White Sox

LIVE: After Dunn homer, Sox still trail 6-4

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LIVE: After Dunn homer, Sox still trail 6-4

Sunday, May 1, 2011
Posted: 10:58 a.m.

Associated Press

Zach Britton set a Baltimore Orioles franchise rookie record for wins in April.

A matchup against the woeful Chicago White Sox may only help his growing confidence.

Britton will try to win his third straight start Sunday and send the light-hitting White Sox to their fifth consecutive loss.

Britton is probably sorry to see April end after going 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his first month as a major leaguer. The 23-year-old left-hander has quality starts in four of five outings and is leading the club in wins.

"He's handled it pretty well for a guy with limited experience," manager Buck Showalter said. "We like the things he's doing right now."

No rookie starter with the St. Louis Browns or Baltimore Orioles ever won more games in April than Britton, who went six innings against Boston on Tuesday, allowing one run and five hits in a 4-1 victory.

"I really don't get that nervous out there," Britton said. "I don't know what it is. It's not that I have a huge ego or anything. I have a lot of confidence that I can get out of the jams, and if I'm out there getting all worried I think the situations blow up. So I try to take my time and take a couple breaths and get after it."

Britton takes the mound after Chris Tillman became the latest pitcher to shut down the White Sox in Baltimore's 6-2 victory Saturday.

After scoring five runs in the seventh inning in Friday's 10-4 win, Baltimore (12-13) had another big inning Saturday, scoring four in the eighth en route to its fourth win in five games. The inning featured a passed ball and error on Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski and a two-run single by Vladimir Guerrero.

The White Sox (10-18) have lost 14 of 17, scoring three or fewer runs 14 times during that span. They also have dropped four in a row overall, six straight at home and finished April with a club-record 18 losses for the month.

"Right now we're not scoring a whole lot of runs, but I think that is going to turn around, I really do," said Saturday's starter Phil Humber. "I've got all the faith in the world in these guys. ... Hopefully it turns around for us pretty quick."

In a particularly frustrating series of at-bats Saturday, Chicago had no outs and the bases loaded in the sixth, but scored only one run on a sacrifice fly.

Alex Rios homered in the ninth - just his third hit in the last 37 at-bats.

Manager Ozzie Guillen will return to the dugout Sunday after completing a two-game suspension related to comments made on Twitter following his ejection in Wednesday's loss to the New York Yankees.

Despite his team's struggles in the opening month, Gavin Floyd (3-1, 3.60) looks to win his third straight start after setting a career high in April victories.

Floyd gave up two runs, four hits and struck out a season-high 10 in eight innings of a 3-2 win over the Yankees on Tuesday.

The right-hander will try to extend that success to May against a team he's pitched well against. Floyd is 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA in five starts against the Orioles, including two wins last year. He allowed two runs over seven innings in each.

Baltimore shortstop Robert Andino is 7 for 14 with a home run in his last four games.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Ryan Goins, AJ Reed-fueled White Sox rally falls short as losing streak rolls on

Ryan Goins, AJ Reed-fueled White Sox rally falls short as losing streak rolls on

The White Sox came into Wednesday’s matchup with the Kansas City Royals looking to grab that oh so elusive first win in the second half of the season. After yet another disheartening loss, it is safe the team needs a spark to get them back on track. Ozzie Guillen shared a similar concern on White Sox Postgame Live, suggesting that something needs to be done to get the White Sox back on track. 

Kansas City struck first on Wednesday--as they did in the two previous games this series--scoring 2 runs in the 1st.

White Sox starter Ivan Nova struggled mightily with his control in this one. Nova’s final line was: 6 H, 5 BB, 6 ER in 4.2 innings pitched. The White Sox bullpen put out a decent effort--a combination of Jace Fry, Alex Colome, and Kelvin Herrera--pitched 3.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and one run. But by the time Fry entered in relief of Nova in the bottom of the 5th, the Sox were down 5-0 and Fry himself gave up the lone relief run on a Nicky Lopez single to make the score 6-0 Royals heading into the sixth.

The White Sox mounted an impressive last-ditch comeback effort led by pinch-hitter AJ Reed and new Sox shortstop Ryan Goins but alas it was too little, too late. Goins led off the scoring for the White Sox with a two-run homer in the top of the 6th for his first hit as a member of the White Sox. 

It was a heck of a first game for Goins, who joined the White Sox from the Triple-A Charlotte 

(Knights) on Wednesday. He went 2-for-3 at the plate, helping contribute to Chicago’s 10 hits on the evening. After Goins' two-run blast, the Chicago offense went quiet until the very end. 

In the 9th inning, Welington Castillo struck out swinging with Jon Jay and Jose Abreu already on-base. With Ryan Cordell up to bat next, White Sox manager Rick Renteria chose to pinch-hit for Cordell with another new member of the Sox, 26-year old AJ Reed.

The hope is that Reed will bring some solid production to the DH spot for the struggling Sox and he took a big step in the right direction on Wednesday night.

Reed’s massive 436-foot homer was a three-run blast that cut the deficit down to two runs and also created a neat piece of history in the process.

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Despite the fact that Goins and Reed both hit their first home runs as members of the White Sox, Chicago came up short as the rally stopped at Reed’s three-run homer. Following Reed’s at-bat, the Royals brought in Ian Kennedy to face Yolmer Sánchez. Kennedy notched the save for the Royals after getting Sánchez to line out on six pitches, sealing the White Sox season-high six-straight loss. 

Fortunately for the White Sox, they will have the chance to get some payback right away, with their series with Kansas City coming to a close on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. CST. 

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Why Harold Baines belongs in the Hall of Fame

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Why Harold Baines belongs in the Hall of Fame

: With Harold Baines being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Chuck Garfien sits down with White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Baines former teammate Ron Kittle who explain why Baines is a worthy Hall of Famer. But first, Chuck speaks with Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka about the controversy surrounding his induction (1:30) and what made Baines such a special player and deserving of Cooperstown (5:00).  Then, Kittle talks about why he'd "take a bullet" for Baines (13:00), his message to critics who believe Baines shouldn't be in the Hall (17:20) and more. Reinsdorf explains why the committee he was apart of voted Baines into the Hall of Fame (22:00), how tough it was to trade Baines to Texas for Sammy Sosa (24:30), the story behind retiring Baines number a month after trading him (26:10) and more.

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