White Sox

Floyd flirts with no-hitter, falls to Royals

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Floyd flirts with no-hitter, falls to Royals

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011Posted: 3:42 p.m. Updated: 4:48 p.m.

By BrettBallantini
CSNChicago.com White SoxInsiderFollow@CSNChi_Beatnik
CHICAGO This is the way Alex Rios season has gone: Even when he saves a no-hitter with a daredevil catch in center, one of the primary Chicago White Sox whipping boys manages to doom the no-no at the same time.

Hows that? Well, it started when Rios ended the fourth inning with a terrific, running catch on a Billy Butler flyball deep to center. He made the catch a step from the wall but smashed full-force into a padded beam, knocking him to the ground and leaving his face and head bruised.

Rios, who left the game for precautionary measures at the inning break, passed his concussion tests but will not play on Monday, according to manager Ozzie Guillen.

But how was Rios in turn responsible for the no-hitter being lost in the top of the sixth? Well, its merely an indirect indictment, in that by leaving the game he forced Alejandro De Aza over to center field and Dayan Viciedo into the game in right. And that first hit off Floyd, by Lorenzo Cain, naturally blooped out to right, where the slower-footed Viciedo could not corral it for an out.

Of course, Floyd quickly ran into bigger trouble in the sixth and just losing his no-no, as Chris Getz immediately followed with a single to center, and both runners scored on a double by the diminutive Jarrod Dyson. It would turn out to be all the Kansas City Royals would need in a 2-1 win, as Luis Mendoza hurled a gem over 7 23 innings, handcuffing the Chisox offense to five hits and escaping with just one earned run, let in by reliever Greg Holland.

Aside from the RBI double surrendered to Paul Konerko on a first-pitch fastball, Holland struck out all four batters he faced to earn his fourth save. Konerko had been relishing a rematch with Mendoza, who left a nasty knot on the first basemans elbow with a HBP in the sixth and opted to stay in the game.

We couldnt get anything done all day, Guillen said, in his latest incarnation of his thats White Sox baseball talk. We couldnt come through with a two-out RBI.

Floyd had another strong game, a 76 game score to earn his sixth game at 70 or better, by far the best on the White Sox. Over eight innings, he struck out 10 against just two walks and three hits.

Floyd, who pitched absolutely well according to Guillen, recognized early on he had a lot of snap to his curveball but admitted that all of his pitches were working well.

In losing their 11th of 18 games vs. the Royals and falling to 77-82, Guillen was forced today to accept the fact that the White Sox would finish with a losing record in 2011.

I think were a losing team when I get the x, Guillen said, referring to playoff elimination. Im not here for stats. Once I see the x, Im done.

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

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Chuck Garfien and Steve Stone take a look back at Mark Buehrle's perfect game. How did Buehrle do it? How did Dewayne Wise make that catch?

Plus, Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski talk about how Buehrle actually told Pierzynski before taking that field that day that he would throw a perfect game and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Yoan Moncada cleans up for White Sox: 'I think we found our No. 4 hitter'

Yoan Moncada cleans up for White Sox: 'I think we found our No. 4 hitter'

Though Jose Abreu and James McCann represented the team at the All-Star Game earlier this month, Yoan Moncada holds the title of the White Sox best hitter through the first 97 games of the 2019 season.

The guy who struck out 217 times during his first full season in the majors last year has been a completely different hitter this time around. Instead of looking lost at the plate, he’s the guy White Sox fans want to see at the plate in run-producing situations. He hasn’t spent much time in one of those traditional run-producing spots in the batting order, but manager Rick Renteria inserted Moncada into the cleanup spot Monday night.

And Moncada cleaned up, all right.

“I think we found our No. 4 hitter,” starting pitcher Ivan Nova said after he went the distance in a 9-1 waxing of the Miami Marlins. “A lot of times you get surprised. While he was hitting second, you're thinking and knowing, the type of hitter that he is — you're only thinking as a player, they have another way to think. But today, I think it was first time hit in fourth, and he showed.”

Moncada went 2-for-4 with the game’s biggest blow, a three-run homer in the fifth inning that blew things wide open. He drove in four runs on the night, and he flashed a potential glimpse of the future of this future-focused franchise.

Combining with Abreu, who went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three runs scored, Moncada showed what the middle of the order might look like for this team when rebuilding finally transitions to contending. That could come as soon as next year, and when you throw the currently injured Eloy Jimenez into that group, the White Sox could boast a fearsome 3-4-5 as soon as later this season.

“If someone is happy that we finally found a cleanup hitter, it’s me,” Abreu said through team interpreter Billy Russo. “Nothing that he does surprises me because I know all the talent he has. I know that he still can do more. He has been working hard. He’s a great baseball player with a lot of talent and I still think he can do more.

“What he did today is not a surprise for me. I still know he’s a great player and I think we’ve seen that throughout the whole season this year. He’s going to get better.”

Moncada has been sensational all season long, proving why the White Sox weren’t at all worried during his struggles in 2018. He owns a .304/.362/.530 slash line through these first 97 games, and his three-run blast Monday night gave him a new career high in that category after he smacked 17 a year ago. He’s six RBIs away from setting a new career high there, too. And even though he made a fielding error Monday that only briefly delayed Nova finishing off his complete-game effort, Moncada has been generally excellent at third base in his first season at that position as a big leaguer.

But putting Moncada in a run-producing spot in the order is a new wrinkle for Renteria this season. Coming into Monday’s game, Moncada had spent 63 games as the team’s No. 2 hitter and just 26 everywhere else. According to the skipper, Moncada is good enough to hit anywhere, and that’s certainly true. His eventual everyday spot in the lineup might have more to do with the hitters around him than simply what he can do by himself.

But if Moncada keeps up the kind of offensive production he’s churned out this season, maybe sticking him right in the thick of the order is what's best for the White Sox — even if those lineups of the future include big bats like those swung by Abreu, Jimenez, Luis Robert and Andrew Vaughn.

“For me, it's an advantage to hit in the cleanup spot having (Abreu) ahead of me,” Moncada said through Russo. “That way, you can see how the pitchers are attacking him, and you have a better idea, in those situations when you need to produce, how the pitchers are doing it. Even though he's a right-handed hitter and I hit from both sides of the plate, it's good. It's something that gives you a better idea of how the pitchers are doing, how their pitches are working.”

“He had a nice game,” Renteria said. “He can hit anywhere in the middle and the top of the order. I wish I could say I'm really a genius, but I'm not. He's got that talent. He's able to take advantage of it and today he had a nice day. He made everybody look good.”

It would make sense to see Moncada batting fourth again as this first homestand of the second half and the 2019 season roll on, but that’s up to Renteria, who has his reasons for every permutation to his lineups.

Of course, if Abreu gets ahold of Renteria's lineup card and starts writing out the batting orders, we’ll know where Moncada will be slotted.

“If I would have that decision,” Abreu said, “I would put him in the cleanup spot for the rest of the season.”

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