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With a one-game lead in the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox need all the talent they can get to hold off the charging Detroit Tigers with just 20 games until the conclusion of the 2012 regular season. They added one more piece to their puzzle on Friday by calling up Jhan Marinez from Triple-A.
Marinez, 24, played with Triple-A Charlotte this year and joins the White Sox after Charlotte's postseason run came to a conclusion on Thursday. In 63 innings with the Knights, Marinez allowed 39 hits, 30 walks and struck out 65 batters.
Between a 1-2/3 innings appearance early this season and a brief stint as a member of the Marlins in July 2010, Marinez has 4-1/3 career innings pitched in the majors with two earned runs and a 1-1 record.
The Chicago White Sox are in a tight playoff race with the Detroit Tigers for the AL Central division crown, and heading into Friday night the White Sox hold a tenuous one game lead over the Tigers. Both teams have dropped six of their last 10 games overall, and that collective swoon has essentially put the wildcard spots in the American League out of reach. The White Sox open a three-game weekend series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, while the Tigers head to Cleveland for a three-pack of games against the Indians. Thanks to the rainout on Thursday night, the White Sox and Tigers will meet once more this season on Monday, Sept. 17 in Chicago.
Here are the AL Central standings:
For a complete look at MLB standings, be sure to check out Sports Illustrated.
Chris Sale and Justin Verlander were scheduled to meet tonight in Chicago with first place in the AL Central on the line, but rain has forced the game to be postponed until Monday, Set. 17. The official announcement can be found below:
Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 14, 2012
Both teams had Monday off, and the Tigers were not scheduled to return to Chicago this season. Monday will be the final time the top two teams in the AL Central will meet in the regular season, Detroit currently trail the White Sox by a single game for the divisional lead. Chicago will head to Minnesota to face the Twins for a weekend series before heading back home for Monday's make-up.
The Chicago White Sox have lost two straight to the Detroit Tigers, leaving them with a slim one game lead in the AL Central. Game 3 of the series between the two is Thursday night, with Chris Sale (16-6, 2.88 ERA) pitching for Chicago against Justin Verlander (13-8, 2.91 ERA) for Detroit. Complete lineups are below.
The White Sox lineup:
1. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
2. Kevin Youkilis (R) 3B
3. DeWayne Wise (L) CF
4. Paul Konerko (R) 1B
5. Alex Rios (R) RF
6. A.J. Pierzynski (L) C
7. Dayan Viciedo (R) DH
8. Alexei Ramirez (R) SS
9. Gordon Beckham (R) 2B
The Tigers lineup:
1. Austin Jackson (R) CF
2. Omar Infante (R) 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 3B
4. Prince Fielder (L) 1B
5. Delmon Young (R) DH
6. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
7. Avisail Garcia (R) LF
8. Brennan Boesch (L) RF
9. Gerald Laird (R) C
First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.
The Chicago White Sox find themselves in a precarious situation. Few expected Manager Robin Ventura to have this team competing for the AL Central this late into the season, outside of a potential Detroit Tigers collapse. But they are competing, and hold a one-game lead in the division. The only problem? Detroit hasn't suffered a collapse, and are hot on their heels with two-straight victories.
Those victories, of course, were over the White Sox. Thursday will be game four of their final series against one another, and with both teams facing relatively easy schedules in the final weeks, it really could come down to whether or not Detroit can grab the lead with another victory.
It's a two-team race at this point, with the Kansas City Royals being third place in the division at 11 games back of the lead, while the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins share the basement at 17.5 games back. This one will come down to the wire, but it all starts with winning the next game you play, and for the White Sox, that would be huge.
You can check out the full standings at SI.com here, but below, we've got the AL Central standings in full.
The Chicago White Sox find themselves just one game up on the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. They're in the midst of their final series against Detroit this season, and they're losing it two games to one, with the finale coming on Thursday. Chicago is tired of losing, especially catcher A.J. Pierzynski. The Chicago Tribune had a quote from Pierzynski in which he talks about moral victories:
"There are no moral victories any more," Pierzynski said. "It's just about winning or losing. Someone once said ‘you play to win the game,' and that's it. There's no such thing as a moral victory.
