White Sox

LIVE: Pierre's single plates Ramirez, Sox tied 5-5

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LIVE: Pierre's single plates Ramirez, Sox tied 5-5

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Posted: 10:09 a.m.

(AP) -- With his current contract expiring at the end of this season, Edwin Jackson could be in line for a lucrative deal if he continues his brilliant start for the Chicago White Sox.

Trevor Cahill just parlayed an All-Star season with the Oakland Athletics into a hefty raise.

The two right-handers will both try to stay perfect on the season Tuesday night when the clubs continue their series in Chicago.

Acquired from Arizona on July 30, Jackson has enjoyed his short stint with the White Sox, going 6-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 13 starts. Control has been an issue for Jackson, who had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.6 before last season's deal, but he has displayed much improved accuracy with Chicago, striking out 97 with just 23 walks.

Jackson (2-0, 1.93 ERA) walked one and set a career high - and a franchise record for a homer opener - with 13 strikeouts over eight innings of Thursday's 5-1 win over Tampa Bay.

READ: Peavy update; Floyd's worst pitch

"Any time I'm able to go out and get in an early rhythm and get outs quick and attack the strike zone, I like my odds," said Jackson, whose two-year, 13.35 million deal ends after the season.

Jackson, who has never won his first three starts, is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA in four starts against the A's. He struck out six over seven innings and did not earn a decision in a 4-3 victory at Oakland on Sept. 22.

If Jackson puts the White Sox (6-4) in a save situation Tuesday, it's uncertain who will get the call out of the bullpen after closer Matt Thornton blew his third save of the season in Monday's 2-1, 10-inning loss.

White Sox left fielder Juan Pierre hasn't helped Thornton, dropping fly balls in the ninth inning of his last two appearances.

"One thing I said, in spring training and I say over and over, we got to take care of (Mark) Buehrle," manager Ozzie Guillen said after the left-hander held the A's scoreless through eight innings with just two hits - none until a leadoff single in the sixth by Kurt Suzuki, who hit the go-ahead solo homer in the 10th off Jesse Crain.

FOLLOW: White Sox Insider Brett Ballantini on Twitter

Oakland (5-5) will try to extend its season-high winning streak to four with Cahill (1-0, 1.42) taking the ball for the first time since agreeing to a five-year, 30.5 million extension Monday. The 23-year-old will receive a 1 million signing bonus and a salary of 500,000 in 2011 before it escalates to 3.5 million in 2012.

"I came up with them and I'm just glad they gave me the opportunity to lock me up and I'm guaranteed to pitch for a while, so I couldn't be happier," said Cahill, 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA last season when he was named an All-Star for the first time.

The White Sox have hit 12 home runs and are averaging 6.3 runs with a .295 batting average, but they may not be happy to see the young sinkerballer, who has added a curveball to his repertoire since last season.

"I couldn't be happier with how that pitch has progressed," manager Bob Geren said after Cahill threw eight innings of three-hit ball in Thursday's 2-1 win at Toronto.

Cahill is 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA in five starts versus Chicago.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is 1 for 8 lifetime against Cahill, but the AL co-player of the week is batting .421 (16 for 38) while hitting safely in all 10 games this season.

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

Daily White Sox prospects update: Zack Collins hits a pair of homers

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Zack Collins hits a pair of homers

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Double-A Birmingham

Zack Collins hit two home runs as part of a three-hit day. He drove in two runs, scored two runs and walked once in a 10-4 loss. Collins now has seven homers on the campaign with an ungodly .421 on-base percentage. He's batting .326 over his last 25 games. Eloy Jimenez had two hits and a walk, and Jordan Guerrero gave up four runs and walked five in four innings.

Class A Winston-Salem

The Dash lost both games of a doubleheader, 10-5 and 7-0. Luis Alexander Basabe, Alex Call and Gavin Sheets each picked up two hits on the day.

Triple-A Charlotte

Charlie Tilson had a hit and scored a run in a 2-1 loss.

Class A Kannapolis

Luis Gonzalez had a hit in a 2-1 win.

