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LIVE: White Sox lose lead, trail 9-7 in 9th

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LIVE: White Sox lose lead, trail 9-7 in 9th

Friday, April 8, 2011
Posted: 11:26 a.m.

Associated Press

The winless Tampa Bay Rays can't seem to get anything going offensively. They might want to take a lesson from the Chicago White Sox.

James Shields takes the mound opposite White Sox starter John Danks hoping to help visiting Tampa Bay to its first victory as the teams continue their four-game series Friday night.

The Rays (0-6), who finished third in the majors with 802 runs scored last season, fell 5-1 to Chicago on Thursday and have totaled just eight during their season-opening six-game slide.

"It's absurd to think you can go into some slumps and not hit the ball like this," said manager Joe Maddon, whose team was held to one run for the fifth time. "One run all the time is just hard to cope with. There's not a whole lot we can do to be creative."

Losing three-time All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria to the disabled list on Saturday with a muscle strain certainly hasn't helped the Rays, who are batting .145.

"Of course, we never expected to start this way. We've had success and we anticipate success this season," Maddon said. "What happens in the beginning of the year is more magnified than if it occurs in the middle when you've built up a little cache of wins."

In contrast, the White Sox (4-2) lead the AL with 45 runs scored and are hitting .320 after collecting 12 hits Thursday.

"Right now we're hitting in the clutch and that's very important," said manager Ozzie Guillen. "We're mixing in one run here and there. ...I think every day it's not the same guy every time. Different guys are doing the damage."

Juan Pierre improved his average to .357 with three hits, Alex Rios had two doubles and two RBIs and Paul Konerko had at least one RBI for the sixth straight game.

Carlos Quentin entered Thursday batting .500 over a five-game hitting streak but went 0 for 2.

Quentin is 3 for 17 lifetime against Shields (0-1, 2.45 ERA), who allowed four hits and two runs and struck out seven over 7 1-3 innings of Saturday's 3-1 loss to Baltimore.

"Sometimes you can look good and you don't come out with the win," said Shields, who is 2-2 with a 5.05 ERA in seven starts against the White Sox.

The right-hander, though, has enjoyed some success of late at U.S. Cellular Field, where he has gone 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last two starts.

Danks (0-1, 3.00), too, suffered the loss in his season debut despite allowing six hits and two runs and recording eight strikeouts in six innings of Sunday's 7-1 defeat at Cleveland.

Danks had compiled a 2.35 ERA en route to winning five of six starts against the Rays before surrendering eight hits and a career worst-tying eight runs in four innings of an 8-5 loss May 29.

Rays outfielder B.J. Upton went 2 for 4 on Thursday and has recorded a hit in all six games. Upton, though, is 2 for 14 with six strikeouts lifetime against Danks.

Johnny Damon, Ben Zobrist and Dan Johnson, who hit 2-3-4 in Tampa Bay's lineup Thursday, have combined for just one hit in 16 at-bats versus the left-hander.

Manny Ramirez, who spent part of last season with Chicago, missed Thursday's game because of a family matter, but is expected to be available for this one. Ramirez is 1 for 17 in 2011.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

2020 MLB odds: Why the White Sox aren't a value pick to win World Series

2020 MLB odds: Why the White Sox aren't a value pick to win World Series

Are the White Sox a trendy pick to win the World Series for those placing future bets?

In searching for value plays in a futures bet, the White Sox have gone from 60-1 to win the World Series prior to Thanksgiving, all the way down to 25-1 as we approach Opening Day in late July.

“At 25-1 on the White Sox to win the World Series, I don’t like your value, per se, but I do like the White Sox, say for example, when it comes to say, winning the division,” Sports betting analyst Sam Panayotovich told NBC Sports Chicago.

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The White Sox were already an intriguing team before the pandemic chopped the season from a 162-game marathon to a 60-game sprint, but as they return to the field they have become a team several pundits are keying.  

Panayotovich bought into the intrigue, even prior to the offseason additions of a team that has spent three plus years in a rebuild

Michael Kopech, Carlos Rodon and Dane Dunning will all play a role, seemingly out of the gate, giving a rotation insurance in what will be a two month long roller coaster ride.  

The offseason additions of Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel and Edwin Encarnacion, paired with the expected debuts of Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal have turned the White Sox into a sexy pick when it comes to sports betting MLB futures.  

But the rise in appeal among the betting publicly has left Panayotovich pondering the meaning of value when it comes to laying a wager on the White Sox. The 100-win Twins from a year ago are the odds on favorite in 2020, but the White Sox aren’t lurking far behind at 3-1, and become the value play when it comes to 2020 Futures plays on the White Sox.  


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Lucas Giolito not sure MLB can complete 2020 season amid COVID-19 challenges

Lucas Giolito not sure MLB can complete 2020 season amid COVID-19 challenges

If you’re expecting to challenge the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central title, no reason to mess around. Why not face them on Opening Day?

“Sounds like fun to me,” Lucas Giolito said on the White Sox Talk Podcast.

But while Giolito will likely be starting for the White Sox that night — July 24 on NBC Sports Chicago — ask him how, or should we say if, this season actually finishes in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and you get a much different answer, one layered with doubt about possible problems that could lie ahead for the entire league.

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“I’m not 100-percent confident that we’re going to get through a season this year, but I have to prepare for it mentally, physically and be ready to go. We all have to,” Giolito said. “I’m trying to follow the rules, protocols, do everything that I can, communicate to others to do it as well. I think if we can do that and guys are being pretty safe away from the field, then there’s a pretty good chance we can at least get it started.”

Not exactly a quote the league wants to put on a billboard, but it’s baseball’s unfortunate reality.

The players know what they’re up against: a battle against a virus that doesn’t care who’s pitching or hitting, who’s home or away.

“For me, I’m all for whatever keeps us safe. We’re not going to be safe, (so) I guess as safe as possible. So far, I’ve seen no issues with my tests or any of my teammates,” Giolito said. “I just think it’s important that we do everything we can, which by looking around the clubhouse these last few days in our 'Summer Camp,' I feel like everyone on the team is taking it seriously. We’re doing a pretty solid job adhering to all the rules.”

Last week, White Sox players held a Zoom call to discuss not just the rules, but how every single person is responsible for their actions. One bad decision by one player could put the whole team and season in jeopardy.

“When we are away from the field, are we socially distancing? Are we wearing our masks when we go to the grocery store? Or going out to bars or restaurants and hanging out with a bunch of random people? That’s going to be the biggest challenge, I think, for everyone involved with this. Coming together and saying, 'This is the normal right now. This is what we’ve got to do if we want to make this work,'” Giolito explained. “I think it’s going to be important that team leaders, both coaches and players, continue to reiterate that.”

So far, two White Sox players have tested positive for COVID-19. Both positive tests came during the team's intake period, before workouts began at Guaranteed Rate Field last Friday.

Giolito said he’s been tested two to three times.

“If we could (be tested) every day, I would do it every day.”

RELATED: White Sox trust MLB protocol as positive COVID-19 tests, player concerns grow

Watching the workout on Monday, other than the sight of coaches wearing masks, everything looked normal with the White Sox. Eloy Jiménez was laughing and smiling. Luis Robert was roaming center field like a gazelle. Edwin Encarnación was crushing balls deep into the seats.

Despite the pandemic, the goal for 2020 remains the same.

It’s time to start winning.  

In this case, Giolito says that means beating their opponents, as well as the virus.

“It’s unfortunately a risk that I’m taking and many of my teammates are taking," he said. "At the same time, we’re interested in winning, and we’re not going to win if we’re not playing.”


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