Grand Slam gives Sox win in Detroit

Yesterday’s victory for the Chicago White Sox (11-11) over the Detroit Tigers (10-8) was a thrilling one. I watched it this morning and it was a beautiful 6-4 win. I was unable to watch it last night because I attended my first NHL Playoff game: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets!

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It was an AMAZING win for my home team Columbus Blue Jackets as they overcame a 3-0 deficit, sent the game into overtime with a goal with seconds to play and then won the game in OT by a final of 4-3. I cheered so loudly throughout the game that I was sent home from work today because I have no voice. My job is based on talking on the phone, so today is useless. Therefore, I spent the morning watching the Sox game from last night.

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(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Andre Rienzo did well throwing a solid 6 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs on five hits, walked two and struck out three. He really only had one bad inning as the Tigers scored all four runs off of him in the 4th inning thanks to a 2-run single by J.D. Martinez and then a 2-run homer by Austin Jackson.

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(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Sox did have a 2-0 lead early as Jose Abreu for the 2nd straight day hit a homer to deep center field which is over 420 feet from the plate. The Tigers did come back to take the lead, but Rienzo held them right there until the 6th.

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(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Marcus Semien was at the plate with the bases loaded and 2 outs facing reliever Ian Krol. With a 3-1 count, Semien got his pitch taking a 2-seam fastball deep to left and just out of the reach of a leaping J.D. Martinez for the grand slam. That put the Sox ahead for good at 6-4.

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(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The bullpen of Scott Downs, Ronald Bellisario and Matt Lindstrom held it down for Rienzo to get the victory. Lindstrom had a bit of trouble as the Tigers got runners to 2nd and 3rd with just one out, but he was able to get Nick Castellanos to fly out to right and Alex Avila to line out to first for the victory.

Today at 1:08pm ET the Sox will finish their 4-game set against the Tigers as Jose Quintana (1-1; 3.75 ERA) takes the mound against Max Scherzer (1-1; 2.33 ERA) in a great pitching matchup. Quintana had led all of baseball in no-decisions since 2012 and Scherzer won the AL Cy Young last season although the Sox did beat him three times last season.

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(Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

In other White Sox news Gordon Beckham was activated from the DL and recalled and will be in the starting lineup today, play 2nd base, and bat 8th. Conor Gillaspie will get a day off and Marcus Semien will play 3rd base today. Meanwhile, Charlie Leesman was sent back to AAA Charlotte.

Leesman roughed up in outing

Charlie Leesman was roughed up in Detroit yesterday in a spot start for the injured Chris Sale. He allowed six runs on nine hits, walked one and struck out none in just 2 2/3 innings. The Tigers won the game 8-6.

Justin Verlander did well allowing 2 runs on eight hits over seven innings, striking out seven and walking two.

The Sox were down 8-1 early and were able to rally. They score one run in the 6th on an Alexei Ramirez RBI single. Another in the 8th on an Alejandro De Aza sacrifice-fly and three in the 9th on an RBI single from Paul Konerko and a 2-run homer by Adam Dunn. The other run they scored was a solo bomb to deep center from Jose Abreu in the 1st inning. Both homers by Dunn and Abreu were titanic shots. Sadly it was not enough to win.

Tonight Andre Rienzo (0-0; 0.00 ERA) will start for the first time this season in place of Felipe Paulino who is on the DL. He will be opposed by Drew Smyly (1-1; 4.00 ERA).

Sale to shelf

After last night’s thrilling victory over the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers (9-7) the Chicago White Sox (10-10) received some bad news. Chris Sale, who was originally scheduled to start tonight, has been placed on the 15-day DL with a flexor muscle strain. The report is that it is just sore after his 127-pitch effort against Boston the other night. It appears to be just a precautionary measure with the ace of their staff not wanting to cause any further damage.

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(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Sale this season has been brilliant going 3-0 with a 2.30 in four starts thus far. Charlie Leesman has been called up to make the sport start tonight in Sale’s place and Andre Rienzo will start on Wednesday in place of Felipe Paulino who was placed on the 15-day DL earlier in the week.

Tonight’s game begins at 7:08pm ET and puts Leesman (0-0; 0.00 ERA) against Justin Verlander (2-1; 2.08 ERA). This is just Leesman’s 2nd start in his MLB career and his first of this season. In his career he has a 7.04 ERA in eight appearances throwing 15 1/3 innings. His lone start was August 9th, 2013 against Minnesota where he earned a no-decision throwing five innings, allowing one run on four hits, walking five and striking out eight. Leesman is 0-2 with a 1.59 ERA in three starts in AAA Charlotte this season.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

Benefit of replay aids White Sox in win

Through the first six innings of last night’s game in Motown, the Anibal Sanchez was dominating the Chicago White Sox. He allowed only three base runners through the first six frames. Jordan Danks reached on a fielding error by Austin Jackson in the first at-bat of the game, Alejandro De Aza drew a walk in the 3rd, and Marcus Semien led off the 4th inning with a double for the White Sox first hit of the game. Yet no runners had scored.