"We need to come out and win the game (Thursday night), and we're right back where we started this four-game series with four games less on the schedule."
Moral victories are often present in the beginning of the season. An unexpected player might have a breakout performance despite a loss, or bad luck might just come your way despite playing well. When you're locked in a playoff race against a team that nobody thought you'd be competing with at this point in the season, they should be avoided at all costs.
Chicago needed to be on the other side of that 8-6 game on Wednesday, and they'll need to make this series a split on Thursday. After that, they have something of an easy schedule, with two remaining sets against the basement-dwelling Cleveland Indians still coming up. They're going to need those games to be real victories and not of the moral kind.
The Chicago White Sox are seeing the positive in Gavin Floyd's return from the disabled list: although he didn't make it out of the fifth inning and gave up three runs, taking the loss, Floyd and his teammates noted how well the starter pitched in his first four scoreless innings.
Floyd struck out seven and only gave up two hits over the course of his first four innings before giving up a pair of hits and a walk while only recording two outs in the fifth inning. Hector Santiago allowed a third run to score on a single, credited to Floyd, but Floyd's outing was still impressive.
"He looked great for four innings," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "That was as good as I have seen him in a long time. He looked strong, he was really aggressive. He had all his pitches going and I really thought it was going to be a good night for him.
"It’s a shame because he was throwing the ball really well for four innings and in the fifth something happened, I wish I knew what it was," he added.
Floyd's return provides a boost for a team looking to hold on to a one-game lead in the AL Central. If he can expand his stamina to allow him to pitch consistently for five and more innings, he goes back to being a useful starter for the Sox.
The Chicago White Sox allowed the Detroit Tigers to move within one game of their AL Central lead with an 8-6 loss on Wednesday night. The White Sox made a comeback after falling behind, 8-1, but it was a case of too little, too late.
At South Side Sox, Jim Margalus wonders if perhaps Sox manager Robin Ventura hadn't made some curious bullpen decisions, the White Sox may have still had a chance for the win. Margalus takes issue with the use of Brian Omogrosso and particularly Leyson Septimo, who gave up a three-run homer to Prince Fielder in the seventh.
There were a couple problems with those choices. For one, the White Sox offense wasn't done. They came to life in the eighth inning with four runs, including three on Kevin Youkilis' second homer of the night.
The other issue was that the better options were available. Donnie Veal, Ventura's second lefty, eventally pitched to Fielder with nobody on base and the Sox trailing by three (the Sox scored four runs in the eighth to narrow the lead to 8-5). He lured Fielder into a routine flyout.
Margalus sums up his problems with Ventura's decisions nicely:
Ultimately, though, the Tigers shifted the goal posts just far enough by taking advantage of the strange succession of pitchers. It's hard to understand why Ventura didn't treat the middle innings a little more seriously, because the Sox had an opening. Sure, it wasn't coming against Max Scherzer, but the Sox at least made him work. Scherzer threw 100 pitches after five innings, which means Ventura could have planned for at least three innings of the Detroit bullpen if the Sox could keep it close enough. They didn't, and now their lead is down to one game with Justin Verlander pitching in the finale.
The White Sox meet the Tigers one last time this season Thursday, with the first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. CT.
For more White Sox analysis, be sure to visit South Side Sox.
The Chicago White Sox hold just a one-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central heading into their final meeting of the season on Thursday. Chicago has dropped two straight games to the Tigers, who will send their ace, Justin Verlander (13-8, 2.91 ERA), to the mound in an attempt to move into a first-place tie with the White Sox.
Verlander was rocked in his last start, allowing six runs and nine hits over six innings against the Angels on Sept. 8, but was lights out his last outing against the White Sox. On Sept. 2 Verlander pitched eight innings of one-run ball in a 4-2 Tigers victory.
The White Sox will answer with Chris Sale (16-6, 2.88), who has been nearly unstoppable in Chicago lately. Sale is 8-0 with a 1.20 ERA over his last nine home starts, but was the pitcher in the Sept. 2 loss to Verlander. Sale has lost to the Tigers three times this season.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m. CT
Radio: WSCR 670, 97.5 ESPN Deportes
TV: CSN, MLBN
The Chicago White Sox staged a late-inning comeback Wednesday, but were unable to make up a seven-run deficit, losing 8-6.
