White Sox

LIVE: Dunn's 2-run blast pulls Sox within 4-3

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LIVE: Dunn's 2-run blast pulls Sox within 4-3

Friday, April 15, 2011
Posted: 11:15 a.m.

(AP) -- Another rough outing for his struggling bullpen has Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen steamed. A matchup with one of the hottest pitchers in baseball may only increase his frustration.

The White Sox look to bounce back from blowing another lead when they face Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday night.

Chicago's relievers have faltered in the late innings three times in the past week, and a 7-4 defeat to Oakland on Wednesday left Guillen particularly angry.

The White Sox (7-5) led by three going into the ninth, but Chris Sale gave up three runs and closer Matt Thornton allowed three more in the 10th. Thornton has four blown saves in five appearances.

"There's nothing to even describe it right now. Frustration is pretty high," Thornton said. "Confidence isn't the problem. It's my frustration right now. It's the most frustrated I've been in a long time. I can't remember a run of games like this where I haven't gotten the job done that many times in a row."

Guillen said he doesn't know who he'll use to close. He sarcastically added that he might call former teammate Bobby Thigpen, who saved a then-major league record 57 games in 1990.

"I don't have any closer. I don't," Guillen said. "You are just scratching your head and second-guess yourself what you are doing wrong, bringing people to the mound with three-run lead ... and we can't hold the lead. That's not a good sign."

Judging by Weaver's first three starts, the White Sox might not have a lead to protect Friday.

Weaver (3-0, 0.87 ERA) had a career-high 15 strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings of his last outing, a 3-1 victory over Toronto on Sunday. He has walked nine and struck out 27 in 20 2-3 innings.

"I'm not going out there trying to strike everybody out," Weaver said. "I'm just trying to get a first-pitch fastball over for a strike and trying to get ahead in the count and trying to keep my team in the game. And if it takes a couple of strikeouts here and there, then that's what it's going to take."

The right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA in seven career starts against the White Sox, though he lost both starts versus Chicago last season with a 4.85 ERA. He is 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Angels (7-5) are seeking a season-high third straight win and seventh in nine games, but they've lost seven in a row to Chicago.

The White Sox will try to extend that streak behind Phil Humber (1-0, 3.38), who had a strong outing in his first start with the team.

Subbing for the injured Jake Peavy, the right-hander allowed one run and four hits over a career-high six innings of a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday.

"It's just about relaxing, allowing yourself to get out of the way," Humber said. "A lot of the times I've put too much pressure on myself. Now I feel a lot more relaxed and let my ability work."

Humber has faced the Angels once, allowing two hits in two scoreless innings of relief Aug. 10 while with Kansas City.

Los Angeles swept a two-game set at U.S. Cellular on May 19 and 20 but suffered a four-game sweep there July 5-8.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

White Sox Talk Podcast: American League All-Stars rave about Jose Abreu

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: American League All-Stars rave about Jose Abreu

With Jose Abreu playing in the All-Star Game, we asked some of his American League teammates about the White Sox first baseman. Justin Verlander, Craig Kimbrel and Michael Brantley rave about Abreu, explaining why he’s such a great hitter and a tough out for pitchers. 

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

All Star of the present Jose Abreu trying to help Yoan Moncada become the All Star of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

All Star of the present Jose Abreu trying to help Yoan Moncada become the All Star of the future for White Sox

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While the White Sox wait for their All Stars of the future to develop, Jose Abreu is representing the club at the All-Star Game in the nation’s capital.

Abreu, elected by the fans to be the American League’s starting first baseman Tuesday night, might represent the White Sox present, but he’s a key part of their future, as well. While his contract situation remains a mystery — the team would need to extend him in order to keep around past the 2019 season — he’s helping to develop the players who are planned to make up the next contending group on the South Side.

No player is more under Abreu’s guiding hand than Yoan Moncada, his fellow Cuban who just a season ago was the No. 1 prospect in baseball. Moncada’s development from top prospect into star of the future is the biggest storyline of the season for the White Sox. And Abreu, the role model in this clubhouse, is in part tasked with helping Moncada do just that.

“Our friendship is special,” Moncada said through a team translator last week. “We’re always talking about everything, having fun. He gives me advice, and I always try to make fun of him. Our relationship has been for a long time. We were friends in Cuba. And now we are rejoined here. It’s just a very good relationship. I’m blessed having him here.”

“He’s a Cuban, and it’s always special to play with a fellow Cuban countryman. He’s a great kid,” Abreu said through a team translator Monday. “I think that it’s a blessing. The White Sox did all that they could do for us to play together. I’m just enjoying the moment and every day with him. It’s special. It’s definitely a very special feeling.”

Abreu is often lauded by White Sox brass as the perfect example of what they want their young players to become. His incredible production makes that an easy comparison: He put up at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first four major league seasons. But it’s what he does outside the lines that gets the highest praise. Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all of Abreu’s teammates constantly talk about his work ethic, his routine, his dedication to getting better and the way he goes about his business.

Moncada’s noticed. And he sees Abreu’s latest accomplishment — getting picked as an All-Star starter — as vindication that, yes, Abreu’s methods certainly work.

“Knowing him, knowing all the effort that he puts into his preparation, his work ethic, all that work that he puts into his preparation is paying off and he’s recognized with this election,” Moncada said. “That’s something that motivates you, something that lets you know that if you do things the right way, you’re going to get rewarded. For me, it’s a motivation, and I feel really honored to share this team with him.”

Moncada’s first full season in the bigs hasn’t gone smoothly. He’s had his hot stretches — including the last couple weeks; he’s slashing .356/.453/.644 since July 2 — but he’s also had long periods of struggles. Certain aspects, such as a propensity for striking out and making errors at second base, have been constants throughout the campaign.

Renteria refers to the mistakes and the poor results as teachable moments. Does he have a proxy teacher in Abreu?

“I tell him to enjoy the game,” Abreu said. “Enjoy the game, have fun, be a little more focused on the situation of the game. But I think the key is to have fun.”

Mostly, though, Abreu is convinced that Moncada will blossom into the kind of player White Sox fans hoped he would when he brought that top-prospect track record to the organization in the Chris Sale trade. The expectations are undoubtedly high, but Abreu’s been seeing Moncada meet them for some time. The two have known each other since the younger Moncada was 17 years old.

“I think that he was born with special abilities to play this sport,” Abreu said. “Before I met him, there were a lot of people talking about him in Cuba because of his abilities, the talent that he has. And when I met him, it was a very special moment. As soon as I met him, I realized, ‘Wow, what people say about him is true.’ His body type, his ability to play the game. He’s special.”

So will the All Star of today and the All Star of tomorrow one day share the All-Star stage?

“I would like to have that opportunity. Let’s pray to God to have that opportunity,” Abreu said. “If that happens, that would be really special for us.”