White Sox

LIVE: White Sox hit three HR's in 8th inning

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LIVE: White Sox hit three HR's in 8th inning

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011Posted: 11:00 a.m.

Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox are playing out the string, but Mark Buehrle is on the verge of joining some elite company.

Buehrle could reach 200 innings for the 11th straight season Wednesday night when the White Sox play the Cleveland Indians.

Chicago's left-hander is 7 2-3 innings shy of 200, a number he's reached each year starting in 2001, when he first became a mainstay in the rotation. Should Buehrle (11-9, 3.74 ERA) reach the mark at Progressive Field, he would be the sixth pitcher to have a streak that ended in 1980 or later of 11 or more seasons with 200-plus innings.

Four of the other hurlers - Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro and Steve Carlton - are Hall of Famers. The fifth, Greg Maddux, is a virtual lock for enshrinement once he becomes eligible.

While Buehrle appears poised to join that lofty group, he comes in trying to avoid his first four-start losing streak in nearly 1 12 years.

Buehrle has compiled an 11.74 ERA while dropping all three of his starts this month. He was charged with seven runs and a career-worst 15 hits in Thursday's 7-2 loss to Kansas City, exiting after 6 1-3 innings when he was struck in the left biceps by a line drive.

"I could have stayed in but there's no reason when you're getting your fanny handed to you," said Buehrle, who last lost four straight starts April 16-May 2, 2010.

Buehrle is 14-17 with a 4.81 ERA in his career against the Indians, faring slightly better - 7-7 with a 4.21 ERA - in 22 games at Cleveland.

Looking for a strong finish with his new team will be Cleveland's Ubaldo Jimenez (4-2, 4.56). The right-hander has won each of his last two starts, surrendering five runs and eight hits over 12 1-3 innings.

Jimenez is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his last five starts after going 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA in his first four outings for the Indians after being acquired from Colorado at the trade deadline.

"It means a lot for me, especially the way I started the season," said Jimenez, who went 6-9 for the Rockies on the heels of a career-best 19-win season in 2010. "The first two, three months of the season wasn't easy for me."

Jimenez is 1-0 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against the White Sox this year.

The Indians and White Sox split a day-night doubleheader Tuesday to begin this four-game set.

Cleveland (76-77) took the opener 4-3 as Asdrubal Cabrera hit his team-high 24th homer - the most by an Indians shortstop since Jhonny Peralta hit 24 in 2005.

Chicago (75-79) won the nightcap, rallying from four runs down for a 5-4 victory. Alexei Ramirez's run-scoring single in the seventh provided the winning margin.

"It made the day a little bit nicer," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Cabrera. who went 1 for 4 in the second game, is 8 for 13 in his last three contests.

"I'm really happy with what I've done, but I haven't thought too much about it," said Cabrera, 8 for 28 (.211) with a double in his career off Buehrle.

Outfielder Alejandro De Aza had three hits and four RBIs in the twinbill for Chicago. He's batting .406 (13 for 32) in nine matchups with Cleveland this season.

The White Sox, who trail the Indians by 1 12 games for second in the AL Central, lead the season series 10-6.

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

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease picked up a win in his first start, but his second did not go as well.

Cease pitched six innings Tuesday at the Royals and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out seven, but took the loss in an ugly game for the White Sox.

The game got off to an ominous start with Eloy Jimenez getting injured on the first batter Cease faced. The White Sox defense didn’t help Cease much either with three errors (Cease had one of those on an errant pickoff throw).

After giving up six runs in the first four innings, Cease settled down to retire the final eight batters he faced. He finished with seven strikeouts against just one walk and threw 67 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Cease struck out six in his first start and is the first pitcher in White Sox history to strike out six or more in each of his first two career appearances.

A deeper look at Cease’s numbers show his swing and miss stuff hasn’t quite caught on as expected so far. Cease got 13 swinging strikes in 101 pitches in his major league debut. He got 12 whiffs on 108 pitches on Tuesday. His slider did get five swinging strikes on 25 pitches against the Royals.

Fastball command remains a key part to Cease’s success. He only threw 26 out of 54 fastballs for strikes in his debut. Cease improved upon that with 31 strikes on 50 fastballs against the Royals.

Most of the Royals’ damage came against Cease’s fastball as well. Six of the Royals’ eight hits off Cease, including all three extra base hits, were off heaters. Cease also gave up four hits with two strikes.

There has been plenty of hype surrounding Cease since he joined the White Sox, but he hasn’t hit the ground running in the majors just yet. Having 13 days between the first two starts of his career due to the all-star break and the White Sox giving him some extra rest also isn’t the ideal scenario for a young pitcher.

Cease’s ERA is now at 5.73, which isn’t going to set the world on fire. Still, there have been enough positives in his first two starts to see where reasonable improvement could lead to Cease becoming the pitcher the White Sox expect him to be.

 

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Sports Talk Live Podcast: Next steps for the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Next steps for the White Sox rebuild

David Haugh, Sam Panayotovich and Chris Bleck join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - The Cubs deal World Series hero Mike Montgomery to the Royals for catcher Martin Maldonado. So what does that mean for Willson Contreras' injury? And who will get the majority of the playing time behind the plate?

10:30 - The guys look ahead to Dylan Cease's second Major League start and discuss what players should be dealt at the deadline to continue the White Sox rebuild.

16:00 - The Blackhawks deal Artem Anisimov to the Senators. Could this mean Kirby Dach can make the team on opening night?

18:30 - Robbie Gould won't be a Bear next season. Is the Bears Week 1 kicker currently on their roster?

20:00 - Did EA Sports diss Mitch Trubisky? DARN NATIONAL MEDIA!!!!

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