Shark buckles down, tames first-place Tigers

Shark buckles down, tames first-place Tigers

CHICAGO -- The White Sox five-game losing streak came to an end Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field by virtue of a 5-2 victory over the Tigers. The South Siders improved to 7-3 at home, to go with their 2-11 road record.

Jeff Samardzija (2-2) earned the victory, allowing two runs on seven hits over seven innings, while striking out seven and walking one. Samardzija's night came to an end with runners on first and second in the seventh, when he took Ian Kinsler's line drive up the middle off his right arm and still recovered to nail him at first. Zach Duke and David Robertson completed the victory.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shark steps up, plays role of stopper

Shark steps up, plays role of stopper

CHICAGO -- As manager Robin Ventura approached the mound in the seventh inning to talk to Jeff Samardzija on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, with two Tigers runners on, two out, Ian Kinsler hitting and the White Sox holding a three-run lead, Ventura knew the right-hander could potentially give him a "half yes" when asked if he had enough stuff to get through the frame.

"His was a full yes," said Ventura with a smile following the White Sox 5-2 victory, ending a five-game losing streak and improving the team to 7-3 at home.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hahn not prone to making kneejerk reaction

Hahn not prone to making kneejerk reaction

CHICAGO -- One basic question needs to be answered by the White Sox as a result of all the struggles during the first week of the 2015 season.

Is this a good White Sox team playing bad baseball or is it a team that might have been overestimated talent-wise in the offseason and coming out of Spring Training? Not surprisingly, the Sox categorically went with the first choice when asked prior to Tuesday's series opener with the Tigers.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale aims to bounce back against Tigers

Sale aims to bounce back against Tigers

Not many pitchers would look forward to getting away from the Twins and facing the Tigers. After Minnesota scored nine runs off Chris Sale last week, however, the left-hander has to hope a rematch with Detroit can get him back in form Wednesday night when the Tigers and White Sox play the middle game of their three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.

Sale is 6-5 with a 2.85 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 98 innings against the Tigers, including six innings of two-run ball April 18 in Detroit. Sale is unbeaten in his last three starts against the Tigers dating back to last summer, and he has nine consecutive quality starts against them since 2013.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox confident offense will rebound

White Sox confident offense will rebound

CHICAGO -- Entering Tuesday's series opener against the Tigers, the White Sox rank last in the American League in runs scored (70), runs per game (3.18), home runs (12) and stolen bases (four). They rank 13th in on-base percentage (.296), 14th in slugging percentage (.341) and ninth in average (.242). They also have a 1-13 record when scoring three runs or less and have scored two runs or less in 11 of their 22 games.

It's a remarkable run of team-wide struggles that combined with the Major League's second-worst starting pitchers' ERA, has produced the 8-14 start. With the proven players on this roster, it's also a disastrous stretch that should level out at some point.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eaton over flu, returns to starting lineup

Eaton over flu, returns to starting lineup

CHICAGO -- Adam Eaton returned to the White Sox starting lineup Tuesday after missing three games in Minnesota due to a severe bout with the flu. Eaton had a temperature hovering in the 103 degree area for three days and said he lost 10 pounds before the fever broke on Sunday, with the flu symptoms taking hold Wednesday in Baltimore.

"I'm glad my wife [Katie], she went to Minnesota. I'm glad I had the strength of her to help me out and give me fluids or I really don't know what I would have done," Eaton said. "I would have probably just died in my bed.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flowers finds room to grow in the shadows

Catcher confident in contributions to team success, despite fans' perceptions

Flowers finds room to grow in the shadows

CHICAGO -- The message might be slightly altered whenever Tyler Flowers makes an out in front of the home faithful. The meaning remains the same.

"We want A.J. back," stands as the paraphrased commentary aimed at the White Sox current starting catcher.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox finale marred by poor D, Danks' short start

Sox finale marred by poor D, Danks' short start

MINNEAPOLIS -- For the second straight season, the Twins swept a four-game series from the White Sox at Target Field by virtue of Sunday's 13-3 rout of the South Siders. Only six of Minnesota's runs were earned, with Chicago committing four errors during one of its roughest performances in an underachieving 2015 season. The Twins outscored the White Sox, 31-8, and during Chicago's five-game losing streak, it has been outscored, 39-10.

"Today, hats off to their club. They came out swinging and beat us," White Sox catcher Geovany Soto said. "When we go out there, it's, 'Today is the day it's going to change. Today is the day we're going to come out here and beat somebody and get the ball rolling.'"

