White Sox

Viciedo's homer keys late rally as Sox stun Yankees

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Viciedo's homer keys late rally as Sox stun Yankees

NEW YORK -- Dayan Viciedo ended a frustrating evening for himself and the White Sox with one loud swing on Thursday.

The left fielder made the New York Yankees pay for a ninth-inning error as he blasted a three-run homer off David Robertson to give the White Sox a shocking 4-3 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Viciedo --- who was hitting .157 in June when he came to bat in the ninth --- followed a throwing-error on a potential double play with a homer on 1-0 pitch against Robertson that left a crowd of 44,041 in stunned silence.

The White Sox were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Ivan Nova and Co. prior to Viciedos blast to left.

Alex Rios led off the ninth inning with a single against reliever Cody Eppley and he advanced to third when Clay Rapada threw A.J. Pierzynskis comebacker into center field. Robertson was called upon instead of closer Rafael Soriano, who had pitched four of the last five days. Robertson threw Viciedo a ball before he caught up to a 90-mph fastball for his 14th homer.

Viciedo earlier lined into an inning-ending double play to end the fourth with runners on the corners against Nova, who settled in nicely after an early high-wire act.

Aside from Alejandro De Aza, who went 4-for-5, nobody had any luck against Nova even though he allowed plenty of contact. Kevin Youkilis hit the ball hard twice and also took a called third strike with the tying run on second in the eighth inning against Nova. Adam Dunn was robbed of a hit by Teixeira in the third with a man on.

But the most difficult inning for the White Sox was the top of the fourth. Paul Konerko doubled and moved to third on a Rios single. But Konerko couldnt tag up on Pierzynskis line out to center before Viciedo lined into a double play.

The bad luck appeared to leave Dylan Axelrod on the hook for a rough loss.

Axelrod spoke with total confidence earlier this week when he discussed pitching at Yankee Stadium.

It didnt matter that he hadnt pitched in front of many big crowds aside from his College World Series experience in 2007. He wasnt worried he would be making only his sixth career start. He didnt think to consider what it would take to face a loaded Yankees lineup in front of 44,041 fans.

Axelrod said he would relish the opportunity because pitching with adrenaline only makes him sharper. Then he went out and backed up his words.

Axelrod benefitted from good White Sox defense early, but also successfully navigated his way through a lineup loaded with hitters for seven innings.

Mixing his offspeed pitches, Axelrod kept the Yankees off-balance. He struck out Alex Rodriguez with a 3-2 slider in the first inning and retired Robinson Cano on a grounder ---- both with a man at second.

Axelrod set down nine of the first 11 he faced before he got into trouble as he loaded the bases in the fourth inning with two outs. But Axelrod got Eric Chavez to groundout on a first-pitch slider to keep the game scoreless.

Axelrod couldnt hang on to the 1-0 lead he was given when De Aza hit a second-deck homer to right in the fifth off Nova.

In the bottom of the fifth, Rodriguez and Cano both doubled in runs to take a 2-1 lead.

The Yankees --- who are sixth in baseball with 355 runs --- didnt add on until Teixeira hit a solo home run off Hector Santiago in the eighth as Axelrod posted two more scoreless innings.

Axelrod limited the Yankees to two runs, six hits and walked three batters in seven innings as he threw strikes on 69 of 115 pitches.

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

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AP

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

Coming to you from Washington DC, we speak with Dylan Cease who competed in the MLB Futures Game along with his Birmingham Barons teammate Luis Basabe. 

Cease talks about the White Sox loaded farm system, what players have impressed him the most, where he gets his composure on the mound and more. 

Check out the entire podcast here:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fernando Tatis, Jr. is one of the brightest future stars in the game. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, one spot behind Eloy Jimenez.

He’s a five-tool shortstop slashing .289/.359/.509 at Double-A San Antonio with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s bilingual, charismatic, the kind of guy who could be a face of a franchise.

And two years ago, he was property of the White Sox.

That was until they traded Tatis, who was only 17 at the time, to the Padres for James Shields. Tatis had yet to play a single game in the White Sox farm system, so it was tough to predict his future. However, speaking with Tatis before he competed in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday, the trade was definitely a shock to him.

“I was surprised. It was weird. For a kid that young to get traded, I had never heard of it. When they told me that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” Tatis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

No front office is going to bat 1.000, and when it comes to Tatis, this is a trade the White Sox would love to have back.

But first, more perspective.

In June of 2016, six months before the White Sox started their rebuild, they were 29-26, a game and a half out of first place. With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and a healthy Carlos Rodon anchoring their rotation, they felt that with the addition of Shields, they could compete for the division.

Unfortunately, perception didn’t meet reality. Shields struggled on the mound with the White Sox in 2016 and 2017. His numbers have improved considerably, and he could return the White Sox another prospect if he’s dealt before the trade deadline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll receive a player with the potential that Tatis has right now.

“(The trade) was about getting a good starter so they could get to the playoffs. I understood. I know this game is a business,” Tatis said.

Before the trade occurred, Tatis looked into his future and saw a day when he’d be the White Sox starting shortstop.

“Yeah, that was my goal when (White Sox director of international scouting) Marco Paddy signed me,” Tatis said. “We talked about it when I started and that was the goal.”

His goal now is to make it to the major leagues with the Padres.

“I’m pretty close. I want to keep working. When they decide to call me up, I’ll be ready.”

As for his former team, he’s impressed with the talent the White Sox have assembled.

“They’re building something special. They have really good prospects. I wish the best for them.”

You can’t help but wonder what the rebuild would look like if Tatis was along for the ride. He’s the one who got away.