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(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Detroit meanwhile had a 1-0 lead on an RBI ground out to second base by Alex Avila in the first inning. John Danks had loaded the bases in the frame allowing a lead-off single to Torii Hunter and then walked the next two batters to load the bases with still no outs. After getting Avila to ground out, Danks got Andrew Romine to pop out to first base and Rajai Davis to pop out to second base to end the frame as he escaped the inning just allowing one run.

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(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Then came the 7th inning where the Sox were able to benefit from replay calls to take the lead off Sanchez and the Tigers. Conor Gillaspie led off the inning with a double to right for just the White Sox second hit of the game. He was then driven home on a double by Jose Abreu that just hit the line and bounced into the seats for a ground rule double. This play would be challenged by Brad Ausmus and the Tigers. Watching multiple replays it looked like a fair ball from one angle, a foul from another, and two others it looked as if it may have hit the line but was inconclusive. I saw angles from both the Tigers and White Sox broadcast and it was a tough call. Therefore, the umpires in New York must have ruled it as too close to overturn.

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With the game now tied at 1-1, after Adam Dunn was called out on strikes, Dayan Viciedo would crush a ball to deep center field over the head of Austin Jackson to drive home Abreu and put the White Sox ahead 2-1. Alexei Ramirez would then single on a ground ball to right. Rajai Davis would come up throwing and would throw wild on the play allowing Ramirez to advance to second and Viciedo to come home and score just under the tag of Avila. Viciedo was initially called out on the play. But this also would be reviewed.

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With Robin Ventura already having lost his challenge on a safe-out call at first base in the 4th inning that I think was the wrong call, this one had to be ruled a review in New York. Ventura challenged a call in the 4th where Alex Avila was ruled safe on a ground ball to Alexei Ramirez. It appeared as if Ramirez throw beat Avila to the bag on a great stretch by Jose Abreu at first. Yet Avila was ruled safe. So with one call going against them and one going for them, here came a big third review. Viciedo was clearly safe and the Sox went ahead 3-1.

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This gave John Danks the lead and eventually the victory. He threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits, walking three and striking out one. The bullpen also held it down as Ronald Bellisario threw 1 2/3 innings allowing no runs and getting Ian Kinsler to ground into an inning ending double-play in the 7th with runners at the corners. He also allowed a 2-out double to Torii Hunter in the 8th, but struck out Austin Jackson to end that threat.

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(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Matt Lindstrom would allow a one out double to Alex Avila and walk J.D. Martinez, but would get Rajai Davis to fly out to left and Ian Kinsler to ground into a force out at 2nd base as the rain began to fall to end the game and escape with the win. With the victory the White Sox are just one game behind the Tigers with still three games remaining in the series.

Sox offense explodes

Yesterday the Chicago White Sox made up for their lack of offense in the fist two games of this series as they defeated the Texas Rangers 16-2 yesterday. The team had 18 hits overall yesterday and every player but Adam Dunn had a hit yesterday.

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Marcus Semien was put in a rare leadoff role yesterday with Adam Eaton listed as day-to-day and he delivered. Semien went 4-for-6 with 4 RBI’s pacing the offense while scoring twice. His bases clearing triple in the 6th broke open the game for the Sox.

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Tyler Flowers scored the White Sox first run in the third as he scored on Jordan Danks first homer of the year on a 2-run shot to the 2nd deck in right field.

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After the Rangers tied the game at 2-2, the White Sox went ahead on a sacrifice-fly by Conor Gillaspie. That was followed by a 2-run blast by Jose Abreu. It was Abreu’s 5th homer on the season as he went 3-for-6 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Dayan Viciedo also had a big day going 3-for-5 with a solo homer in the 7th and an RBI single in the 9th. Alejandro De Aza drove in two with an RBI single in the 9th, and Marcus Semien, Conor Gillaspie and Jose Abreu each drove in a run in the inning with Gillasipe’s double driving in two runs.

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The Rangers meanwhile had just two hits in the entire game. Erik Johnson pitched well despite not having good control as he allowed just two runs (one earned) on one hit, walking five and striking out two for the win. Ronald Bellisario threw two scoreless innings allowing no hits and striking out one. Andre Rienzo did allow a hit and walked a batter in the 8th but allowed no runs. And finally Matt Lindstrom threw a scoreless 9th.

