White Sox

White Sox wince through big loss to Tigers

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White Sox wince through big loss to Tigers

Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010
Updated 11:21 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com
DETROIT A long winning streak, especially one on the road, is bound to be broken.

So the 9-1 loss by the Chicago White Sox to Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, snapping a seven-game winning streak, came as no surprise.

But the fact remains that seven wins in eight games has found the White Sox gaining no ground on the first-place Minnesota Twins, as Minnesota crushed the Kansas City Royals, 10-2, to extend their first-place cushion to 4 games.

I will take 7-1 again and see what happens, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. Thats part of the game. We all know that Minnesota is playing well now. Theyve got a good ballclub, but I will take another 7-1 stretch and take a chance with that.

Like I said yesterday, we won seven games in a row and the only game we picked up was the day we didnt play and Minnesota lost, catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. What can you do? You go out and play as hard as we can. Nobody is giving up. Nobody is panicking.

Just three batters into the game, the Tigers had scored all they needed to win, after Johnny Damon clocked a first-pitch changeup from Freddy Garcia into the right-field seats, scoring Will Rhymes.

Worse for the White Sox, Garcia left his second straight start with a stiff back, this time completing just two innings and throwing 33 pitches.

He was just missing a little, Pierzynski said of Garcia. He missed with the pitch to Damon for the home run. He battled through and got the outs. The second inning was better. Typical Freddy: Get through the first inning, and hes usually better as the game goes on. Tonight it was not meant to be.

Lucas Harrell relieved Garcia and was buried by Detroit in the third, with four tallies paced by singles from Don Kelly and Miguel Cabrera and a double by Jhonny Peralta - the runs were unearned, as the inning kicked off with an error by first baseman Mark Kotsay.

I was up in the zone a little bit early, but I settled down as the game went along, Harrell said. If youre going to be up in the zone against a team that can hit, theyre going to hit you around.

Lucas did a good job, Pierzynski said. He gave up four unearned runs. He gave us innings, which we needed. He threw the ball well. We should have been out of the one inning, with no runs, no damage. He probably could have finished the game for us if that happens.

Chicago scored its lone run off an Omar Vizquel RBI single in the third. Brandon Inge added insult to injury with a three-run round-tripper in the eighth.

Verlander entered the 2010 season with a mediocre 2-9 record in his career vs. the White Sox, with a 5.90 ERA and just 1.77 KBB. With an outstanding seven innings of one-run, five-hit pitching, surrendering just one walk against seven strikeouts, Verlanders transformation vs. Chicago is complete. Including tonight, in 2010 the Detroit ace is now 4-0 in four starts vs. Chicago, with a 1.38 ERA and 3.13 KBB.

We handled him real well even though he gave up just one run, Guillen said. He threw 121 pitches in six inningsthat means we made him work. But down 6-1 with Verlander, thats a deep hole to try and get out of.

Youve got to battle, Pierzynski said. We did that against Verlander and we had chances. We scored that run and thought we got back in it, and then gave up the four-spot.

Despite the setback on Tuesday, the White Sox were well aware that they are still close to first placeeven while acknowledging that at this point, their playoff dreams are in need of assistance.

Youre not going to win every game, Pierzynski said. We have to get it back going tomorrow. Everyone is busting their tail every day and we are trying to win every game. If it works out, it works out. Theres nothing you can do. When you are behind, you have to hope for help and win every game.

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

White Sox Talk Podcast: American League All-Stars rave about Jose Abreu

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: American League All-Stars rave about Jose Abreu

With Jose Abreu playing in the All-Star Game, we asked some of his American League teammates about the White Sox first baseman. Justin Verlander, Craig Kimbrel and Michael Brantley rave about Abreu, explaining why he’s such a great hitter and a tough out for pitchers. 

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

All Star of the present Jose Abreu trying to help Yoan Moncada become the All Star of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

All Star of the present Jose Abreu trying to help Yoan Moncada become the All Star of the future for White Sox

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While the White Sox wait for their All Stars of the future to develop, Jose Abreu is representing the club at the All-Star Game in the nation’s capital.

Abreu, elected by the fans to be the American League’s starting first baseman Tuesday night, might represent the White Sox present, but he’s a key part of their future, as well. While his contract situation remains a mystery — the team would need to extend him in order to keep around past the 2019 season — he’s helping to develop the players who are planned to make up the next contending group on the South Side.

No player is more under Abreu’s guiding hand than Yoan Moncada, his fellow Cuban who just a season ago was the No. 1 prospect in baseball. Moncada’s development from top prospect into star of the future is the biggest storyline of the season for the White Sox. And Abreu, the role model in this clubhouse, is in part tasked with helping Moncada do just that.

“Our friendship is special,” Moncada said through a team translator last week. “We’re always talking about everything, having fun. He gives me advice, and I always try to make fun of him. Our relationship has been for a long time. We were friends in Cuba. And now we are rejoined here. It’s just a very good relationship. I’m blessed having him here.”

“He’s a Cuban, and it’s always special to play with a fellow Cuban countryman. He’s a great kid,” Abreu said through a team translator Monday. “I think that it’s a blessing. The White Sox did all that they could do for us to play together. I’m just enjoying the moment and every day with him. It’s special. It’s definitely a very special feeling.”

Abreu is often lauded by White Sox brass as the perfect example of what they want their young players to become. His incredible production makes that an easy comparison: He put up at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first four major league seasons. But it’s what he does outside the lines that gets the highest praise. Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all of Abreu’s teammates constantly talk about his work ethic, his routine, his dedication to getting better and the way he goes about his business.

Moncada’s noticed. And he sees Abreu’s latest accomplishment — getting picked as an All-Star starter — as vindication that, yes, Abreu’s methods certainly work.

“Knowing him, knowing all the effort that he puts into his preparation, his work ethic, all that work that he puts into his preparation is paying off and he’s recognized with this election,” Moncada said. “That’s something that motivates you, something that lets you know that if you do things the right way, you’re going to get rewarded. For me, it’s a motivation, and I feel really honored to share this team with him.”

Moncada’s first full season in the bigs hasn’t gone smoothly. He’s had his hot stretches — including the last couple weeks; he’s slashing .356/.453/.644 since July 2 — but he’s also had long periods of struggles. Certain aspects, such as a propensity for striking out and making errors at second base, have been constants throughout the campaign.

Renteria refers to the mistakes and the poor results as teachable moments. Does he have a proxy teacher in Abreu?

“I tell him to enjoy the game,” Abreu said. “Enjoy the game, have fun, be a little more focused on the situation of the game. But I think the key is to have fun.”

Mostly, though, Abreu is convinced that Moncada will blossom into the kind of player White Sox fans hoped he would when he brought that top-prospect track record to the organization in the Chris Sale trade. The expectations are undoubtedly high, but Abreu’s been seeing Moncada meet them for some time. The two have known each other since the younger Moncada was 17 years old.

“I think that he was born with special abilities to play this sport,” Abreu said. “Before I met him, there were a lot of people talking about him in Cuba because of his abilities, the talent that he has. And when I met him, it was a very special moment. As soon as I met him, I realized, ‘Wow, what people say about him is true.’ His body type, his ability to play the game. He’s special.”

So will the All Star of today and the All Star of tomorrow one day share the All-Star stage?

“I would like to have that opportunity. Let’s pray to God to have that opportunity,” Abreu said. “If that happens, that would be really special for us.”