Entrance Konerko's final nod to fans in exit

Walk from center field allows everyone to feel a part of ceremony

Entrance Konerko's final nod to fans in exit

CHICAGO -- There was a definite plan behind Paul Konerko's center-field entrance during his jersey number retirement ceremony Saturday, aside from taking the longtime White Sox captain somewhat out of his comfort zone.

Brooks Boyer, the White Sox senior vice president, sales and marketing, explained Sunday that having Konerko walk in from center allowed fans situated in the outfield a chance to feel like a part of the ceremony. There was talk of using a fog machine as well, but the notion was overruled.

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

White Sox still seeking return to norms

Offensive inconsistency stalling rise up standings

White Sox still seeking return to norms

CHICAGO -- The White Sox offense has been a strange mix of inconsistency for six weeks.

The South Siders rank 27th in pitches per plate appearance at 3.68, and sit last in total numbers of pitches seen at 5,426. Yet, the free-swinging group also sits last in extra-base hits with 88, making them one of three teams in the Majors entering play Sunday with fewer than 100.

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

Sale runs into early trouble with fastball

Lefty gives up pair of solo HRs in second inning

Sale runs into early trouble with fastball

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale's slider might just be one of the most effective pitches at getting batters out in the American League, and his other pitches are still strong, evidenced by his 2.86 career ERA.

But in a minor blip during Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Twins, he found out just how much his slider stands out above the rest.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In a flash, Sale burned by early home runs

In a flash, Sale burned by early home runs

CHICAGO -- Minnesota starter Trevor May had never thrown more than five strikeouts this season, but on Saturday, he struck out nine to help the Twins beat the White Sox, 4-3. May went seven innings without a walk and allowed six hits to keep the White Sox offense at bay.

Chicago's offense left six men on base, unable to make up an early deficit in full after the third inning. The White Sox are averaging 2.33 runs in their last six games, four of which have been losses.

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Greg Garno is a contributor to MLB.com. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Konerko's No. 14 retired on South Side

Captain thanks fans, organization for opportunity to play 16 seasons

Konerko's No. 14 retired on South Side

CHICAGO -- The No. 14 already had been unveiled at U.S. Cellular Field, sitting in the pantheon of the 10 previously retired White Sox numbers (including Jackie Robinson), and located between Luis Aparicio (No. 11) and Ted Lyons (No. 16).

Then Paul Konerko, the man who so capably owned the number for 16 seasons on the South Side, stepped to the microphone.

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

Konerko, family honored by speed of number retirement

Konerko, family honored by speed of number retirement

CHICAGO -- If timing really is everything, then it's easy to understand why the retirement of Paul Konerko's jersey No. 14 meant so much to the White Sox captain on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

Konerko knew this moment was coming since last Sept. 27, when his retirement was celebrated with a concourse statue, among numerous other gifts. But the fact that it came so quickly not only pleased Konerko but also his entire group of family and friends who took in the tribute.

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

White Sox officially retire Paul Konerko's number

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White Sox officially retire Paul Konerko's number

Though Paul Konerko started with Los Angeles, he played almost his entire career in Chicago, retiring just last year. On Saturday, the club thanked him for his 16 years wearing a White Sox uniform by hanging up his number for good. 

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Bond between Ozzie, Konerko one of respect

Former manager, captain reunited for jersey retirement ceremony

Bond between Ozzie, Konerko one of respect

CHICAGO -- Prior to Paul Konerko's jersey being retired Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, Ozzie Guillen told the media that No. 14 made him a better manager, and he did the same for players around him.

Konerko extended the same high level of respect back to his former manager in comments made after the ceremony.

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

Noesi adjusting to spontaneity of role

Called on fill in on mound as starter and reliever

Noesi adjusting to spontaneity of role

CHICAGO -- White Sox right-hander Hector Noesi is in his fifth year in the league, and he knows by now to be ready for anything. So when manager Robin Ventura told him that he would be the starting pitcher for Monday night's game in Toronto, he wasn't fazed.

That doesn't mean it's easy for him to go back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Samardzija settles in after shaky start

Sox righty strikes out 9, retires 17 straight over 8 innings

Samardzija settles in after shaky start

CHICAGO -- The Jeff Samardzija who faced the first six Minnesota hitters during a 3-2 White Sox victory Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field didn't seem destined to be in this weekend series opener for long.

