White Sox

LIVE: Quentin, Konerko hit HR's; Sox down 6-3

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LIVE: Quentin, Konerko hit HR's; Sox down 6-3

Friday, April 22, 2011
Posted: 10:39 a.m.
Associated Press

A much-needed offensive outburst helped the Chicago White Sox snap a lengthy skid. With Mark Buehrle on the mound, they hope to end another losing streak against an AL Central rival.

The White Sox look to avoid a seventh consecutive loss to the Detroit Tigers on Friday night at Comerica Park to open a three-game set.

Chicago (8-11) ended a seven-game skid after matching its run output from the previous six games with a 9-2 win at Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Paul Konerko had three hits with two RBIs and Juan Pierre went 2 for 4 with three runs as the White Sox recorded 10 hits - equaling their total from the previous two games.

"Maybe this might be a little momentum we need going into the next series," Pierre said.

The White Sox now look to end their struggles against the Tigers (9-10), who went 10-8 versus Chicago in 2010.

The White Sox won seven of the first nine in last season's series, but were outscored 64-32 while dropping eight of the final nine meetings. Chicago went 5-4 at Detroit, but have been outscored 20-5 during a three-game skid at Comerica Park.

Buehrle (1-1, 4.50 ERA) looks to end that rough stretch while trying to continue his recent success against the Tigers.

The left-hander is 5-0 with a 2.47 ERA in eight starts versus the Tigers since losing to them on July 23, 2007. Buehrle is 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his last five at Comerica dating to a 4-0 loss there on Aug. 22, 2006.

Buehrle, however, has allowed nine runs in 11 innings while going 1-0 on the road this season. His last start came at home, where he gave up four runs and 10 hits in seven innings of a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

"He pitched like he always does," manager Ozzie Guillen told the White Sox's official website. "He went out there and threw strikes."

Justin Verlander (1-2, 3.41) hopes his recent success against Chicago will help avoid a third straight losing start.

The right-hander has not pitched badly while allowing six runs in 15 innings over his last two starts, but the Tigers have totaled two runs in those contests. Verlander gave up four runs and walked three in six innings of a 6-2 loss at Oakland on Saturday.

Though Verlander is 7-9 with a 4.55 ERA in 19 starts versus Chicago, he has a 1.73 ERA while winning five straight starts against the White Sox dating to 2008. He's given up four earned runs in 23 2-3 innings to win his last three starts against them at home.

Konerko, 4 for 9 over the last two games, hit .370 with two homers and five RBIs in seven games at Detroit last season. However, he is 4 for 38 with 12 strikeouts lifetime versus Verlander.

Detroit's Brennan Boesch hopes stay hot after he went 6 for 10 with two RBIs as the Tigers took two of three in Seattle, including a 3-2 victory Wednesday, to conclude a 4-3 trip.

"We're on the verge of being able to start clicking and get something good going," third baseman Brandon Inge told the Tigers' official website.

Boesch is batting .368 in his last seven games versus Chicago.

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

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins on hitting, catching and a Dylan Cease story you have to hear

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins on hitting, catching and a Dylan Cease story you have to hear

Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey speak with Charlotte Knights catcher Zack Collins about

-His hot start to the season at the plate (5:30)

-How James McCann helped him with his catching during spring training (7:20)

-How he's changed his approach at the plate this season (13:10)

-What he orders at Chick-fil-A (15:40)

-Why he's not thinking or worrying about getting called up to the majors (17:50)

-An incredible story about Dylan Cease (20:30)

-His thoughts on Tim Anderson's bat flip (28:20) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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White Sox Talk Podcast

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A Jose Abreu awakening could make an already productive White Sox offense even more fearsome

A Jose Abreu awakening could make an already productive White Sox offense even more fearsome

Hitting has not been the biggest problem for the White Sox. But even after a win to kick off this week's series against the Baltimore Orioles, they're still under .500 and in fourth place in the aggressively weak AL Central.

