triple Play

Saturdays Pitching Probables (6:10 p.m., WGN)

White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle (8-7, 4.24 ERA)

Twins RHP Carl Pavano (10-6, 3.58 ERA)

Super Sox

Juan Pierre had a rare night where he didnt score a run but did muster a K, but overall the left fielder managed some solid defense and a 1-3, one-RBI, two-walk night.

White Sox Notable Numbers

The six White Sox losses over the last 32 games have been by a total of 11 runs, and this was the first game the team has lost by more than two runs since June 8 Gavin Floyd is 3-2 with a 1.30 ERA and 3.54 strikeouts per walk in his last eight starts. Hes received two runs or less support in seven of his last 10 starts Alexei Ramirez is hitting .361 in his last 20 games and is 6-9 in his career vs. Francisco Liriano Gordon Beckham is batting .357 with six homers and 14 RBI in 19 career games vs. the Twins.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.

Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.

Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.

“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”

Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.

“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”

Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.

Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.

“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”

The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.

“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”

So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?

“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”

In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

No one knows better than Joakim Soria that the more successful he is as the White Sox’s closer, there is an increased likelihood that the veteran right-hander will be headed out of town at some point.

Soria has not only solidified the back end of the bullpen, the 34-year-old has emerged as perhaps the Sox’s most valuable trade asset to a contending team in need of relief help.

Over this last 14 appearances, Soria has not allowed an earned run and has converted all seven save chances with five hits allowed, two walks and 15 strikeouts.

“My body feels good and my arm feels good,” Soria said before the Sox defeated the Athletics 10-3 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. “I come to the ballpark expecting to pitch and … I try to be out there and help this team win.”

While the Sox haven’t done a whole lot of winning of late—Sunday’s win was just their second in their last 11 games—when they are victorious it’s accompanied by a Soria save. With the Sox’s rebuild in full swing, Soria understands that general manager Rick Hahn won’t hesitate to flip him in a trade.

“Players say they don’t think about it but you have to think about it,” said Soria, who was acquired from the Royals on Jan. 4 in a three-team trade also involving the Dodgers. “When you have a family with three kids and a wife you have to be prepared for everything. But it’s not like I come to the field thinking about that. It’s just God’s plan and whatever happens it’s a business and you prepare.”

Soria has 215 career saves, including 162 in seven seasons with the Royals, but hadn’t been a full-time closer since notching a combined 24 saves with the Tigers and Pirates. With the Sox, Soria won the closing job over fellow veteran Nate Jones in spring training and has been nearly unhittable in recent weeks.

Over his last 13 2/3 innings pitched, Soria has held opponents to a .109 batting average and sports a 2.89 ERA for the season. He has issued five walks in 28 innings and is averaging 10.29 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

The two-time All-Star has settled in nicely in a Sox clubhouse featuring a mix of veterans and promising talents. Soria has to balance that with the knowledge he might not be around as the season progresses.

“It’s something I can’t control,” Soria said. “I have a really good relationship with these guys and the chemistry with this team is very good. I can’t think outside of the box because (a trade) hasn’t happened yet. You have to keep focused and be ready for today’s game.”