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Subpar week capped by rough performance

Abbreviated start, poor defense lead to rout as losing streak hits five

Subpar week capped by rough performance

MINNEAPOLIS -- With one sentence following the White Sox 13-3 loss to the Twins on Sunday afternoon at Target Field, John Danks just might have provided his team's mantra for the remaining 140 games this season.

"It all falls on us in here," Danks said. "I keep saying it, but it's true. We've got to be better."

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Jim Callis

Sanchez on Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week

Mets' top prospect threw 14 scoreless innings, struck out 19 in two starts

Sanchez on Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

Triple-A Las Vegas's Cashman Field is one of the toughest places to pitch in professional baseball. Games there averaged 11.9 runs per game in 2014, the fifth-highest total in the Minor Leagues, and an average of 11.1 runs per contest are being scored this season.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

Mother's Day is Sunday, and for Melissa Rupert of Liberty Township, Ohio, it will be the first one to celebrate as the mother of a baby boy named Noah.

"He's my entire world," Rupert said. "Every day, I hold my baby boy as tightly as he'll let me and remind myself that he is my rock and my joy, and I barely think about ... breast cancer."

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beckham excelling in utility role for White Sox

After returning from a stint with the Angels, seven-year vet has played three positions

Beckham excelling in utility role for White Sox

MINNEAPOLIS -- The days of Gordon Beckham being asked about his offensive game haven't exactly disappeared. The days of this exceptional defensive player breaking down every nuance of his offensive approach stand as a thing of the past.

Beckham has no qualms talking about the super-utility role where he's currently excelling for the White Sox. The 28-year-old started at third base in Sunday's series finale, picking up a game's worth of at-bats after having just two pinch-hit opportunities this week.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Abreu: Blame falls on players, not Ventura

Slugging first baseman, team leader says manager 'lets you play your game'

Abreu: Blame falls on players, not Ventura

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Abreu issued strong words of support for Robin Ventura Sunday morning, not that the White Sox manager truly needed them after just 21 games making up a rough start.

But the first baseman, who has quickly and quietly become a clubhouse leader, said blame should fall upon the players on the field.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flu bug shakes up White Sox lineup

Eaton misses third straight game; Flowers out for series finale

Flu bug shakes up White Sox lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox have been a hit by a flu bug this weekend in Minnesota that left center fielder and leadoff man Adam Eaton unavailable for the past three days and knocked catcher Tyler Flowers from the starting lineup Sunday.

Eaton was sent home to Chicago on Saturday because he wasn't well enough to play, although he is improving and the White Sox hope to have him back for Tuesday's series opener at home against the Tigers.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox skid at 4 after Noesi struggles

White Sox skid at 4 after Noesi struggles

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ricky Nolasco picked up the win in his return from the 15-day disabled list, backed by homers from Torii Hunter and Trevor Plouffe in a 5-3 victory over the White Sox on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.

Nolasco, who was out for nearly a month with inflammation in his right elbow, wasn't his sharpest, but he kept the Twins in the game. The right-hander went five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, before he was removed for pitch-count reasons. Relievers Aaron Thompson, Blaine Boyer, Brian Duensing, Michael Tonkin and Glen Perkins combined to close it out for the Twins, who won their third straight to reach .500 for the first time this season at 12-12.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodon adjusting to role as a reliever

Rodon adjusting to role as a reliever

MINNEAPOLIS -- At some point in the not too distant future, rookie left-hander Carlos Rodon will become a regular part of the White Sox rotation. Until then he will have to adjust to high-leverage relief outings such as the one he was presented in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Twins at Target Field.

Right-hander Hector Noesi ultimately could be the odd man out in an eventual rotation switch. Noesi made just his third start of the 2015 season against the Twins, with inclement weather and the civil unrest in Baltimore leading to his being skipped. Noesi became a successful reclamation project of pitching coach Don Cooper in 2014, but he seems to understand the current situation without directly addressing it.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Samardzija focused on next start, not future

Samardzija focused on next start, not future

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Jeff Samardzija will be a free agent for the first time in his career at the end of the 2015 season. That fact has been discussed numerous times since he was acquired from Oakland in a six-player deal last December, with the White Sox expressing a desire to keep him past this current campaign.

But Samardzija has enough to worry about in-season without giving great thought at this point to what his future holds. He'll be pitching on Tuesday at home against Detroit, and that's all that matters in the short term.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ventura: 'Get one win, one day'

Ventura: 'Get one win, one day'

MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox aren't worried about their sub-.500 record or their fourth-place standing in the American League Central.