Samardzija allowed two runs in the first inning, went to five full-counts among those six and topped out at 35 pitches after walking Eduardo Escobar to open the second. Luckily for the White Sox, that particular version of Samardzija didn't stay long.

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

Garcia to be patient with right knee injury

Shuck comes through with big RBI as last-minute replacement

Garcia to be patient with right knee injury

CHICAGO -- Avisail Garcia was scratched from Friday's White Sox starting lineup against the Twins with inflammation in his right knee. Garcia left in the 10th inning of Monday's game against the Indians due to the knee issue, but he played Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

In comments made by the right fielder following the White Sox 3-2 victory at U.S. Cellular Field, it sounded as if Garcia will be more cautious with his next return.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

For Cusack, Konerko represents the good in sports

For Cusack, Konerko represents the good in sports

CHICAGO -- John Cusack isn't acting when he steps into the role of a Chicago sports fan. He comes by it naturally, and he's thrilled that the White Sox are retiring No. 14 in honor of Paul Konerko.

"Paul is just absolute class,'' Cusack said. "[He's the] same guy every day. Even when he was battling through a slump, you could cheer for him because of his work ethic, his hustle, his quiet dignity, the way he went about his craft. … I took as much pleasure watching him work his way out of slumps as I did when he was ripping up the league, you know? It's just the way he plays. It's his character.''

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shark shows bite as Sox sink Twins, end skid

Shark shows bite as Sox sink Twins, end skid

Chicago -- Right fielder J.B. Shuck wasn't supposed to start Friday night, but his sacrifice fly to deep center in the eighth inning proved to be the go-ahead run in Chicago's 3-2 victory over the Indians.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura scratched right fielder Avisail Garcia with right knee inflammation after batting practice, replacing him with Shuck at the last minute. Shuck finished with two hits and a run scored on top of his sacrifice fly.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Greg Garno is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodon's next start delayed; Noesi to take hill Monday

Top prospect has struggled with command in Majors

Rodon's next start delayed; Noesi to take hill Monday

CHICAGO -- Carlos Rodon's previous start for the White Sox came on Wednesday night against the Indians, when the rookie southpaw walked five over six innings and allowed one run.

His next start takes place on … .

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

Konerko embraces passion for hockey in retirement

Konerko embraces passion for hockey in retirement

CHICAGO -- When the Blackhawks take the ice Saturday night for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Anaheim Ducks, Paul Konerko and his wife, Jennifer, will be present at the United Center.

Konerko possibly could have been on that ice as a player at some point in the past decade if not for a decision to stick with baseball when his family moved from Rhode Island to Arizona. Based on his jersey No. 14 being retired by the White Sox Saturday afternoon, Konerko appears to have made the correct call.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Konerko's everyman style made him a favorite

Statistics alone cannot begin to measure why slugger touched hearts of fans

Konerko's everyman style made him a favorite

His tools were a first baseman's mitt and a bat, not a sledgehammer or a wrench. But Paul Konerko was the first person you wanted to see after clocking in on the job. Any job.

He wasn't ever just another guy, just another baseball player, but he carried himself like he could have been your mailman or auto mechanic -- not the guy facing Mariano Rivera with the game on the line. The deep connection that developed between Konerko and White Sox fans is the way baseball should be.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox forming 'special' bond in clubhouse

'Win or lose, we're still having a good time,' Flowers says

White Sox forming 'special' bond in clubhouse

CHICAGO -- The White Sox lost two straight entering Thursday's series finale against the Indians with an offense that has struggled to provide run support. But that hasn't changed the attitude in the clubhouse.

A group of players gathered in the back to watch a movie Thursday. Another group sat around to talk strategy in "Clash of Clans," a mobile game. Plenty of others talked or laughed despite being a group that dropped below .500 again.

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Greg Garno is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense lacking, arms shaky in first home series loss

Sox muster 8 runs in 4 games as Indians starters steal show

Offense lacking, arms shaky in first home series loss

CHICAGO -- Give the Cleveland starting quartet of Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Shaun Marcum and Danny Salazar plenty of credit for holding the White Sox to eight runs in total during the South Siders' first home series loss of the 2015 season after five straight home series wins.

