White Sox

Sox come alive in pummeling of O's

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Sox come alive in pummeling of O's

CHICAGO (AP) First-year manager Robin Ventura has preached patience when asked about slumping slugger Adam Dunn. Same for scuffling second baseman Gordon Beckham.That steady hand paid off Wednesday night.Dunn lined a three-run double, A.J. Pierzynski homered and the Chicago White Sox snapped a three-game slide with an 8-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles."Early in the season, it can change so quick," Dunn said. "I've started off slow before and everything, but it's a lot different than it was last year because I feel good."Dunn was jeered by the crowd of 13,818 when he swung and missed for his 19th strikeout in the first inning, dropping his average to .175. But the designated hitter walked and scored in the third, walked again in the fifth and put together one of his best plate appearances with the White Sox during Chicago's four-run sixth.Dunn, who signed a 56 million, four-year contract before the 2011 season, sent a full-count pitch from Troy Patton into the left-field corner with two out, driving in Alexei Ramirez, Beckham and Alejandro De Aza to make it 8-1."Really just trying not to pull the ball," said Dunn, who was 0 for 15 against left-handers this season before the opposite-field hit. "I think that's where I get myself in trouble a lot is I try to pull the ball more than I probably should.
"I had no clue what he was going to throw me. Just tried to throw the bat out there and it worked."Jake Peavy pitched seven sparkling innings and De Aza also went deep for the White Sox, who tied a season high with 11 hits. Dunn also walked in the ninth and Beckham hit an RBI single in the sixth to stop a 0-for-14 slump."Just a great team effort," Peavy said. "The boys swung the bats and we needed tonight after a few tough ones."Endy Chavez had a run-scoring double for the Orioles, who had won four of five. Tommy Hunter (1-1) matched a career high with eight strikeouts, but was charged with eight runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings."I felt good in the first inning and lost it," Hunter said. "I was up in the zone, ball didn't get down. I just didn't make an adjustment. I can honestly say that. I did not make an adjustment."Chavez snapped a 0-for-12 slide with his hit in the second, but that was it for Baltimore. Nolan Reimold went 1 for 4 with a single, ending a string of four consecutive games with a homer.Peavy (2-0) allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked none in his longest outing since he pitched eight shutout innings at Minnesota on August 7. Finally healthy again, the right-hander has pitched at least six innings in each of his three outings this year."Everything gets so magnified because of the way Peavy was pitching, you know runs are going to be at a real premium," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, "and you can't let them get too far away from you because he's not gonna give up a whole lot when he's commanding the changeup and doing the things he does with the baseball."Pierzynski connected in the second inning, sending a two-run shot to right that barely cleared the wall and was just inside the foul pole. He also singled in the third and is batting .481 (13 for 27) in his past seven games.Alex Rios drove in Dunn with a sacrifice fly in the third, making it 3-1, and De Aza added a solo drive to right-center in the fourth for his third homer.NOTES: Chicago's Kosuke Fukudome made his first start of the season in left field and his third start overall. "It's a good time to get him in there and get him some at-bats," Ventura said. Dayan Viciedo rested and Ventura said he would be back in the lineup Thursday afternoon. Ventura also said utilityman Brent Lillibridge could start the finale of the four-game series. ... Nick Markakis served as Baltimore's designated hitter and Chavez got the start in right field. Markakis went 1 for 4 and is stuck in a 4-for-39 rut. "Everybody here is gonna have periods where they're not as good as they're capable of being," Showalter said. "If that's our biggest issue this year, we're in real good shape." ... Orioles RHP Jason Hammel (1-0) is scheduled to face RHP Gavin Floyd (1-1) on Thursday afternoon. Floyd is 4-2 with a 3.56 ERA in seven career starts against Baltimore. Hammel is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in six career appearances against the White Sox.

Remember That Guy: Rob Mackowiak

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AP

Remember That Guy: Rob Mackowiak

Not too many players from the Chicagoland area make it to the Majors. Oak Lawn’s Rob Mackowiak did. And he even made his way to the South Side to play for the White Sox.  

After attending South Suburban College in South Holland, he was a 53rd round pick of the Pirates in 1996. That’s something that could never exist today. The MLB Draft capped at 50 rounds in 1998, then lowered again to 40 rounds for 2012.

Mackowiak, primarily an outfielder but also occasionally seeing infield duty, worked his way through the minors from 1996-2001. He suited up for the Lynchburg (VA) Hillcats, the Augusta (GA) GreenJackets, the Altoona (PA) Curve and the Nashville Sounds before debuting for Pittsburgh May 19, 2001 at PNC Park against the Brewers. His first career at-bat a strikeout against Ben Sheets. He collected his first career hit a few days later at Veterans Stadium off the Phillies’ Robert Person. His first home run came May 30th in Pittsburgh off the Marlins’ Braden Looper.

He hit .266 in 83 games in 2001, then hit 16 home runs in his first full season the following year. 2003 started out rough, hitting .183/.280/.256 through 44 games before he was able to find his groove at Triple-A Nashville. When he returned to the Pirates on August 20, he went 4 for 5 with 2 home runs. From that point on, he hit a scorching .348/.400/.609 in 100 plate appearances to finish the season.

