CHICAGO (AP) Kevin Youkilis hit a grand slam, Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered twice and the Boston Red Sox roughed up Philip Humber in a 10-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.Youkilis, mired in an early-season slump, hit his second career slam into the right-field bullpen during a five-run third inning against Humber, who was making his first start since pitching a perfect game in a 4-0 victory at Seattle on Saturday.There was no such suspense Thursday. Humber walked leadoff batter Mike Aviles in the first, snapping his streak of 29 straight batters retired.One out later, the right-hander allowed a single to Dustin Pedroia, a dribbler up the third-base line that was the first hit off Humber since Nick Markakis' one-out double for Baltimore in the fifth inning of the Orioles' 10-4 victory at Chicago on April 16.Humber was tagged for a career-high nine runs and eight hits in five innings. The nine earned runs he allowed after his perfect game were a record, topping the eight given up by Jim "Catfish" Hunter after his perfecto for Oakland in 1968.Johnny Vander Meer remains the only major league pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters, accomplishing the feat in 1938 with Cincinnati.The resurgent Red Sox have scored 34 runs in winning their last four games, a streak coming on the heels of a five-game skid.Adrian Gonzalez followed Pedroia with an RBI double, and David Ortiz added a run-scoring single to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.After throwing just 96 pitches to complete his masterpiece, Humber twice needed more than 30 pitches to get through an inning. He threw 92 pitches over the first four innings.Saltalamacchia followed Youkilis' slam with a home run just inside the right-field foul pole. He added a two-run shot in the fifth off Humber, his fourth homer of the season.Humber followed up his best game with perhaps his worst, allowing three walks and three homers. His ERA rose from 0.63 to 4.66.Youkilis singled and scored in the fifth and added an infield single in the eighth. His three hits, two runs and four RBIs were an encouraging sign for a hitter that entered the game batting just .204. The grand slam was his second homer of the season and just his second over his last 28 games dating to Aug. 14, 2011.Boston starter Felix Doubront (1-0) wasn't sharp but picked up his first big league win since Aug. 10, 2010. He allowed five hits and three walks, threw a wild pitch and hit a batter with a pitch, but limited the White Sox to three runs in six innings.Chicago's Dayan Viciedo broke out of a 1-for-16 slump with two hits, including a leadoff homer in the fourth. All three of his RBIs this season have come on solo homers.NOTES: Andre Rienzo, a pitcher in the White Sox farm system, was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance. ... Marlon Byrd started in center for the Red Sox in his first game in Chicago since being acquired from the crosstown Cubs on Saturday. ... White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he didn't plan to use reliever Jesse Crain out of the bullpen for precautionary reasons. Crain hasn't pitched since April 20 because soreness in his left oblique, but Ventura doesn't expect him to go on the disabled list.Up
The baseball offseason is moving at a quicker pace than recent years, and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is among those happy to see that.
Hahn and the White Sox contributed to that quick start to the offseason by signing Yasmani Grandal on Nov. 21. He said he prefers that in an interview with Bruce Levine and Matt Spiegel on 670 The Score on Saturday.
Hahn also gave an update on the team’s offseason.
“We still have work to do, but at the same time we’re obviously quite pleased to have added Yasmani Grandal, much to no one’s surprise bringing back Jose Abreu and we’re intrigued by some of the talks we have going on right now,” Hahn said. “Obviously you can’t convert on everything, a point that was publicly driven home this past week, but at the same time we know that regardless of whether we convert on one specific target or not, there are still a lot of reasons to be excited based on the guys we currently have, much less what we may add in the coming weeks.”
The comment about being unable to convert on everything is surely a reference to Zack Wheeler signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Hahn didn’t give any hints as to what the White Sox are working on, but he did say he prefers the speed of this offseason.
“We’d certainly prefer to do things sooner rather than later,” Hahn said. “That’s generally true regardless of the time of year.”
If Hahn wants to get things done quickly, it would make sense that the winter meetings could be a time of White Sox activity. Hahn wasn’t biting on that.
“There’s nothing magical about getting a deal done Tuesday at the winter meetings,” Hahn said. “It creates a little more buzz perhaps and fulfills some expectations within the fanbase and the media.
“A guy is not going to have any less impact on your team if you acquire him Dec. 20 vs. Dec. 12.”
Hahn also gave updates on various current players on the team:
- Yasmani Grandal has been studying up on White Sox pitchers and how he can help the young pitchers develop.
“This guy’s No. 1 goal and No. 1 priority is to make the pitchers better," Hahn said. "He’s texting me two, three times a week still with stuff he had seen on our guys and conversations he’s had with our guys about how he thinks we’re going to be able to get them better in the coming months.”
- Hahn was asked if the White Sox would add another middle infielder to provide cover until Nick Madrigal comes up. He didn't rule it out, but cited Leury Garcia and Danny Mendick as capable of helping out. Hahn has previously said he expects Madrigal to be up for most of the 2020 season.
- Nothing new here, but Hahn said Michael Kopech will enter spring training "without restriction" and will have "some innings management" throughout the season. Kopech missed 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery late in the 2018 season.
- Carlos Rodon's timeline to return from Tommy John surgery hasn't changed. Hahn said they will re-evaluate him in April to see where he is after spring training. He is still tentatively expected to return in late July or early August.
Depending on which report you choose to believe, the White Sox could be on the verge of filling the void in their outfield with one of the bigger names on this winter’s free-agent market.
Dominican reporter Frank Castillo tweeted Saturday that the White Sox will sign Marcell Ozuna, planning to announce the free-agent deal Monday.
BREAKING NEWS: According to Dominican sports journalist @FrankCastillo22, Marcell Ozuna will sign with Chicago White Sox. The agreement will be announced on Monday.@z101digital @ZDeportes https://t.co/oy7w3FfgMM— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) December 7, 2019
Well, that was followed up by a report from The Score’s Bruce Levine, who said the White Sox are not about to sign Ozuna.
Our @MLBBruceLevine asked a solid White Sox source if there was any truth to the Marcell Ozuna rumor. "No." Okay then.— M@ (@MattSpiegel670) December 7, 2019
So there’s that.
The White Sox were connected to Ozuna earlier this offseason, as well as more recently, with MLB.com’s Jon Morosi writing last week that the team had interest in Japanese import Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, but were waiting to hear on the decisions of Ozuna and fellow free agent Nicholas Castellanos first.
Ozuna turned heads with his fantastic 2017 season for the Miami Marlins, when he slashed .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs. Since being dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, Ozuna hit .263/.327/.452 with 52 homers and 177 RBIs in two seasons.
The White Sox have a pressing need in right field, making it little surprise that they’ve been tied to numerous options, including Ozuna, Castellanos and Joc Pederson. Ozuna, though, exclusively played left field in St. Louis. Were the White Sox to add him, would they insist he play right field? They’ve expressed little to no interest in moving Eloy Jimenez out of left field.
It’s rumor season, and there should be plenty more of them with the Winter Meetings starting Monday in San Diego. The White Sox are expected to continue the aggressive approach they’ve displayed already this winter with the signing of Yasmani Grandal and their reported high bid to Zack Wheeler, who took less money to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.