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Chicago White Sox centerfielder Alejandro De Aza was hit in his right knee during a pickoff attempt at second base on Wednesday, which forced him to leave the game. The White Sox were off on Thursday, and De Aza says he'll be in the lineup when the team starts a series against the Seattle Mariners on Friday.
Alejandro De Aza's right knee was too sore for him to remain in Wednesday's game after getting hit by an errant pickoff throw at second base, but the White Sox center fielder insisted he would return to the starting lineup Friday night against the Mariners.
"Once you get a chance, you have to enjoy it," De Aza said.
In the midst of an eight-game winning streak that has propelled the Chicago White Sox to the top of the AL Central, the team has shifted from a potential seller to a buyer at the trade deadline, according to a report from Bob Nightengale:
The White Sox originally had visions of unloading veterans at the deadline but now plan to add players, according to a high-ranking team official who requested anonymity from USA TODAY Sports because of competitive reasons. They would have given away starter Jake Peavy and his $17 million salary a few months ago. Now he's untouchable, with the White Sox envisioning him as their workhorse for the pennant stretch.
At 29-22 overall, the White Sox have a 1.5 game lead on second place Cleveland.
After Jose Quintana was ejected from Wednesday's game for throwing behind Ben Zobrist, White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson went ballistic, blasting the decision and umpire Mark Wegner's knowledge of baseball. On Thursday, he discussed the incident in a radio interview with 670 The Score
How he feels about the rant now that it is a day later:
"First of all I still have a headache because I got so upset yesterday. I took four Advil after that inning was over and then I had to take four more on the plane and then when I got home last night I had to take four more. Also when I got up this morning I had to take four more. It was a good series, the guy should not have thrown Quintana out, it was a mistake, and like I said the warnings should have been issued when A.J. got drilled and it was just sad. I said what I said and meant what I said. As far as the team goes it was a heck of a road trip."
Chris Sale struck out 15 Rays on Monday. He's currently fourth in the MLB in WAR for pitchers. Z.W. Martin explains why this shouldn't be a shock and how the White Sox secured the extremely talented Sale with the 13th overall pick in 2010.
The Chicago White Sox completed their sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays with a 4-3 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field. The win continues Chicago's stunning run over the past few weeks that's seen the team take 12 of its past 13 games to burst into first place in the AL Central.
In a contentious game that saw White Sox starter Jose Quintana get ejected in the fourth inning, the White Sox bullpen managed to tie up the loose ends without relinquishing the lead. After Nate Jones came in and allowed a pair of runs in relief of Quintana in the bottom of the sixth, the Rays wouldn't score another run for the remainder of the game.
Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and closer Addison Reed, essentially the team's best three relievers, combined to pitch 3.1 shutout innings for the White Sox to finish off Tampa Bay. The Rays threatened in the ninth inning with two runners on and just one out, but Reed got out of the jam to get his sixth save of the year.
Dayan Viciedo continued his own personal hot streak for the Sox by getting three hits, plus Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez added two hits apiece. With the Cleveland Indians also losing this afternoon, the White Sox are now up 1.5 games in the division.
There's been a good deal of action in Wednesday's game between the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, but the on-field battle pales in comparison to the verbal explosion that White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson unleashed in the fourth inning.
During that inning, White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana was ejected for allegedly throwing the ball at Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist. Chicago manager Robin Ventura was also ejected after arguing the call. As you can tell in the video, Hawk doesn't agree with the umpire Mark Wegner's assessment of the situation:
Before Quintana's pitch, A.J. Pierzynski had been plunked by the Rays' Alex Cobb earlier in the game, possibly as a response to a potentially suspicious slide made by the catcher in Tuesday's game. Wegner clearly was concerned about an escalating situation with pitchers throwing at hitters and immediately made a strong statement with the ejection.
Hawk is known to be a major "homer," one of the most team-friendly announcers in all of baseball to the extent that it often bothers many listeners. This is just the latest example of his antics reaching a new level. Even if you think that Quintana's ejection was unnecessary, it's difficult to argue that Harrelson's response was remotely appropriate for a broadcaster.