The Sox took a lead in the bottom of the fourth on a Kevin Youkilis solo homer. Detroit scored three runs in the fifth, and added another three in the seventh on a Prince Fielder home run. A pair of RBI doubles in the top of the eighth gave the Tigers an 8-1 advantage. An Alejandro de Aza single in the bottom of the eighth brought home Dan Johnson, and Youkilis' second home run of the night narrowed the margin to 8-5. An Alexei Ramirez groundout in the ninth brought home Alex Rios, but an Orlando Hudson strikeout ended the game.
Gavin Floyd took the loss for Chicago, after going just 4.2 innings and giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. The loss gives Floyd a 9-10 record on the year. Detroit starter Max Scherzer was credited with the win.
The loss reduces the White Sox' margin in the AL Central to just one game, with the two teams set to face off in the final game of this four-game series tomorrow evening. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT.
The Chicago White Sox announced Tuesday that the first pitch of their Sept. 25 game with the Cleveland Indians had been moved from 7:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m., in order to avoid a conflict with the celebration of Yom Kippur. One man happy for the change: White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who is devoutly Jewish. As Mark Gonzalez of the Tribune reported, Youkilis was obviously excited for the chance to play:
"I guess that means I can play," smiled Youkilis, who is Jewish. "I really didn't know. I know there was talk that there was something about maybe changing it for the fans on that day. But it's a good thing for the playoff stretch."
Youkilis will be fasting and praying from sundown on Sept. 25 to nightfall on Sept. 26 in observance of his religion's holiest day, and would have been unable to play during that period. He expects to be available when the White Sox take the field on the night of Sept. 26.
For more on the White Sox, check out South Side Sox.
With Wednesday's activation of starting pitcher Gavin Floyd from the disabled list, the Chicago White Sox have moved trade-deadline acquisition Francisco Liriano to the bullpen. Liriano has struggled of late, allowing 10 runs and 15 walks in 14 innings across his last three starts. In Tuesday night's game against the Detroit Tigers, Liriano came into the game in relief and allowed the deciding two runs in a Chicago loss.
Liriano told ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers that hopes to fix his problems while in the bullpen by attempting to simplify things:
"I think I was rushing things, trying to do too much, trying to be too fine to the plate instead of just going out there and pitching, thinking about too much stuff at one time," Liriano said prior to Tuesday's game. "Just trying to do my job, try to go to the bullpen and hope I can help the team win some ball games. I think sometimes I go out there try to do too much and I get myself in trouble. I need to relax, calm down and have some fun."
The White Sox have one of the deepest bullpens in baseball, but Liriano could still play a pivotal role in the American League Central division race.
The two teams have split the first two games of the four-game series, with the White Sox winning 6-1 on Monday, and the Tigers coming through with a 5-3 win on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Chicago will look to add to its two game lead over the Tigers, but they'll have to do so without Adam Dunn, who is missing his sixth straight game because of an oblique injury.
Both Robin Ventura and Jim Leyland have announced the starting lineups, and they are as follows:
SP Max Scherzer
SP Gavin Floyd
Floyd will be making his first start for the White Sox since Aug. 26. Floyd was placed on the disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain, but is now healthy enough to start.
For more on the White Sox, check out South Side Sox.
The Detroit Tigers took Game 2 of this week's four-game series from Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, cutting Chicago's lead in the A.L. Central back to two games. But the White Sox will have a chance to widen that lead once again on Wednesday night with a victory.
The White Sox will trot Gavin Floyd out to the mound for his first start since Aug. 26. Floyd is coming off the 15-day disabled list, where he spent time for a strained right elbow flexor. That's good news for the White Sox, as Floyd has been stellar against Detroit so far this season, allowing only two earned runs in 13 innings across two starts. He's also struck out 12 batters in that span.
He'll be facing Tigers starter Max Scherzer, who has allowed only four runs total in his last five starts. That stretch includes a start against the White Sox on Sept. 1 in which he allowed no runs in eight innings while striking out nine. Scherzer, in fact, hasn't struck out less than eight batters in a start since mid-July. The Tigers have gone 8-3 as a team over that span.
