White Sox

Rios' bat comes alive to help Sox top Royals

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Rios' bat comes alive to help Sox top Royals

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
Posted: 9:13 p.m. Updated: 10:06 p.m.

Associated Press

Box score
VIDEO: Ozzie on Rios' recent success
VIDEO: Morel chats with Sarah Kustok

John Danks ended a subpar season with a finish he'd like to replicate.Alex Rios and Brent Morel homered to back Danks, leading the White Sox over the Kansas City Royals 6-3 Saturday night and stopping Chicago's five-game home losing streak.Danks (8-12) improved to 5-0 in 12 starts against the Royals, allowing three runs and six hits in 7 13 innings. The lefty was 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA in his first 11 starts, then went 8-4 with a 3.69 in his last 16 outings."Definitely good to end on a good note," said Danks, who went 40-31 in his previous three years. "Obviously, this season hasn't gone the way I planned or hoped, but it's part of the game."Danks retired his first 14 batters before Salvador Perez's fifth-inning single."I knew I had a no-hitter going," Danks said. "A.J. (Pierzynski) and I were talking between innings, this was probably the best stuff I had all year. Everything was working."Rios had three hits, including a two-run homer in the second and a leadoff triple in the eighth. Morel's homer was his 10th of the season, including eight in September.While Chicago won for just the fourth time in 14 games, the Royals lost for the third time in their last 12. At 77-81, the White Sox need to win their remaining games to avoid their third losing season in eight years under manager Ozzie Guillen.Guillen said Danks deserved a better won-loss record."When you manage this guy, you appreciate his effort out there," Guillen said. "No matter whether it's good or bad, he gives you what he has. His record should be a lot better than what it shows because this kid has been consistent all year long."Chicago's Adam Dunn went 0 for 3 with a walk, leaving him with a .162 batting average. He has 485 plate appearances and needs 17 in the team's last four games to become an official qualifier. The post-1900 record for lowest batting average by a qualifier is .179 by Detroit's Rob Deer in 1991, according to STATS LLC.Melky Cabrera had a two-run double and two hits, reaching 199 for the season.Everett Teaford (2-1) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings after giving up one run in 11 innings during his first two major league starts."His command was his whole (problem)," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was up with everything. Two or three walks that inning turned around to bite him."Teaford walked three in the four-run second, when Rios homered, Juan Pierre walked with the bases full and Alexei Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly.Morel homered leading off the fourth. His second-inning walk was his 15th of September - he had just seven this year before then."Being more selective up there, trying to drive the ball a little bit more," Morel said. "I'm not trying to protect so much. That's been keeping me off some of the pitcher's pitches. I'm just trying to get a ball in the middle of the plate."Cabrera's 44th double of the season drove in two runs in the sixth, and Eric Hosmer's RBI single cut the deficit to 5-3.Danks hopes the White Sox can finish strong and carry momentum to next season. He hopes to see familiar faces in next year's clubhouse."If this same group of guys comes back next year, I'm going to be just as optimistic as I was this year," Danks said. "I thought we were the team to beat."NOTES
Gavin Floyd will take the mound for the White Sox in Sunday's series finale, looking to improve upon his 3-7 mark against Kansas City. The Royals will counter with Luis Mendoza, who allowed one run in seven innings Tuesday in his first big league start of the season.Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Chuck Garfien and Steve Stone take a look back at Mark Buehrle's perfect game. How did Buehrle do it? How did Dewayne Wise make that catch?

Plus, Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski talk about how Buehrle actually told Pierzynski before taking that field that day that he would throw a perfect game and more.

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

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Yoan Moncada cleans up for White Sox: 'I think we found our No. 4 hitter'

Yoan Moncada cleans up for White Sox: 'I think we found our No. 4 hitter'

Though Jose Abreu and James McCann represented the team at the All-Star Game earlier this month, Yoan Moncada holds the title of the White Sox best hitter through the first 97 games of the 2019 season.

The guy who struck out 217 times during his first full season in the majors last year has been a completely different hitter this time around. Instead of looking lost at the plate, he’s the guy White Sox fans want to see at the plate in run-producing situations. He hasn’t spent much time in one of those traditional run-producing spots in the batting order, but manager Rick Renteria inserted Moncada into the cleanup spot Monday night.

And Moncada cleaned up, all right.

“I think we found our No. 4 hitter,” starting pitcher Ivan Nova said after he went the distance in a 9-1 waxing of the Miami Marlins. “A lot of times you get surprised. While he was hitting second, you're thinking and knowing, the type of hitter that he is — you're only thinking as a player, they have another way to think. But today, I think it was first time hit in fourth, and he showed.”

Moncada went 2-for-4 with the game’s biggest blow, a three-run homer in the fifth inning that blew things wide open. He drove in four runs on the night, and he flashed a potential glimpse of the future of this future-focused franchise.

Combining with Abreu, who went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three runs scored, Moncada showed what the middle of the order might look like for this team when rebuilding finally transitions to contending. That could come as soon as next year, and when you throw the currently injured Eloy Jimenez into that group, the White Sox could boast a fearsome 3-4-5 as soon as later this season.

“If someone is happy that we finally found a cleanup hitter, it’s me,” Abreu said through team interpreter Billy Russo. “Nothing that he does surprises me because I know all the talent he has. I know that he still can do more. He has been working hard. He’s a great baseball player with a lot of talent and I still think he can do more.

“What he did today is not a surprise for me. I still know he’s a great player and I think we’ve seen that throughout the whole season this year. He’s going to get better.”

Moncada has been sensational all season long, proving why the White Sox weren’t at all worried during his struggles in 2018. He owns a .304/.362/.530 slash line through these first 97 games, and his three-run blast Monday night gave him a new career high in that category after he smacked 17 a year ago. He’s six RBIs away from setting a new career high there, too. And even though he made a fielding error Monday that only briefly delayed Nova finishing off his complete-game effort, Moncada has been generally excellent at third base in his first season at that position as a big leaguer.

But putting Moncada in a run-producing spot in the order is a new wrinkle for Renteria this season. Coming into Monday’s game, Moncada had spent 63 games as the team’s No. 2 hitter and just 26 everywhere else. According to the skipper, Moncada is good enough to hit anywhere, and that’s certainly true. His eventual everyday spot in the lineup might have more to do with the hitters around him than simply what he can do by himself.

But if Moncada keeps up the kind of offensive production he’s churned out this season, maybe sticking him right in the thick of the order is what's best for the White Sox — even if those lineups of the future include big bats like those swung by Abreu, Jimenez, Luis Robert and Andrew Vaughn.

“For me, it's an advantage to hit in the cleanup spot having (Abreu) ahead of me,” Moncada said through Russo. “That way, you can see how the pitchers are attacking him, and you have a better idea, in those situations when you need to produce, how the pitchers are doing it. Even though he's a right-handed hitter and I hit from both sides of the plate, it's good. It's something that gives you a better idea of how the pitchers are doing, how their pitches are working.”

“He had a nice game,” Renteria said. “He can hit anywhere in the middle and the top of the order. I wish I could say I'm really a genius, but I'm not. He's got that talent. He's able to take advantage of it and today he had a nice day. He made everybody look good.”

It would make sense to see Moncada batting fourth again as this first homestand of the second half and the 2019 season roll on, but that’s up to Renteria, who has his reasons for every permutation to his lineups.

Of course, if Abreu gets ahold of Renteria's lineup card and starts writing out the batting orders, we’ll know where Moncada will be slotted.

“If I would have that decision,” Abreu said, “I would put him in the cleanup spot for the rest of the season.”

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.