White Sox

Sox offense sputters in loss

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Sox offense sputters in loss

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Tommy Milone's changeup felt the best it has yet. His cut fastball in kept Chicago's hitters off balance all night.He just wishes he could have finished what he started with a complete game - yet there's plenty of time for that."It's still early, definitely," Milone said.Pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, Milone outdueled Gavin Floyd and the Oakland Athletics beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0 on Tuesday night."Probably the best my arm has felt so far this year," Milone said. "Just being able to make pitches and starting hitters off with a strike and then working from there and keeping the off-speed pitches low."Daric Barton drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and Luke Hughes struck out before Matt Thornton relieved Floyd (1-3). Suzuki doubled to left and Barton scored easily, then Eric Sogard added an RBI single as the A's ended a 16-inning scoreless stretch going back to Sunday's 5-1 victory against Cleveland."I don't know how many innings it was we didn't score. It felt like 100," A's manager Bob Melvin said.Chicago's stellar pitching produced yet another strong outing on a road trip full of them, but the White Sox had their four-game winning streak snapped along with a six-game road winning streak.A night after Jake Peavy pitched a three-hitter in a 4-0 White Sox win Monday - Oakland's fourth time being blanked - Floyd did his part. On Saturday in Seattle, Phil Humber pitched a perfect game in a 4-0 win over the Mariners.Milone (3-1) matched Floyd all night until Oakland's offense finally capitalized. The A's did plenty on defense to back Floyd, turning double plays and throwing out Chicago's Brent Morel on a steal attempt in the eighth after he hit a two-out single."Against that lineup, pretty spectacular," Melvin said of Milone.Milone, acquired in the winter trade that sent All-Star Gio Gonzalez to Washington, allowed three hits over eight efficient innings, struck out five and didn't walk a batter in a 98-pitch outing. Grant Balfour finished the four-hit shutout, Oakland's fourth, for his fifth save in as many tries in a game that went 2 hours, 27 minutes."It's obviously something I want to do. I want to finish the game," Milone said. "There's not any rush to get me out there and pitch over the pitch count."Floyd, who came in with a 3-1 record and 2.35 ERA with 35 strikeouts in his previous seven career starts against the A's, allowed two hits and one run, struck out six and walked two in 7 1-3 innings."He pitched great. It's tough to pitch like that and get a loss. This one stings because your guy pitches such a good game and we couldn't do much on the offensive side," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Their guy pitched a little better. He kept us off balance and we couldn't get anything going off him."The White Sox were trying for their longest road winning streak since a seven-gamer from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6, 2010. Still, Chicago's 7-2 start away from home was the club's best since winning 10 of its first 12 on the road in 2005.Chicago's Alex Rios went 0 for 3 and had his 11-game hitting streak snapped, with Adam Dunn pinch-hitting for him in the ninth. Dunn struck out swinging to end it."I thought I was going to hit but if he thinks Adam is better there, let's go for it. We're trying to win ball games," Rios said.A's left fielder Coco Crisp was held out of the lineup after he still experienced symptoms of his recent illness after playing all nine innings Monday following five games out because of a bug and inner ear issue. Melvin said Crisp will rest through Thursday's off day and perhaps be ready Friday at Baltimore.Notes:
Humber, who pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history Saturday at Seattle, flew home Tuesday morning to be with his wife before the birth of their first child. Humber - claimed off waivers from the A's on Jan. 18, 2011, is set to pitch Thursday at home vs. Boston. ... Jarrod Parker, who grew up in Indiana as a Chicago fan, makes his A's debut in Wednesday afternoon's series finale. "I grew up a White Sox fan, so it's going to be cool," he said. ... Oakland SS Cliff Pennington and C Suzuki each had the night off, before Suzuki entered to pinch hit in the eighth and stayed in behind the plate. ... A's owner Lew Wolff watched batting practice from the field and confirmed Barry Bonds' trial lawyer, Allen Ruby, is now on the legal team for the club's efforts to build a new ballpark in San Jose.Box Score

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

No one knows better than Joakim Soria that the more successful he is as the White Sox’s closer, there is an increased likelihood that the veteran right-hander will be headed out of town at some point.

Soria has not only solidified the back end of the bullpen, the 34-year-old has emerged as perhaps the Sox’s most valuable trade asset to a contending team in need of relief help.

Over this last 14 appearances, Soria has not allowed an earned run and has converted all seven save chances with five hits allowed, two walks and 15 strikeouts.

“My body feels good and my arm feels good,” Soria said before the Sox defeated the Athletics 10-3 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. “I come to the ballpark expecting to pitch and … I try to be out there and help this team win.”

While the Sox haven’t done a whole lot of winning of late—Sunday’s win was just their second in their last 11 games—when they are victorious it’s accompanied by a Soria save. With the Sox’s rebuild in full swing, Soria understands that general manager Rick Hahn won’t hesitate to flip him in a trade.

“Players say they don’t think about it but you have to think about it,” said Soria, who was acquired from the Royals on Jan. 4 in a three-team trade also involving the Dodgers. “When you have a family with three kids and a wife you have to be prepared for everything. But it’s not like I come to the field thinking about that. It’s just God’s plan and whatever happens it’s a business and you prepare.”

Soria has 215 career saves, including 162 in seven seasons with the Royals, but hadn’t been a full-time closer since notching a combined 24 saves with the Tigers and Pirates. With the Sox, Soria won the closing job over fellow veteran Nate Jones in spring training and has been nearly unhittable in recent weeks.

Over his last 13 2/3 innings pitched, Soria has held opponents to a .109 batting average and sports a 2.89 ERA for the season. He has issued five walks in 28 innings and is averaging 10.29 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

The two-time All-Star has settled in nicely in a Sox clubhouse featuring a mix of veterans and promising talents. Soria has to balance that with the knowledge he might not be around as the season progresses.

“It’s something I can’t control,” Soria said. “I have a really good relationship with these guys and the chemistry with this team is very good. I can’t think outside of the box because (a trade) hasn’t happened yet. You have to keep focused and be ready for today’s game.”

Dane Dunning left minor league start with 'moderate' elbow strain

Dane Dunning left minor league start with 'moderate' elbow strain

Dane Dunning has been nothing but consistent since joining the White Sox organization in the Adam Eaton trade before the 2017 season.

He has performed well at three different levels in the minor leagues and has stayed healthy. That second part is currently in question after he left a start for Double-A Birmingham on Saturday with elbow soreness.

Dunning left in the fourth inning in what was developing into one of his worst starts of the season. He had four strikeouts, but also walked four and gave up two runs (one earned). The four walks matched a season high.

Here is how things went down on his final pitch:

It's too early for a full diagnosis, but Dunning is expected to have an MRI in the next few days. White Sox manager Rick Renteria talked about Dunning's injury before Sunday's game against the Athletics.

"I think everybody considered it a very moderate strain," Renteria said. "Nobody is at this point too concerned. They still have to re-evaluate more. We won’t know more until they get further evaluation and at that point everybody will know where he’s at. Right now he still has to be re-evaluated."

Dunning, 23, began the season at Single-A Winston-Salem where he posted a 2.59 ERA in four starts with 31 strikeouts against three walks in 24 1/3 innings. The Florida product then was promoted to Birmingham where he has a 2.76 ERA. In 11 starts with the Barons, Dunning has 69 strikeouts and 23 walks in 62 innings.

Dunning is one of the top pitching prospects in the White Sox farm system along with Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen.

Chris Kuc contributed to this report.