Wednesday night's game starts at 7:10 p.m. CT, with CSN broadcasting the game locally.
The Chicago White Sox had a chance on Tuesday night to extend their lead in the A.L. Central to four games, but instead the Detroit Tigers cut Chicago's division lead back to two with a 5-3 victory at U.S. Cellular.
The White Sox jumped out to an early lead, but were unable to build on it. A DeWayne Wise homer in the first inning and a Gordon Beckham homer in the third inning gave Chicago a 2-0 lead, but the bats would more or less go quiet from there. The Tigers tied the game in the top of the fifth on a two-run homer by Austin Jackson, and took a one-run lead two batters later on a Miguel Cabrera solo homer.
In the top of the eighth, Alex Avila pushed Detroit's lead to 4-2 with a single off Francisco Liriano and Andy Dirks added another run on top of that with a single of his own. Alejandro De Aza brought the score to 5-3 with a single in the bottom of the eighth, but Jose Valverde would work a scoreless ninth for his 29th save of the year.
The Chicago White Sox lead the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central by three games. They're hoping to make it four games up on Tuesday as they get started on the second of a four-game series. Jake Peavy is the starter for Chicago and he's had a very rough time. His only wins since the All-Star break have been against the Minnesota Twins. That was also his last start, a win over Minnesota in which he only allowed one run over six innings.
As far as lineups go, the White Sox are keeping theirs totally intact. They're rolling with the same starting nine as they did in game one, and you can find 'em below. The Tigers are making a few changes to their lineup, taking out Ryan Raburn in favor of Andy Dirks in left field, and switching Brennen Boesch with Avisail Garcia. Lastly, they switched out Gerald Laird in favor of Alex Avila.
Chicago White Sox Lineups
Detroit Tigers Lineups
The White Sox went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. That's usually not a recipe for a victory, but tonight it was plenty thanks to Alex Rios.
A huge sixth inning three-run home run by Alex Rios was enough to give Jose Quintana the cushion he needed and gave the Sox the victory. Quintana, who had been struggling recently, was able to right the ship on Monday.
Quintana turned his evening -- and hopefully his September -- around the hard way. He walked Austin Jackson and gave up a single to Ryan Raburn to start the third, bringing Miguel Cabrera to the plate. Robin Ventura saw this act before, as Quintana slammed into walls in his previous two starts. He had Dylan Axelrod warming, but Quintana rendered him unnecessary. He got Miguel Cabrera to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, then froze Prince Fielder with an outside-corner fastball to end the threat.
After that Quintana went on to retire 16 of his next 17 batters en route to the White Sox victory.
For more on the White Sox, check out South Side Sox.
The Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox are locked in a battle for MLB's AL Central Division. The White Sox boast a 76-64 record and sit three games ahead of the Tigers (73-67). Few expected Chicago to be where they're at right now, and those that did probably had some inside knowledge on Robin Ventura, the rookie manager for the team.
He's been doing a great job getting Chicago into contending shape. In fact, he's doing such a good job that he's earning some praise from guys who have been in the league for a very long time. That includes Jim Leyland, current manager of the Tigers, a man with 21 years of experience at the manager level.
J.J. Stankevitz of CSN Chicago had some quotes from Leyland regarding Ventura:
"Like they say in football, some guys have a nose for the football. Some guys have a nose for managing. I think he does, I think he's done a great job, a terrific job," Leyland said. "I don't know this, but I think he's kind of let them play, just play the game, just go play the game. He's not pushing. He's figured it out pretty quick, really. And it helps when you got good players."
Leyland also joked "I'm jealous, because so far he's made it look easy." Even things said somewhat jokingly like that should be held in high regard, on top of the quote above. Leyland is a World Series-winning manager, with two pennants to his name on top of that. Even if his team currently trails in the AL Central (and can still win it at just three games back), his praise should be highly regarded by Ventura and the White Sox.
The Chicago White Sox will look to extend their three-game lead in the AL Central as they take on the slumping Detroit Tigers, who have lost four games in a row.
The White Sox will look to Jake Peavy, who has been excellent in his first full season with the White Sox. Peavy has been with the club since 2009, but injuries have prevented him from exceeding 20 starts in each of the past three seasons.