There's a ton of baseball left, and their spot in the standings on April 22 indicates nothing about where they'll be at the end of September. But the issues that have cropped up in the early going — many of them having to do with what's gone on on the pitcher's mound — have signaled that another losing season in the thick of the ongoing rebuilding process wouldn't come as a great shock.

That point being established, there's still been more to smile about in the early going this season than there was perhaps in the entirety of the 2018 campaign, what Rick Hahn described from the beginning as "the toughest part of the rebuild." That turned out to be prescient, with the White Sox losing 100 games. This year, the early season emergence of Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and, to a lesser extent, Eloy Jimenez have made it so there are exciting reasons to pay attention to what's going on on the South Side, all the while making for a lineup that can push across a good deal of runs.

Now imagine if Jose Abreu wasn't hitting below the Mendoza Line.

He's not anymore after a big night Monday, but the guy who's arguably still the team's best hitter when everything's right hasn't been right very often so far in 2019. That could be starting to change, though, and if it does, a lineup that's already a heck of a lot more threatening to opposing pitchers than it was at any point in 2018 could become even more fearsome, even more productive. And that leads to more wins, important not just for fans hoping for a surprise run at relevancy given the weak state of the division, but for a team building a lineup for the future that it hopes is scoring a whole bunch of runs in meaningful games in seasons to come.

Abreu went 3-for-5 in Monday night's 12-2 laugher in Baltimore, the White Sox bats looking even better with an opportunity to feast on Orioles pitching, which entered as the worst staff in the majors with a 6.21 ERA and owned a 6.37 ERA after Monday's blowout. But it's a three-game hitting streak for a guy whose average was down to .174 after Thursday's series-opener in Detroit. Since, he's 6-for-15 with a homer and seven RBIs.

Maybe it's just a nice three-game stretch, boosted by a chance to swing against the big leagues' worst pitching staff. But it allows the White Sox to dream about a lineup made ever more dangerous by the regular production of a two-time All Star and one of the AL's reigning Silver Sluggers.

Again, offense has not been the main reason the White Sox are still underwater, from a win-loss perspective, at this point. They aren't exactly blowing the doors off the league when it comes to their offensive prowess, middle of the pack in baseball with 106 runs scored this season. But they entered Monday's game with a 5.44 team ERA, one of the four worst marks in the bigs. The bullpen's ERAs are still on their way down after short outings from the starting staff in the season's first couple of weeks forced them into unenviable situations. One run allowed in Monday's bullpen day should help with that. The team ERA shot down to 5.27 after Monday's game, still not enough to vault them out of the bottom six teams in the league.

But reliable versions of Anderson (who's still hitting over .400), Moncada and Jimenez are pieces this lineup didn't have last year, and they've been three of the best parts of it so far in 2019. Leury Garcia has been quietly productive if not flashy while doing it. James McCann, who hit a three-run homer to start the scoring in Monday night's rout, has put up good numbers in limited time while splitting catching duties with Welington Castillo. Even Ryan Cordell, only the team's starting right fielder for a few days, has shown promise with a couple homers already. There have been holes, of course, chiefly Yolmer Sanchez — who was still hitting under .100 on April 13 but is now batting .231 after a three-hit night Monday — and the sent-down Daniel Palka. Abreu and Yonder Alonso, in the middle of the White Sox order, have been unproductive, as well, while the younger guys have flourished around them.

But an Abreu turnaround — or, really, an awakening, considering how early it still is — would boost the numbers and make the lineup capable of even more on a regular basis.

It could also be another factor in the ongoing conversation about a potential Abreu contract extension. While Hahn has suggested it's unlikely that such a deal would be struck during the season, it wouldn't be surprising to see it come before Abreu is set to hit free agency once the 2019-20 offseason begins. The White Sox are such big fans of what Abreu does in the clubhouse and as a mentor for younger players that production might not play as big a role as it normally would. But obviously the consistency of that production in Abreu's first five big league seasons certainly helps. To keep that production going with a late-April awakening would be all the more reason to keep Abreu around for the transition from rebuilding to contending.

The White Sox lineup has been promising to this point. It could become downright potent if Abreu starts knocking the ball around as we all know he can.

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