He had as good a day as you could possibly imagine on May 28, 2004. Early that morning, his son Garrett was born. Then with the hospital band still on his wrist, he headed to the ballpark for a doubleheader against the Cubs. In Game 1, he hit a walkoff grand slam off Chicago closer Joe Borowski. In Game 2 he came off the bench in the 7th inning and hit a game-tying 2-run home run in the 9th off LaTroy Hawkins. If that wasn’t enough, he came back to terrorize the Cubs once again the next day going 2 for 4 with a home run and 5 RBI. A three-game total of 4 for 10 with a double, 3 home runs and 11 RBI (with a walk). He was named co-NL Player of the Week from May 24-30, sharing the honor with teammate Daryle Ward. He finished the year hitting .246/.319/.420 but racked up career highs in home runs (17) and RBI (75). In 2005, his final season in western Pennsylvania, he rebounded with a .272 average and .337 OBP but took a step back in the power numbers (9 HR, 58 RBI).

In 2006 he joined the White Sox in a deal sending Damaso Marte to the Steel City and hit .290/.365/.404 – career highs in BA and OBP. His first home run in a White Sox uniform was a memorable one. On May 22, 2006 the Oakland Athletics visited US Cellular Field. It was the first time Frank Thomas played a game against his formal team, and the Big Hurt delivered with a pair of home runs. Oakland was poised to win the game with a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. After Jermaine Dye homered to cut the deficit to 4-2, Juan Uribe doubled which caused manager Ken Macha to summon his closer Huston Street. Ozzie Guillen countered by taking down Brian Anderson and sending up Mackowiak, who delivered a pinch hit 2-run homer to knot the game at four. Pablo Ozuna won the game for the Sox in the 10th with a walkoff bunt scoring A.J. Pierzynski from third.

What was a solid hometown run ended at the 2007 trade deadline when the Sox sent Mackowiak to San Diego for reliever Jon Link. He finished the season with the Padres and played 38 games with the Nationals in 2008 before being released in June. He tried to catch on with minor league stints with the Reds, Mets & Indians in 2008-09 but he never made it back to the show.  He did hit .323/.418/.545 with 14 HR in 82 games with the independent Newark Bears to finish 2009.

Rob Mackowiak’s 8-year MLB career featured a respectable .259/.332/.405 slashline with 64 home runs and 286 RBI in 856 games. In 197 games with the White Sox, he hit .285/.360/.411 with 11 HR and 59 RBI. After his baseball career Mackowiak briefly worked as the hitting coach for the Windy City Thunderbolts (Frontier League). Later, he coached his son’s little league teams and worked as an instructor at Elite Baseball Training in Chicago.

A 53rd round pick. An unforgettable introduction to fatherhood. A Chicago Major League homecoming. Rob Mackowiak’s story is a special one.

Lucas Giolito goes to injured list, Sox bring Carson Fulmer and Ryan Cordell up from Triple-A

Lucas Giolito goes to injured list, Sox bring Carson Fulmer and Ryan Cordell up from Triple-A

Lucas Giolito will miss some time after straining his hamstring in Wednesday's game.

The White Sox placed the right-handed starting pitcher on the 10-day injured list ahead of Thursday's series-opener in Detroit. They also brought up relief pitcher Carson Fulmer and outfielder Ryan Cordell to take the roster spots of Giolito and outfielder Daniel Palka, who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday night.

Giolito exited Wednesday's start after just 2.2 innings after tweaking his hamstring on a third-inning pitch. He was doing quite well in his second start of the season against the Kansas City Royals, with five strikeouts and no hits allowed before his early departure.

Giolito spoke with reporters Thursday morning in Detroit, saying the strain isn't too serious and that he expects to miss just one or two starts.

As for who will start in Giolito's stead, that remains to be seen. His turn in the rotation won't come until Monday's game that begins a series against the Baltimore Orioles. Fulmer arriving from Charlotte, however, points to Manny Banuelos being taken out of the major league bullpen to start in Giolito's place. Banuelos has had success as the White Sox long man so far this season, with a few effective multi-inning outings under his belt. Fulmer hasn't made a start since the White Sox moved him to the Charlotte bullpen last season but could serve as a replacement long man in the short term. This is Fulmer's second call-up this season, he was on the roster for one day earlier this month, pitching three innings of relief against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Meanwhile, Cordell arrives to take the place of Palka, who picked up his first hit of the season Wednesday after starting in a dreadful 0-for-32 slump. He was sent down after the game with the task of figuring things out at the Triple-A level. While the White Sox could have opted to slide Adam Engel into an everyday role in the big league outfield, it appears Cordell might get his shot at more frequent big league playing time. He was in the starting lineup for Thursday's game against the Tigers. Cordell made the Opening Day roster but only got six at-bats (homering in one and doubling in another) and was sent down to receive some more regular playing time, which he might now get in the majors.

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