The win puts the Sox record at 9-10 on the season as they begin a big 4-game set in Detroit with the division leading Tigers who are 9-6 on the season. The game begins at 7:08pm ET tonight as John Danks (1-0; 3.32 ERA) takes on Anibal Sanchez (0-1; 3.21 ERA). The Tigers won 12 of the 19 games against the White Sox last season.

Meanwhile Felipe Paulino was placed on the 15-day DL and Andre Rienzo was called up from AAA Charlotte. Donnie Veal, who was designated for assignment on Thursday was outrighted to AAA Charlotte yesterday.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

Quintana roughed up in 4th leading to loss

Jose Quintana had one bad inning on Saturday and unfortunately that was enough for the loss. With the game tied at 1-1 at the time, Quintana gave up four runs in the 4th inning. Prince Fielder hit a rocket line drive for a solo homer to lead off the inning that put the Rangers up 2-1. Then Josh Wilson drove home two runs with a 2-out RBI single. Finally Shin-Soo Choo drove home Wilson with an RBI double to put the Rangers up 5-1. They would go on to win the game 6-3.

Quintana allowed five runs on nine hits, walking two and striking out one. The loss drove his ERA up quite a bit to 3.75 on the season.

Meanwhile Colby Lewis held the White Sox in check allowing just one run on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four for his first victory of the year.

Alexei Ramirez went hitless on the night going 0-for-4 and snapping his season long 17-game hitting streak to begin the season which is a new White Sox record.

Paulino needs to go

Felipe Paulino needs to go. He is just awful, terrible, no good and just plain bad. You can use a multitude of words to describe Paulino’s starts this season and none of those words are positive. I didn’t see the game last night and boy am I glad I missed it.

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(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

In his four starts this season, Paulino has given up 35 hits and 23 earned runs over 18 1/3 innings. He has walked 12 and struck out 14. He is 0-2 with an 11.29 ERA thus far and does not appear to be getting any better. His spot in the rotation is certainly in jeopardy after last night’s start in Texas where he allowed 10 runs on 13 hits, walking three and striking out three in just 3 2/3 innings.

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I believe that the White Sox need to designate Paulino for assignment now. Give someone else a chance. There has to be a better option than what Paulino has given. Not even the great Don Cooper can fix this guy.

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(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, while the Rangers destroyed Paulino, the White Sox could not touch Martin Perez. Perez pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits, walking one and striking out eight. Adam Eaton had a leadoff single to begin the game, Leury Garcia had a one out double in the 3rd, Alexei Ramirez extended his 17-game hitting streak with a single in the 5th and Perez walked Jordan Danks in the 6th. That was it. It was ugly.

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(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Zach Putnam came in for Paulino and pitched 2 1/3 innings allowing one run on three hits and Scott Downs pitched the final two innings allowing one run on two hits, walking one and striking out two. In other bad news, Adam Eaton left the game in the 5th inning with an ankle injury. In his very first at-bat he appeared to turn pull his hamstring while turning at the bag, but stayed in the game. He was unable to finish however and is listed day-to-day right now.

Let’s hope tonight is better as Jose Quintana (1-0; 2.70 ERA) will take on Colby Lewis (0-1; 6.75 ERA) at 8:05pm ET.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

White Sox travel to Texas

They say everything is bigger in Texas. And tonight begins a big road trip as the Chicago White Sox (8-8) travel to Arlington to begin a big series against the Texas Rangers (9-7). This is an important series for Chicago as they need to keep pace with the AL Central division leading Detroit Tigers. This 3-game weekend series is right before the Sox travel to Detroit for a 4-game set beginning on Monday. This seven game road trip could go a long way in determining what type of team Chicago will be this season and if they can play the role of a surprise spoiler this season.

Over the last few years the White Sox have done well against the Rangers winning every series against them since 2010. To beat the Rangers and their powerful offense, the Sox will need to keep pace. They should be able to do so as the Sox lead the Majors in runs (87) and are second in the AL in OPS (.762) and on-base percentage (.338). But be aware of Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, Alex Rios and co.

The White Sox will without question need a better effort from Felipe Paulino (0-1; 7.98 ERA) than what he has shown in his three starts this season. Robin Ventura desperately needs him to go deep in the game tonight as the bullpen is depleted and has many questions to begin the season. Paulino will face off against Martin Perez (2-0; 2.70 ERA) who has done very well in his three starts this season.

