White Sox

Stewart shelled; Chen dominates Sox again

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Stewart shelled; Chen dominates Sox again

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
Posted: 9:55 p.m. Updated: 11:03 p.m.

Associated Press

Box score
VIDEO: Ozzie reacts to lopsided loss
VIDEO: Konerko on difficulty of hitting Chen

Bruce Chen enjoys U.S. Cellular Field, especially since he's figured out how to pitch on the home field of the Chicago White Sox."I know it's a hitter's park, but if you keep the ball down, you give yourself a chance," Chen said.Chen allowed only two hits in eight strong innings and the Kansas City Royals hit four home runs off Zach Stewart to rout the White Sox 11-1 Friday night.Jeff Francoeur, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar homered for the Royals. Kansas City has won nine of 11 overall in a late-season surge.Chen (12-8) finished 3-1 this season against the White Sox, with all three of the wins at U.S. Cellular Field. His lone loss to Chicago came last Sunday in Kansas City, when he gave up nine hits and four runs in 5 13 innings.The only hit allowed by Chen through the first six innings was an infield single by Dayan Viciedo in the second. It was a grounder in the hole that third baseman Mike Moustakas fielded, and he spun around and threw high to first. Paul Konerko hit his 31st homer in the seventh inning.Chen walked one and struck out four. Vin Mazzaro pitched a hitless ninth."Bruce has been good against us and pitching well all year long. Now it's no mystery," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who was Chen's teammate with Atlanta in the late 1990s. "He owns the White Sox."With Guillen's future unclear, Chicago has lost 10 of 13. And Friday night's defeat left the White Sox at 76-81, ensuring they won't have a winning record despite a 127 million payroll."Obviously it's been a very tough season for everyone," Guillen said.Hosmer hit a solo shot in the second, his 19th of the season. Perez had a three-run drive in the fourth, his third of the season, and Escobar followed one batter later with his fourth homer of the season.Francoeur connected for his 20th of the season, a two-run shot, in the fifth to reach the 20-20 plateau. He also has 22 steals."It was a lot of fun. It's something I really wanted to accomplish," Francoeur said."It's been a good year. To be able to do that tonight. I credit Seitz (hitting coach Kevin Seitzer), and with the base stealing, Siss (first base coach Doug Sisson) gets all that (credit). I came in the first day of camp and he was on my butt about stealing bases. He told me I'd steal 20. I didn't believe him."Stewart, who gave up 12 hits and nine runs, also committed two errors in four-plus innings. Stewart (2-6) lost for the third straight time since pitching a one-hit shutout against the Twins on Sept. 5."It's very frustrating. ... it just makes you sick all the way around," Stewart said.Kansas City finished with 18 hits, four by Moustakas.NOTES
Everett Teaford (2-0) will pitch in Saturday's game against the White Sox. John Danks (7-12) goes for Chicago. Teaford beat the White Sox last Saturday in KC, giving up four hits and a run over six innings. Danks is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts against the Royals this season and 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his career against the Royals.Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

James Shields is having a stellar May and making comeback wins possible for the White Sox

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USA TODAY

James Shields is having a stellar May and making comeback wins possible for the White Sox

If you haven’t checked in with what James Shields is doing in a while, your opinion of the veteran pitcher’s performance might need some updating.

Shields didn’t exactly win the confidence of White Sox fans during his first two seasons on the South Side. After arriving in a midseason trade with the San Diego Padres in 2016, he posted a 6.77 ERA in 22 starts, during which he allowed 31 home runs. He followed that up with a 5.23 ERA and 27 home runs allowed in 2017.

And the 2018 season didn’t start out great, either, with a 6.17 ERA over his first five outings.

But the month of May has brought a dramatic turn in the vet’s production. In five May starts, he’s got a 3.27 ERA in five starts, all of which have seen him go at least six innings (he’s got six straight outings of at least six innings, dating back to his last start in April).

And his two most recent starts have probably been his two best ones of the season. After allowing just one run on three hits in 7.1 innings last Thursday against the Texas Rangers, he gave up just two runs on five hits Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles.

The White Sox, by the way, won both of those games in comeback fashion. They scored four runs in the eighth against Texas and three in the eighth against Baltimore for a pair of “Ricky’s boys don’t quit” victories made possible by Shields’ great work on the mound.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said after Tuesday’s game. “It’s our job as starters to keep us in the game as long as we possibly can, no matter how we are hitting in a game. At the end of the game, you can always score one or two runs and possibly win a ballgame like we did tonight.”

The White Sox offense was indeed having trouble much of Tuesday’s game, kept off the scoreboard by Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. Particularly upsetting for White Sox Twitter was the sixth inning, when the South Siders put two runners in scoring position with nobody out and then struck out three straight times to end the inning.

But Shields went out and pitched a shut-down seventh, keeping the score at 2-0. Bruce Rondon did much the same thing in the eighth, and the offense finally sparked to life in the bottom of the inning when coincidentally presented with a similar situation to the one in the sixth. This time, though, the inning stayed alive and resulted in scoring, with Welington Castillo, Yoan Moncada and Yolmer Sanchez driving in the three runs.

“I’m out there doing my job,” Shields said. “My job is to try to keep us in the game. And we had some good starters against us that have been throwing well. If I can keep them close, we are going to get some wins and get some wins throughout the rest of the year like that. That’s the name of the game.”

Shields’ value in this rebuilding effort has been discussed often. His veteran presence is of great value in the clubhouse, particularly when it comes to mentoring young pitchers like Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, among others. Shields can act as an example of how to go about one’s business regardless of the outcomes of his starts. But when he can lead by example with strong outings, that’s even more valuable.

“I’m trying to eat as many innings as possible,” he said. “We kind of gave our bullpen — we taxed them a little bit the first month of the season. We are kind of getting back on track. Our goal as a starting staff is to go as deep as possible, and in order to do that, you’ve got to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters.

“Not too many playoff teams, a starting staff goes five and dive every single game. My whole career I’ve always wanted to go as deep as possible. I wanted to take the ball all the way to the end of the game. And we’ve done a pretty good job of it of late.”

It’s a long time between now and the trade deadline, and consistency has at times escaped even the brightest spots on this rebuilding White Sox roster. But Shields has strung together a nice bunch of starts here of late, and if that kind of performance can continue, the White Sox front office might find that it has a potential trade piece on its hands. That, too, is of value to this rebuild.

Until that possibility occurs, though, the team will take more solid outings that give these young players an opportunity to learn how to come back and learn how to win.

Ozzie Guillen offers his solution to PED use in baseball

Ozzie Guillen offers his solution to PED use in baseball

Ozzie Guillen is not one to shy away from having a strong opinion about something.

On NBC Sports Chicago’s Baseball Night in Chicago show on Tuesday, Guillen gave his view on how Major League Baseball can stop the usage of performance-enhancing drugs.

“Major League Baseball, you want to cut this thing down?” Guillen said on the show. “You cancel the contract to this kid. Then you’re going to see that. You get caught one time, you’re banned from baseball, then you’re going to stop with that. Because if you’re going to make $200 million and lose $11 million? I’m going to do it.”

Guillen is going off the idea that a player who used PEDs to get a big contract only loses part of it when he eventually gets caught and suspended. Canceling the rest of a contract takes away some of the financial incentive to use PEDs.

“If you get caught when you are young and you try to survive in the game, well, I don’t agree with them, but you can survive in this game that way,” Guillen said. “You know how hard it is right now. How Major League Baseball is on the top of this thing, day in and day out. They’re not going to play around with this thing.”

Marlon Byrd, who was twice suspended for PED use, was also on the show and talked about his PED suspensions.