White Sox

Speedy Pierzynski can't secure White Sox comeback


Speedy Pierzynski can't secure White Sox comeback

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Posted 5:00 p.m. Updated 6:06 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini

GOODYEAR, Ariz. On the positive side, Chicago White Sox starting pitchers have been lights-out so far this spring training, with Edwin Jackson mowing through the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday to extend the rotations hitless and scoreless streak to six innings.

WATCH: Kenny Williams uncut

On the down side, the White Sox had another sloppy outing overall, rallying back to tie the game 6-6 after falling behind 5-0, but falling short, 7-6.

Chicago dropped to 0-3 on the spring.

You can see were a little bit behind at the plate, manager Ozzie Guillen said. Theyre struggling, but its early, well be fine.

The game got ugly in the fifth, when Cincinnati pushed across five runs after Gordon Beckham flubbed a potential inning-ending force out. Kyle Cofield was the victim of the five unearned runs, although he pushed the second run across with a wild pitch and later served up a massive, two-run blast to Jeremy Hermida.

Those five runs, we made one mistake, Guillen said. The kid who gave up those runs Cofield threw very well. We should have got out of the inning.

The White Sox did rally for three runs in the sixth, keyed by a Carlos Quentin RBI single. They had a chance to get right back into the game, loading the bases with none out in the seventh, but Brent Lillibridge and Brandon Short struck out before Jim Gallagher stroked a two-run single to right. A.J. Pierzynski, who collected a speeding ticket on the way to the game, came up with the bases re-loaded to face reliever Daryl Thompson and drove in the tying run with a walk.

READ: A.J. gets pulled over

That was typical AJ, Guillen said. I had a bet he was going to hit a ground ball to second base.

Jacksons Action

White Sox starter Edwin Jackson looked as if he picked up right where he left off in the second half of 2010, when he was Chicagos strongest starter.

I felt good, Jackson said. Its the first game, and youre trying to get back into game mode, which is different from BP and bullpen sessions. Theres a little more adrenaline going.

Jackson stuck out the first two batters he faced and is displaying much the same confidence he did after coming over to the White Sox at last years trading deadline.

Im in a little different role than previous years, Jackson said. Coming up, I didnt have the luxury of having a set rotation spot. It was like, Get out there, you still have to battle for a position. You still have to keep the same mindframe, dont want to be too lackadaisical. You want to get your work in so youre ready when the season starts.

Missile Crisis

Continuing his lighthearted postgame talk, Guillen cornered a Reds beat writer and issued a stern warning about the Cincinnati medias Missile nickname for fireballer Aroldis Chapman.

Dont give him the Missile, Guillen said. We have the Missile Alexei Ramirez.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

Detroit Tigers' C.J. Cron hit by ball, needs to be helped off field

Detroit Tigers' C.J. Cron hit by ball, needs to be helped off field

A scary scene unfolded during the 4th inning of Monday’s series opener between the White Sox and Tigers.

C.J. Cron needed to be helped off the field after he got hit by a sharp ground ball while fielding at first base.

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Cron laid on the ground for several minutes after the play and limped off the field with the help of Tigers staff.

Amazingly, pitcher Daniel Norris was able to corral the ball and tag out Danny Mendick to end the inning.

Cron has been one of the Tigers’ best power hitters, tied for the team league with four home runs.

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White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

Of all the White Sox players this season, the spotlight has shined brightest on Luis Robert, but he says that’s not the reason for his recent five-game slump. In fact, Robert doesn’t even see himself as a new face of the franchise, despite all the hype surrounding his MLB debut and hot start to the season.

“I honestly don’t feel that way,” Robert said via team interpreter Billy Russo. “I just think that I’m the new guy.”

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It’s clear the pressure didn’t affect Robert earlier in the year as he notched at least one hit in his first six games, and racked up 14 hits through 10 games. As the impressive performances at the plate mounted, so did the buzz around the young centerfielder. But Robert insists he doesn’t think about it, even though he’s slashing a lowly .158/.200/.211 over his last five games, and out of the lineup for the first time in his career on Monday.

“I know everyone’s trying to talk about me, about my option for Rookie of the Year and that kind of stuff,” Robert said via Russo. “But for me I just feel like another guy for this team. I don’t feel that pressure, that attention. I know that it’s there, but I don’t think about that.”

So is this mini-slump due to an adjustment in the way pitchers are approaching Robert at the plate? Again, Robert says no.

“Pitchers have been attacking me the same way since the season started. I didn’t have good results the last few days, but I just have to keep working. There’s nothing different that they have done against me. It’s just a matter of results.”

Robert has shown a remarkable ability to adjust to a pitcher’s approach mid-game. Now it’s time to see how he adjusts to a little major league adversity.

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