The game begins at 8:05pm ET tonight. On Saturday the game begins at the same time as Jose Quintana (1-0; 2.37 ERA) and Colby Lewis (0-1; 6.75 ERA) will face off. Finally, on Sunday, Erik Johnson (0-1; 6.35 ERA) will face Robbie Ross Jr. (1-0; 1.00 ERA) at 3:05pm ET.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

Ramirez extends streak in loss

Last night’s game between the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox was a great game. It was a classic pitchers duel between Chris Sale of Chicago and Jon Lester of Boston. In fact, through the first five innings, both pitchers had no hitters going. Sale had walked a runner in the 2nd and hit a batter in the 4th but still had not allowed a hit yet. Lester had a perfect game going. It was a battle that neither wanted to give in.

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(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Something had to give however and Sale allowed the first hit of the game with two outs in the 6th as Xander Bogaerts crushed a fastball over the middle of the plate deep into the left field seats. Alejandro De Aza took a few courtesy steps and just looked up and it was gone. That was the only hit Sale would allow in the game. He threw 127 pitches over seven innings, allowing one run on one hit, walking three, hitting a batter and striking out 10.

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Sale pitched very well and even received some great defense behind him. Adam Eaton robbed David Ortiz of a homer in the 1st inning as he timed his jump, reached his glove over the wall and brought back a ball that was out of the park. It was beautiful.

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Meanwhile, the White Sox could not touch Jon Lester. They finally got their first base runner in the bottom of the 6th when Tyler Flowers singled to short just past the diving Bogaerts with one out in the frame. The next batter, Leury Garcia, would crush a ball to right field that would take one bounce at the warning track and hop over the wall for a ground-rule double that would force Flowers to stop at 2nd base. He would score on the next play however when Adam Eaton would hit a slow roller to second base and beat out Lester who was covering the bag for an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1. That would be all the White Sox would get in the inning.

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(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

In the bottom of the 7th they had a chance to take the lead with Adam Dunn standing at first and Alejandro De Aza at the plate. De Aza ripped a ball down the right field line and into the corner. Dunn not the fastest man, lumbered around the bases and was sent home by Joe McEwing. The Red Sox executed a perfect relay however as Daniel Nava made a perfect throw to Dustin Pedroia who threw a strike to David Ross behind the plate to tag Dunn out.

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(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

They had another chance in the 8th when runners were on 2nd and 3rd with two outs but Lester was able to strike out Dayan Viciedo to end the frame. Lester threw eight solid innings, allowing one run on seven hits, walking none and striking out nine on 112 pitches to get the win.

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(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Ronald Bellisario for the White Sox unfortunately suffered the loss. He worked a solid 7th inning but in the 8th he had some issues. David Ross gave the Red Sox the 2-1 lead on an RBI double. Bellisario then intentionally loaded the bases as Scott Downs entered the game. Jonathan Herrera then drove in a run on a little drag-bunt dribbler down the first base line that Downs made a mistake on not piking up the ball and at least getting one out. The ball had no chance of going foul. I had no idea what he was doing. He was able to get Jackie Bradley Jr. to ground into a double play to end the inning but the Red Sox now had a 3-1 lead.

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Down to their final out, Alexei Ramirez was at the plate and was able to single to left to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. It is the most consecutive game hits a White Sox player has ever had to begin a season, breaking Frank Thomas’ record back in 1993. But that was not enough for the rally as Jose Abreu grounded out to end the game.

Correcting the bullpen

Over the last 10 days, the Chicago White Sox (8-7) have made some minor moves in hopes to eventually correct a terrible bullpen if it does not correct itself.

On April 7th, the Sox signed former Atlanta Braves. Los Angles Angels and Texas Rangers pitcher Tommy Hanson to a minor league contract. He is currently in AAA Charlotte. Hanson, 27, has a 5-6 record with a 3.87 ERA in 26 MLB games since 2009 (22 starts).

On April 14th, the Sox signed veteran reliever Frank Francisco. Francisco has appeared in 387 career games in the majors since 2004. He has a 20-22 record with a 3.93 ERA and 73 saves in 97 chances. He has played for Texas, Toronto, and the New York Mets over his career.

Lastly, today, the White Sox designated Donnie Veal for assignment and recalled Zach Putnam from AAA Charlotte. Veal appeared in seven games this season and posted a terrible ERA of 7.50 this season in just six innings. He allowed five runs on six hits, hit one batter and walked seven batters. Putnam did post good numbers this spring with a 2.53 ERA in 10 games. And in 4 games in AAA Charlotte this season he has allowed no runs and just four hits over six innings of work while striking out 11 batters. Hopefully that translates. Lord knows the White Sox need it.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

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