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: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Chuck Garfien and Steve Stone take a look back at Mark Buehrle's perfect game. How did Buehrle do it? How did Dewayne Wise make that catch?

Plus, Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski talk about how Buehrle actually told Pierzynski before taking that field that day that he would throw a perfect game and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Yoan Moncada cleans up for White Sox: 'I think we found our No. 4 hitter'

Yoan Moncada cleans up for White Sox: 'I think we found our No. 4 hitter'

Though Jose Abreu and James McCann represented the team at the All-Star Game earlier this month, Yoan Moncada holds the title of the White Sox best hitter through the first 97 games of the 2019 season.

The guy who struck out 217 times during his first full season in the majors last year has been a completely different hitter this time around. Instead of looking lost at the plate, he’s the guy White Sox fans want to see at the plate in run-producing situations. He hasn’t spent much time in one of those traditional run-producing spots in the batting order, but manager Rick Renteria inserted Moncada into the cleanup spot Monday night.

And Moncada cleaned up, all right.

“I think we found our No. 4 hitter,” starting pitcher Ivan Nova said after he went the distance in a 9-1 waxing of the Miami Marlins. “A lot of times you get surprised. While he was hitting second, you're thinking and knowing, the type of hitter that he is — you're only thinking as a player, they have another way to think. But today, I think it was first time hit in fourth, and he showed.”

Moncada went 2-for-4 with the game’s biggest blow, a three-run homer in the fifth inning that blew things wide open. He drove in four runs on the night, and he flashed a potential glimpse of the future of this future-focused franchise.

Combining with Abreu, who went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three runs scored, Moncada showed what the middle of the order might look like for this team when rebuilding finally transitions to contending. That could come as soon as next year, and when you throw the currently injured Eloy Jimenez into that group, the White Sox could boast a fearsome 3-4-5 as soon as later this season.

“If someone is happy that we finally found a cleanup hitter, it’s me,” Abreu said through team interpreter Billy Russo. “Nothing that he does surprises me because I know all the talent he has. I know that he still can do more. He has been working hard. He’s a great baseball player with a lot of talent and I still think he can do more.

“What he did today is not a surprise for me. I still know he’s a great player and I think we’ve seen that throughout the whole season this year. He’s going to get better.”

Moncada has been sensational all season long, proving why the White Sox weren’t at all worried during his struggles in 2018. He owns a .304/.362/.530 slash line through these first 97 games, and his three-run blast Monday night gave him a new career high in that category after he smacked 17 a year ago. He’s six RBIs away from setting a new career high there, too. And even though he made a fielding error Monday that only briefly delayed Nova finishing off his complete-game effort, Moncada has been generally excellent at third base in his first season at that position as a big leaguer.

But putting Moncada in a run-producing spot in the order is a new wrinkle for Renteria this season. Coming into Monday’s game, Moncada had spent 63 games as the team’s No. 2 hitter and just 26 everywhere else. According to the skipper, Moncada is good enough to hit anywhere, and that’s certainly true. His eventual everyday spot in the lineup might have more to do with the hitters around him than simply what he can do by himself.

But if Moncada keeps up the kind of offensive production he’s churned out this season, maybe sticking him right in the thick of the order is what's best for the White Sox — even if those lineups of the future include big bats like those swung by Abreu, Jimenez, Luis Robert and Andrew Vaughn.

“For me, it's an advantage to hit in the cleanup spot having (Abreu) ahead of me,” Moncada said through Russo. “That way, you can see how the pitchers are attacking him, and you have a better idea, in those situations when you need to produce, how the pitchers are doing it. Even though he's a right-handed hitter and I hit from both sides of the plate, it's good. It's something that gives you a better idea of how the pitchers are doing, how their pitches are working.”

“He had a nice game,” Renteria said. “He can hit anywhere in the middle and the top of the order. I wish I could say I'm really a genius, but I'm not. He's got that talent. He's able to take advantage of it and today he had a nice day. He made everybody look good.”

It would make sense to see Moncada batting fourth again as this first homestand of the second half and the 2019 season roll on, but that’s up to Renteria, who has his reasons for every permutation to his lineups.

Of course, if Abreu gets ahold of Renteria's lineup card and starts writing out the batting orders, we’ll know where Moncada will be slotted.

“If I would have that decision,” Abreu said, “I would put him in the cleanup spot for the rest of the season.”

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