Cleveland captured its third straight game in this four-game set with a 5-2 victory Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field. But even with due credit paid to the Indians' hurlers, the White Sox offense that broke free over a recent six-game winning streak and a 10-3 run moving into this past Tuesday's contest needs to be more productive.

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

Danks dinged early as Sox drop third straight

Danks dinged early as Sox drop third straight

CHICAGO -- The Indians handed the White Sox their first home series loss after five straight victories by virtue of a 5-2 decision Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Cleveland claimed the last three games of this four-game set, allowing eight runs in total.

Danny Salazar followed the tone set by Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Shaun Marcum by holding the White Sox to five hits over six innings while striking out eight and walking three. The Indians picked up all the runs they needed in the first with four put up against John Danks.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. 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 backstops struggling to find groove at plate

Flowers, Soto combine for 12 RBIs, 42 strikeouts entering Thursday

Sox backstops struggling to find groove at plate

CHICAGO -- White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers can put up the numbers. Just last season he set career highs in at-bats, hits, runs, RBIs and home runs. But this year, he hasn't found that same success.

In 78 at-bats, Flowers is hitting .205 with only seven RBIs and 25 strikeouts and hasn't fared well getting on base, posting a .253 OBP.

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Greg Garno is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodon yet to consistently fill the zone

Left-hander has issued 15 walks in 16 innings over first three starts

Rodon yet to consistently fill the zone

CHICAGO -- There's little doubt in the minds of anyone associated with the White Sox that Carlos Rodon will develop into a frontline starter, much sooner than later.

But for the 22-year-old southpaw, who made his third big league start during a 4-3 loss to the Indians on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, this ascension clearly remains a work in progress. It's a sentiment that Rodon himself fully understands after walking five in six innings while striking out four and holding the Indians to just one run.

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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.

Control issues bite Rodon, Jennings in loss

Control issues bite Rodon, Jennings in loss

CHICAGO -- With at least one baserunner in 15 of the last 16 innings, the Indians finally saw results in a 4-3 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday night. A three-run seventh inning gave Cleveland the run support it needed against a Chicago team that has scored six runs in the first three games of the series.

Indians closer Cody Allen gave up one run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single from Alexei Ramirez, but he struck out pinch-hitter J.B. Shuck with the bases loaded to escape the jam and earn his eighth save.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Consistency the heart of Abreu's game

Slugger emerging as White Sox leader on and off the field

Consistency the heart of Abreu's game

CHICAGO -- Using the team "streak hitter" in describing Jose Abreu would be accurate only in the sense that the reigning American League Rookie of the Year already has put together four hitting streaks of at least 14 games.

Otherwise, Abreu has been the picture of consistency since joining the White Sox prior to the 2014 season.

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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.

Johnson sharpening skills at Triple-A

White Sox confident second baseman will earn trip back to Majors

Johnson sharpening skills at Triple-A

CHICAGO -- Nick Capra has not spoken to Micah Johnson since the White Sox Opening Day second baseman was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte before last weekend.

But the White Sox director of player development doesn't need to hear the words directly from Johnson to know the hard work he'll put in to get back to the Majors.

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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 trending upward because of arms

Starting rotation key to recent positive stretch

White Sox trending upward because of arms

CHICAGO -- Fans should take a big-picture view of the White Sox following a 3-1 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, instead of gnashing teeth over a season-high six-game winning streak coming to an end.

For starters, this setback was more about Trevor Bauer and what he did on the mound as opposed to what the White Sox hitters didn't do at the plate. Bauer improved to 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA over 21 innings against the South Siders this season by striking out seven and allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings.

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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 battles but comes up short vs. Bauer

Quintana battles but comes up short vs. Bauer

CHICAGO -- Despite being overshadowed by ace Corey Kluber, Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer was equally as impressive in a 3-1 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday night. Bauer was quiet as he left the mound the final time in the eighth inning, exiting without much notice after allowing one earned run and four hits and striking out seven over 7 1/3 innings.

The victory snapped Chicago's six-game winning streak and marked back-to-back games in which the White Sox scored two runs or fewer. White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia drove in the lone run with his single in the fourth inning for an offense that struggled to put balls between gaps.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.