The Chicago White Sox are leading 3-1 over the Tampa Bay Rays in a contentious game between American League contenders on Wednesday afternoon. White Sox starter Jose Quintana lasted just 3.2 innings before being ejected by umpire Mark Wegner for throwing at Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist.
In the first inning of Wednesday's game, the Sox took the lead on an RBI single by Alex Rios, but the Rays matched in the second inning with a solo homer by Luke Scott, his ninth of the season. Chicago managed to get back the lead in the third inning by stringing together some hits on Rays starter Alex Cobb.
Quintana's apparent attempt to throw at Zobrist appeared to be the last straw for Wegner, who allowed play to continue after the Rays plunked White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski earlier in the game. Tension has been building between the two teams all series as the White Sox look to get another sweep and win for the 12th time in 13 games.
The Chicago White Sox have been bludgeoning the ball during their seven-game winning streak, and with the team hitting like it is, manager Robin Ventura has little reason to shake up his batting lineup on most days. Today is no exception, as the White Sox are rolling out the lineup that they've used for most games during this win streak.
While more highly-touted American League first basemen have struggled to start 2012, Paul Konerko is killing the ball. The White Sox captain might be the best hitter in baseball through the first two months of the season.
The pitching has been good and the hitting has been great as the Chicago White Sox have strung together seven straight wins to move to the top of the A.L. Central. Chicago goes for a series sweep at Tropicana Field with Jose Quintana on the hill. Alex Cobb starts for the Rays.
Quintana is set to make his third start of the season. The 23-year old righty has a 1.54 ERA and 0.86 WHIP with a 1-0 record in Chicago.
Cobb is also young and largely untested. The 24-year old has made two starts this year, winning both while posting a 2.25 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.
Game date/time: Wednesday, May 29, 12:10 p.m. CT
Location: Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay, FL.
A five-run sixth inning helped the Chicago White Sox earned their seventh consecutive victory on Tuesday night when the South Siders defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 at Tropicana Field. Paul Konerko's 14-game hitting streak came to an end, but the White Sox did continue another streak: with Dayan Viciedo's eighth inning solo homer, the Sox have now hit a home run in 15 straight games. The bats are on fire.
Viciedo ended the day 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBI. Fellow Cuban Alexei Ramirez is also heating up. The shortstop went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run. Alex Rios added two hits and a run in the win. Right-hander Philip Humber had what might amount to his best start since throwing a perfect game. Humber allowed five hits and two earned runs while striking out five.
Philip Humber has been solid on the mound for the White Sox on Tuesday night, but he made a mistake against Hideki Matsui, who hit a two-run home run to right field in the fourth. That's the difference at this point, as the White Sox trail 2-1 in the fifth inning.
Chicago picked up its run in the fifth, with some help from the Rays. An errant throw to first base by James Shields allowed Dayan Viciedo to advance all the way to third, and Alexei Ramirez promptly singled him home.
Other than that, Shields has been in control -- he's struck out seven batters through five innings.
Chris Sale threw 115 pitches in a dominant performance against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. There were concerns over that pitch total since Sale had been bothered by soreness in his pitching arm earlier in the season. White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has heard the criticism and he does not appreciate it.
"But this pitch count thing, we’re in the American League," Cooper said. "We’re not in Little League. But nevertheless, people that bring up pitch counts are people who have nothing else to really know. And it just blows me away. They’re doing that to say, ‘God forbid if someone goes down, I told you so.’ And these are people that are not in the arena and never really played, so what kind of validity does any of that hold?
The Chicago White Sox will have a storm of extra media at the Tampa Bay Rays game on Tuesday night, as veteran slugger and Japanese superstar LF Hideki Matsui makes his firsts appearance of the 2012 season.
Even hours before the first pitch, the media had begun stir:
With Matsui taking left field, he begins what will be his attempt at a late-career resurgence. He did not hit well in his few Triple-A games, but there is reason to suspect the 38-year-old slugger still has a season or two left in him.
While the injury-plagued Rays send out their 45th lineup of the season, the White Sox will stick with their 28th as they send out the same order as Monday's opener:
White Sox Lineup (courtesy of @whitesox)
Rays Lineup (courtesy of @JB_Long)
Chris Sale struck out 15 and Adam Dunn jacked his 16th home run of the year as the Chicago White Sox earned their sixth consecutive victory by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Monday. On Tuesday, Philip Humber will take the mound for Chicago as Tampa Bay sends out 30-year old righty James Shields.
