White Sox

Late White Sox rally earns rest for David Robertson

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Late White Sox rally earns rest for David Robertson

OAKLAND, Calif. -- David Robertson got some rest and Zach Putnam made his 2016 debut courtesy of a late White Sox rally on Thursday.

After struggling for nearly two games, the White Sox blew open Thursday’s 6-1 victory over the Oakland A’s in the ninth inning as their hitters produced six singles in a span of seven at-bats. The string of offense helped turn a tight ballgame into one in which White Sox relievers could rest a little easier, Robertson in particular. The closer, who converted saves on Monday and Tuesday, was readying himself for a third save opportunity when the White Sox started a singles parade against Oakland A’s reliever Liam Hendriks.

“Adding on there late was even better,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We’re hopefully going to use (Robertson) quite a bit. If we can stretch it out there in the ninth, get up by a little bit and save him.”

Several innings after his best swing of the season resulted in a deep fly out, Avisail Garcia started the rally with a leadoff single to center in the ninth inning and the White Sox ahead 2-0. Austin Jackson entered as a pinch-runner for Garcia and stole second base. He moved to third on a Brett Lawrie bloop single that fell just in front of Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick and scored on Dioner Navarro’s RBI single off the right-field fence.

[MORE: Latos tosses gem in White Sox debut]

Tyler Saladino, who earlier had the team’s first hit, kept the rally alive with a hard liner past first base for an RBI single and a four-run lead. Adam Eaton -- the first Sox player with four straight multi-hit games to start the season since Nellie Fox in 1955 -- kept the line moving with a single to load the bases. Melky Cabrera singled in a run to make it a 5-0 game and Jose Abreu, who put the White Sox up by two with a sixth-inning homer, had a sac fly.

The late outburst couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only have the White Sox had difficulty stringing hits together, they’d also played in three straight one-run games to start the season. The last time a White Sox team did that to start the season was 1972.

Robertson, who was warming in the bullpen Thursday and got up to throw late in Wednesday’s loss in case the team rallied, quickly took a seat with a six-run cushion.

“It’s definitely nice at the end of the game to tack a few more on,” Saladino said. “Especially that push at the end, it really throws the momentum our way. We’ve played some close games and that just gave us a little extra breathing room right there.”

The lead came in handy when Putnam gave up a single, threw a wild pitch and Chris Coghlan singled in a run for the A’s. Putnam struck out two to close it out.

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.

The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:

— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.

— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.

— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).

— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.

— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)

— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).

Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.