This year, Peavy is 10-10 and has an impressive 3.22 ERA, posting 162 strikeouts, compared to just 42 walks.
The Tigers will counter with Doug Fister, who joined Detroit in 2011. The tall righty has a 3.54 ERA and is 8-8 on the season.
The Tigers currently trail the White Sox by three games in the AL Central, and are five games back in the wild-card race.
Tuesday's game will start at 7:10 CT, and can be found on CSN.
With Gavin Floyd set to return to the starting rotation, Francisco Liriano will miss a start and be moved to the White Sox bullpen, according to CSN's Dan Hayes. This is a temporary move, and Liriano could start again as early as the weekend, depending on his use as a reliever.
The White Sox are currently in the middle of a four-game series against the Tigers. They will head to Minnesota this weekend, when Liriano could end up back in the rotation.
Floyd has been on the disabled list since Aug. 27 with a right elbow flexor strain. He is expected to return on Wednesday, when Liriano would have made his normal start.
Liriano has struggled with command since coming to Chicago in late July. The lefty has issued 18 walks in his last four starts, compared to 19 strikeouts in the same span.
The Chicago White Sox began their critical four-game series with the Detroit Tigers with a win Monday, thanks to three late home runs.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski hit back-to-back home runs to put Chicago ahead for good. Rios' three-run home run was his 23rd of the season, just one shy from tying his career-high. Gordon Beckham added a two-run home run in the eighth inning to extend Chicago's lead.
Jose Quintana (6-4, 3.52 ERA) picked up the win for the White Sox, allowing just one earned run over 7-2/3 innings while striking out seven. Quintana was coming off back-to-back losses where he allowed 12 earned runs over five total innings so the strong start was a nice change.
Rick Porcello started the game for the Tigers, but was unable to survive the sixth inning, exiting after Pierzynski's home run. With the win, Chicago moves three games ahead of the Tigers in the AL Central.
The two teams will continue their series Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.
The White Sox hit two home runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-1 lead over the rival Tigers through six innings.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but a combination of defensive errors and pitching mistakes led to a three-run homer by Alex Rios in the sixth to give Chicago a lead. A.J. Pierzynski followed up with a solo shot two pitches later to extend the lead to 4-1 and chase Tigers starter Rick Porcello.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana has allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out six.
Rios is 2-for-3, while Pierzynski is 1-for-3. The Tigers have committed three errors, including two in that sixth inning.
Adam Dunn was ruled out for Monday's series opener against the Tigers, and the timetable for his return is still up in the air.
Dunn has missed the previous three games with a sore oblique. His time in the batting cage was restricted before Monday's game, and manager Robin Ventura said an MRI showed "something there." The only thing the White Sox can do is wait for it to feel better, whenever that is, according to CSN Chicago:
"We'll just keep checking on him," Ventura said. "He's not in there today, I know that. He has a chance at some point. But again you don't know until he starts moving around, swinging the bat. Then you find out."
After a two-week absence, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd will return to the rotation on Wednesday to face the Detroit Tigers, as Scott Miller of CBS Sports reports. The right-hander has been dealing with a flexor strain in his right elbow, but he's been completing bullpen sessions recently.
In addition, left-hander Chris Sale will start for the White Sox on Thursday against the Tigers, right on schedule following his strong start against the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 8. Manager Robin Ventura has said that the team won't limit Sale's workload for the remainder of the season.
On Monday, the White Sox are opening a key four-game series against the Tigers. Entering the series, Chicago holds a two-game lead in the AL Central standings over Detroit, so there are major postseason implications for this week's games.
Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn is sitting out of Monday night's game against the Detroit Tigers as he recovers from a nagging oblique issue. The 32-year-old hasn't played in days while he's dealt with the injury.
In his place, White Sox manager Robin Ventura has slid Dayan Viciedo into the designated hitter spot while putting DeWayne Wise's strong glove in left field. A typically poor hitter, Wise has been unusually hot this year with Chicago, hitting .296/.337/.480 in 104 plate appearances, which explains why he's hitting third in the batting order.
The Tigers and White Sox begin a four-game set in Chicago Monday with huge playoff implications on the line
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