Before fans get up in arms over this opening comment, take the statement with a little bit of context and mix in the date: May 2.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox misfiring on all cylinders

Club expected to generate fireworks 1-11 in games scoring three runs or fewer

White Sox misfiring on all cylinders

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's not a shock that the White Sox have a 1-11 record when they score three runs or fewer in a game during the 2015 season. The real surprise is that a team built in the offseason to produce, with seemingly few holes up and down the lineup, has played that many low-scoring games.

Game No. 12 came on Friday at Target Field, with the White Sox (8-12) falling by a 1-0 decision to Minnesota's Kyle Gibson and Glen Perkins. It sounds like a broken record for a team that has struggled with the bats for the first month of the season, but the mantra remains to fight through the tough times because the good times are ahead after Tyler Flowers struck out on three pitches to end the game with the potential tying run on third and go-ahead run on second.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quintana loses duel with Twins on wild pitch

Quintana loses duel with Twins on wild pitch

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Gibson outdueled lefty Jose Quintana, as the right-hander tossed eight scoreless innings to lead the Twins to a 1-0 win over the White Sox on Friday night at Target Field.

Gibson scattered just four hits and a walk with four strikeouts, including Jose Abreu swinging twice. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the second by getting Tyler Flowers to ground into an inning-ending double play. He also ran into trouble into the seventh, with runners at the corners and two out, but he got J.B. Shuck to line out softly to third.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Johnson's respect for Ventura needs no review

White Sox manager mentoring rookie infielder

Johnson's respect for Ventura needs no review

MINNEAPOLIS -- There was little chance for the White Sox to change the final outcome of Thursday's series opener at Target Field when they came to bat trailing by 10 in the ninth inning.

So why did White Sox manager Robin Ventura challenge an out call at first base on a slow roller by Micah Johnson to lead off the frame? For starters, a manager never stops managing, regardless of the score. Johnson also looked to beat the throw across the diamond, and that hit would have given Johnson three for the night and a nice boost to the 24-year-old rookie infielder.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox ready to turn page on slow April

Bullpen showing consistency, while rotation, offense try to find legs

White Sox ready to turn page on slow April

MINNEAPOLIS -- The revamped White Sox bullpen closed out the month of April with a 2.91 ERA, which stands sixth in Major League Baseball.

If a White Sox fan would have known this fact back in March, following last season's struggles, he or she probably would have guessed that the team would be leading the American League Central or at least near the top. But here's the caveat: White Sox starting pitchers finished the month with a 5.47 ERA, ranking them ahead of only the Red Sox (5.75 ERA).

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former All-Star Quentin announces retirement

Former All-Star Quentin announces retirement

HOUSTON -- Two-time American League All-Star Carlos Quentin asked for his release from the Mariners after five games with Triple-A Tacoma and announced his retirement from baseball on Friday.

"Over the past several days, it became clear to me that my injuries have taken too great of a physical toll for me to be able to perform at the level I expect from myself," said Quentin. "As a result, I believe it is the right time for me to walk away and to refocus my energy on the next chapter of my life with my family."

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale's 'bad day' adds to White Sox road woes

Chicago falls to 2-8 away from home after rout in Minneapolis

Sale's 'bad day' adds to White Sox road woes

MINNEAPOLIS -- On a night when Chris Sale set a couple of dubious individual pitching marks amidst his impressive young career, the White Sox ace and leader wasn't going to have blame laid anywhere else but on his shoulders.

"Don't judge my teammates on what I put them in. I was bad," said Sale, following Chicago's 12-2 loss at Target Field. "I gave up nine hits. There's no defending that. I walked a couple of guys. If there's anything, it's me being pretty darn bad out there.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eaton shaves beard in effort to shed poor start

'That guy stunk,' says White Sox center fielder after 1-for-5 night

Eaton shaves beard in effort to shed poor start

MINNEAPOLIS -- The man standing in front of Adam Eaton's locker following Chicago's 12-2 loss Thursday night at Target Field looked somewhat like the White Sox leadoff man and center fielder.

There was one major difference -- the beard that Eaton featured pretty much since joining the White Sox had been all but shaved away.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox fall as Sale, defense struggle in opener

Sox fall as Sale, defense struggle in opener

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins roughed up White Sox ace Chris Sale, who turned in one of the worst outings of his career, as Minnesota's offense broke out with a seven-run third inning in a 12-2 win on Thursday night at Target Field.

Sale, who entered with a 2.37 ERA, gave up nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and two walks over just three innings. Sale had never given up nine runs in any of his previous 88 starts, and the eight earned runs tied a career-worst. It was also his shortest outing since also going three innings on May 27, 2014, against the Indians.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.