Vets provide relief for Robin Ventura
BY daryl van schouwen firstname.lastname@example.org September 17, 2012 9:32PM
Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox
SOX AT ROYALS
The facts: 7:10, CSN,
The pitchers: Gavin Floyd (9-10, 4.59 ERA) vs. Luke Hochevar (8-13, 5.46).
The rest of the series
Wednesday: 7:10 p.m., Ch. 26, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Chris Sale (17-6, 2.78) vs. Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.50).
Thursday: 7:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Francisco Liriano (6-11, 5.24) vs. Bruce Chen (10-12, 5.42).
Updated: October 19, 2012 6:19AM
The closer it gets to October, the more manager Robin Ventura is leaning on his veterans in the bullpen.
Ventura gave the ball to rookie Nate Jones to bail out starter Jose Quintana, and rookie Addison Reed got the third out of the ninth inning in the 5-4 victory Monday against the Detroit Tigers, but rather than start Reed with a clean inning to open the ninth as he has all year, Ventura let Brett Myers open the ninth after Myers pitched a perfect eighth, and he went to lefty Matt Thornton for the second out.
Reed, who had to be rescued by the 36-year-old Thornton on Saturday, nailed this one down by getting Sox nemesis Austin Jackson on a fly out and regained whatever confidence might have been lost going into the last 16 games. Reed has converted 12 of his last 13 save opportunities.
“It’s fun for these guys to come into this situation,’’ Ventura said. “They’re having fun. They’re coming in, and they’re excited to pitch. They’re getting the job done.’’
That was the understatement of the day for a bullpen that contributed five scoreless innings and retired the last 14 Tigers. Jones got eight outs, and Donnie Veal struck out Prince Fielder, his 24th lefty retired in a row.
“It’s always good to get into a big game and stuff’s on the line right there,’’ said Myers, 32. “I think players excel in those situations.’’
Jones improves to 8-0
Jones downplayed the notion that he’s a good-luck charm with his 8-0 record. The rookie right-hander made his 15th consecutive scoreless appearance and became the first Sox rookie to begin his career 8-0 since John Whitehead in 1934.
“They are a great group of hitters,’’ Jones said of the Tigers. “But we just want to go out there and be bulldogs and try to put up zeros, and that’s what we did today.’’
Jones is 5-0 with an ERA of 0.84 in his last 22 outings.
This and that
Gavin Floyd, who starts the opener of a three-game series in Kansas City on Tuesday night, said any discomfort in his elbow is normal soreness, not what he experienced during his recent stint on the disabled list. Floyd attributed his encouraging start Wednesday against the Tigers to a minor mechanical adjustment and an aggressive approach. Floyd is 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA in his last 12 starts.
◆ The Sox are 5-10 against the Royals, with seven losses in the last eight meetings.