White Sox

Humber holds off Rangers, White Sox win fifth straight

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Humber holds off Rangers, White Sox win fifth straight

ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- When choosing which play to run, rarely is the one where three starters are missing from the lineup the one you selected.

The White Sox won anyway on Saturday night.

They continued their domination of the Texas Rangers this season and extended their current winning streak to five games with a 5-2 victory in front of 47,580 at Rangers Ballpark.

Philip Humber (5-5) bounced back from a difficult start in Detroit with six strong innings and Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko homered to lead the White Sox, who were without Alejandro De Aza, Alexei Ramirez and A.J. Pierzynski.

The South Siders also increased their lead in the American League Central to 2 12 games over the Detroit Tigers.

Five days after he allowed four home runs in three-plus innings in Detroit, Humber bounced back in a big way.

He didnt allow a hit until the fourth inning as he faced two over the minimum through three innings.

Once Humber did allow men on base, he found away out of too much trouble against the second-highest scoring offense in the majors. He started the fourth inning with a single and a walk but struck out David Murphy and got Michael Young to ground into a double play.

An inning later, Humber allowed a leadoff solo homer to Mike Napoli and Leonys Martin doubled. But Humber retired the next three hitters he faced to preserve a 5-1 lead.

Humber limited Texas -- which was minus a struggling Josh Hamilton -- to a run, four hits and two walks in six-plus innings.

The White Sox didnt appear to mind they were without a third of their regulars.

Dunn singled with one out in the fourth inning before Konerko launched a 416-foot drive to left off Rangers starter and All-Star Matt Harrison (12-6).

An inning later, Jordan Danks, who filled in for De Aza, singled and scored on an RBI double by Eduardo Escobar, who played for Ramirez. Escobar, who doubled again in the seventh, was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple but gave the Sox a 3-0 advantage.

Kevin Youkilis then walked against Harrison ahead of Dunns 407-foot home run to dead center, his 31st.

Dunns last three home runs have come against left-handed pitching and he has 11 homers against Southpaws this season after hitting 11 total in 2011.

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.”

Dane Dunning left minor league start with 'moderate' elbow strain

Dane Dunning left minor league start with 'moderate' elbow strain

Dane Dunning has been nothing but consistent since joining the White Sox organization in the Adam Eaton trade before the 2017 season.

He has performed well at three different levels in the minor leagues and has stayed healthy. That second part is currently in question after he left a start for Double-A Birmingham on Saturday with elbow soreness.

Dunning left in the fourth inning in what was developing into one of his worst starts of the season. He had four strikeouts, but also walked four and gave up two runs (one earned). The four walks matched a season high.

Here is how things went down on his final pitch:

It's too early for a full diagnosis, but Dunning is expected to have an MRI in the next few days. White Sox manager Rick Renteria talked about Dunning's injury before Sunday's game against the Athletics.

"I think everybody considered it a very moderate strain," Renteria said. "Nobody is at this point too concerned. They still have to re-evaluate more. We won’t know more until they get further evaluation and at that point everybody will know where he’s at. Right now he still has to be re-evaluated."

Dunning, 23, began the season at Single-A Winston-Salem where he posted a 2.59 ERA in four starts with 31 strikeouts against three walks in 24 1/3 innings. The Florida product then was promoted to Birmingham where he has a 2.76 ERA. In 11 starts with the Barons, Dunning has 69 strikeouts and 23 walks in 62 innings.

Dunning is one of the top pitching prospects in the White Sox farm system along with Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen.

Chris Kuc contributed to this report.