Humber has pitched well since his becoming the 21st pitch in baseball history to throw a perfect game earlier this season in Seattle. The 29-year old righty enters at 1-2 with a 5.80 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.
Shields has been stellar for the Rays, starting the season at 6-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
Game date/time: Tuesday, May 28, 6:10 p.m. CT
Location: Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay, FL.
Adam Dunn will get much of the credit for his two-run homer to key the Chicago White Sox's 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday afternoon, but the South Siders could not have grabbed their sixth consecutive win without the effort of 23-year old lefty starter Chris Sale. Sale struck out 15 Tampa Bay hitters overs 7.1 innings at Tropicana Field in what amounts to a career-best effort for the White Sox's emerging star.
Sale's 15 strikeouts is the second most ever by a White Sox pitcher since 1918, finishing second to only Jack Harshman's 16 strikeouts over nine innings on July 25, 1954.
Sale, who just a month ago battled elbow soreness and was briefly sentenced to the bullpen, talked to Comcast SportsNet Chicago about his dominant effort.
The Chicago White Sox are one of the hottest teams in Major League Baseball and they increased their current winning streak to six with a win over Tampa Bay on Monday afternoon. Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski are having career years; Adam Dunn and Alex Rios have bounced back nicely from rough seasons a year ago; Jake Peavy is finally having the impact on the mound that the Sox thought he'd have when they traded for him.
These developments have helped Chicago close in on first place in the AL Central, and they're starting to get more attention from the rest of baseball, too. In their latest power rankings for CSN, Tony Andracki and J.J. Stankevitz both have the White Sox in the top 10. Stankevitz has the Sox all the way up at No. 4, noting that they have the second best run differential in the American League.
Right from the start, it was clear that Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale had brought his A-game to Tropicana Field. Sale piled up strikeouts throughout the afternoon, finishing with a career-high 15, and the White Sox prevailed over the Rays, 2-1.
Related: White Sox remake themselves at home
While Sale came up one strikeout short of the Sox club record, he did set a new Tropicana Field record.
Chris Sale set a K record at Tropicana Field today with 15.The previous record, 14, was held by Pedro Martinez.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 28, 2012
Sale allowed just three hits and one run in 7-1/3 innings. Adam Dunn delivered the big hit for Chicago, a two-run bomb to right in the sixth inning.
The Chicago White Sox may have an impressive 9 strikeouts from SP Chris Sale, but the 23-year-old lefty is playing with a deficit after the Tampa Bay Rays took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 4th inning.
The Rays lineup -- currently without four of its regular starters -- has struggled making any contact against Sale. Tampa Bay has only three hits, but two of those hits -- singles from RF Ben Zobrist (who also stole second) and DH Jose Lobaton -- came back-to-back in the fourth, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the White Sox hitters have mounted several threats, but have ultimately failed to break through SP Matt Moore. Moore has allowed 2 singles and 1 walk while striking out 6 White Sox batters.
The Chicago White Sox (26-22) hope to have their starting third baseman, Brent Morel back with the team and healthy. According to Chicago Sun-Times writer Daryl Van Schouwen, the 25-year-old is nearing the next stage of his rehabilitation from his nagging back injury:
Morel, 'feeling better than I have all year,' taking bp for first time since DL'd. Off to Charlotte tues for rehab.— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) May 28, 2012
And Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune passed on this photo of Morel taking grounders at Tropicana Field ahead of the team's game against the Tampa Bay Rays:
Morel's workout: twitter.com/MDGonzales/sta…— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) May 28, 2012
Morel was hitting only .177/.225/.195 through the early part of the season while playing through his back pain.
As the old saying goes: if it's averaging 11 runs in its last three games, don't fix it. Well, okay, that's not an old saying at all, but it's definitely the mindset of Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who has seen his team absolutely clobber the ball during its recent four-game winning streak. With that in mind, he's sending out what should more or less be his typical lineup going forward.
The White Sox open a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.