Reynaldo Lopez is changing his place in the White Sox rebuild: 'When I'm on the mound, I'm the best and I don't care about the rest'

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USA TODAY

Reynaldo Lopez is changing his place in the White Sox rebuild: 'When I'm on the mound, I'm the best and I don't care about the rest'

Rebuilds are full of surprises.

Fans can pencil in any names they want into their 2020 lineups, but there’s almost no one who’s going to have a 100-percent success rate when it comes to predicting exactly what the next contending White Sox team will look like.

Reynaldo Lopez carried plenty of hype when he was acquired from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton deal prior following the 2016 season. He had a high prospect ranking before he was called up last summer. He hasn’t materialized out of nowhere.

But with names like Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen, Carlos Rodon and others to compete with for one of those coveted rotation spots of the future, was anyone going to use the term “ace” to describe Lopez?

Well, in this rebuilding season’s most pleasant surprise for the White Sox and their fans, that’s exactly what Lopez has been. He’s been hands down the team’s best starting pitcher, and he’s making the case that he shouldn’t be considered an ancillary piece in this rebuilding process but a featured one.

He might not be getting the attention that others are. But he’s doing the most with his opportunity of being at the big league level right now. In the end, as long as you’re getting batters out, who cares how much attention you get?

“It’s not about what people say or what they are talking about,” Lopez said through a translator. “It’s about the confidence I have in myself, and I have plenty of confidence in myself. For me, I’m the best. I’m not saying the other guys are not. I’m just saying that’s the confidence I have. When I’m on the mound, I’m the best and I don’t care about the rest.”

Sunday marked the best start of Lopez’s young career, so said the pitcher himself. He was terrific in shutting down the visiting Texas Rangers, holding them to just two hits over eight scoreless innings.

It was one heck of a bounce-back performance considering what happened last time out, when he was roughed up for six runs in just two innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The difference? His attitude, his focus, his intensity, his conviction.

“I just changed my attitude in the game,” Lopez said. “I was more positive today than I was in my last outing and that was one of my biggest differences.”

“I do think he came out a little bit more focused, to be honest,” manager Rick Renteria said. “The intensity level was a little higher today. I think he threw the first couple pitches 97, 98 miles an hour, where his last outing they were at 93, 94. There wasn’t a whole lot of commitment or conviction to his pitches (against the Pirates). I think, as we talked after the last outing, (pitching coach Don Cooper) spoke to him a little about making sure he brought that intensity that he has the ability to do, to bring it from Pitch 1 and he did today.”

Renteria liked it all, and he saw something different in his pitcher when he went out to talk to him with two outs in the eighth. Lopez issued a two-out walk, and Renteria considered lifting Lopez from the game.

Lopez made sure his manager wouldn’t pull the plug on this outing.

“I hid the baseball in my glove because I didn’t want to leave the game,” Lopez said. “I asked me, ‘How are you? Are you good?’ And I told him, ‘Yes, I’m good.’ Then he asked me again, ‘Do you think you are able to get him out?’ And I said yes, ‘This is my game, and I’m going to finish it.’”

What did Lopez do with his extra life? He finished it all right, blowing Shin-Soo Choo away with a 96-mile-an-hour fastball. Then he showed as much emotion as he’s ever shown on a major league field. He earned that celebration.

“When you see your manager come out and you’ve already gone through most of your game in terms of what you might think you have in number of pitches available to you, and you reiterate that you want to finish a particular batter because you want to get out of that inning, and you do it, it's an accomplishment,” Renteria said. “It's a big accomplishment. For him, pretty good hitter. He battled him and he was able to get out of that inning and complete a very, very strong eight-inning outing.”

It’s the kind of exclamation point on a dominant afternoon that could stir some big plans in White Sox fans always dreaming of the future. What Lopez has done this season has been a strong case for a spot in that future rotation and a spot at the front of it, at that. Following Sunday’s gem, Lopez owns a 2.98 ERA with at least six strikeouts in four of his nine starts.

There’s a lot of development and a lot of time left before the White Sox contention window opens. But Lopez pitching like this offers a glimpse into the crystal ball, a look at what could be for an organization that’s acquired so much talent over the last two years.

You might not have seen it coming like this, but the future arriving in the form of Lopez is a sign that brighter days are ahead on the South Side.