White Sox

Great offensive response lifts White Sox to victory


Great offensive response lifts White Sox to victory

SEATTLE -- Come for the pitching, stay for the offense.

Chris Sale was outstanding yet again on Friday night in an 11-4 White Sox victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. But just as impressive was a White Sox offense that knocked Felix Hernandez out after six laborious innings and continued to work counts and drive in runs late in the game.

Both Sale and manager Robin Ventura were particularly impressed by a four-run rally in the eighth inning after Mark Trumbo’s three-run blast in the seventh got the Mariners within a run.

“To respond like that was great,” Ventura said. “(Carlos) Sanchez had another big one in there to push it ahead and the two-out ones are always big. Any time you get a two-out RBIs is a big one and we got a couple of them.”

[MORE: Chris Sale strikes out 14 more as White Sox rout Mariners]

The White Sox had six two-out hits, all from the sixth inning on with five accounting for runs.

But what was even more impressive was how quickly the White Sox rebounded after Trumbo’s blast, one that Sale said “traveled a good mile.”

Melky Cabrera singled to start the eighth and Adam LaRoche doubled with one out. Alexei Ramirez, Carlos Sanchez and Tyler Flowers all drew walks, the latter two pushing across runs as the White Sox made it a 6-3 game. Tyler Saladino singled in two with two outs to put the White Sox, who sent nine men to the plate in the inning, ahead by five runs.

Then in the ninth, Sanchez, who had earlier doubled in two runs off Hernandez to make it 4-0, doubled in another to make it a 9-3 game. Sanchez established a career-high with four RBIs. Flowers, who reached three times in five trips,singled in two more to give the White Sox an eight-run cushion.

“For our guys to get four runs off (Hernandez), it says a lot,” Sale said. “Same thing, I go right back out there and give up three and that can kind of deflate a team and we kind of took off after that. It says a lot about the guys we have in here and the team we have.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Jose Abreu -- who has 27 RBIs in 29 games -- got the White Sox on the board in the fourth inning when he doubled to right center off Hernandez toscore Saladino, who went 3-for-5. Adam Eaton also singled in a run in the fifth off Hernandez, who allowed four earned runs and nine hits over six innings.

A night after they scored eight to avoid a four-game sweep in Anaheim, the White Sox produced their fourth double-digit run performance of the season as every starter got a base hit. Three of those showings have come in the second half.

For a team that has played in one- or two-run games in nine of its last 14 contests, the additional breathing room was helpful, Flowers said.

“We know our bullpen is very capable of holding down anybody but to get a little more cushion, give a little more leniency to them and to me calling the game, you’re able to get more aggressive and trust our defense,” Flowers said. “We don’t have to be perfect on every pitch. Much less stressful. Appreciate it.”

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.

He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.

Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.

It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.

Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.

The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.

The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?


Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.