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White Sox’ Hector Noesi keeps battling after rough first inning

Hector Noesi gave up six runs (five earned) eight hits six-plus innings. | PSullivan/AP

Hector Noesi gave up six runs (five earned) and eight hits in six-plus innings. | Pat Sullivan/AP

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Updated: June 23, 2014 1:10PM



HOUSTON — Four weeks ago, in his last game for the Texas Rangers, Hector Noesi was rocked by the White Sox in one inning, allowing seven earned runs. Perhaps a bit oddly, the Sox claimed him off waivers almost immediately.

In his fourth start for the Sox on Saturday, Noesi (0-4) had a similar inning. The Houston Astros jumped all over him in the first, scoring four runs — including three on a home run by Jason Castro — before an out had been recorded. The damage would’ve been much worse if not for a brilliant two-out catch by right fielder Moises Sierra on a ball hit by Marwin Gonzalez that would’ve scored two had it dropped.

Noesi, who got it together and pitched into the seventh inning, said afterward that he hopes to remain in the starting rotation. With ace Chris Sale expected back soon, we’ll see about that. For what it’s worth, the Sox went to bat for Noesi after the loss.

“He stubbed his toe coming out that first inning,” manager Robin Ventura said. “After that, he composed himself and really battled and got us to a point where we had a shot at it.”

Catcher Tyler Flowers even praised Noesi for fighting his way out of the first inning.

“A lot of people fold up in that situation and want to get out of the game,” Flowers said.

Ability meets discipline

Shortstop Alexei Ramirez entered the game ranked fifth in the American League in batting, and a 2-for-3 day raised his average seven points to .322. For a guy who never has had a .300 season and has a career average of .279, that’s pretty good.

What’s the difference?

According to assistant hitting coach Harold Baines, Ramirez has become more disciplined and calm. Baines believes the extent to which newcomer Jose Abreu demonstrates those qualities himself has made an impression on Ramirez and other members of the team.

“The ability has always been there with Alexei,” Baines said.

Milestone for Ramirez

The next time Ramirez, 32, takes the field for the Sox, he’ll move past Chico Carrasquel and into fourth place on the franchise’s all-time list for games played at shortstop. Ramirez, in his seventh season as a Sox regular, tied Carrasquel on Saturday with No. 835.

It’s a long way to No. 3, though. It’ll take Ramirez at least another four-plus seasons of continued health (not to mention good play at short) before he can start nipping at the heels of Luis Aparicio (1,508). Next up would be Ozzie Guillen (1,724) and, let’s face it, the completely out-of-reach Luke Appling (2,218).

Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SLGreenberg



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