NEW YORK -- Not only did Hector Santiago pick up the win in front of approximately 60 friends and family members during Thursday night's 4-3 White Sox victory over the Yankees, he also fanned Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano before allowing Mark Teixeira's solo homer. Cano had special significance for Santiago, who is close friends with Cano's cousin, Bert Reynolds, and had a chance to interact with Cano as he was growing up in Newark, N.J.
When Cano struck out swinging, he appeared to look back at Santiago with an approving smile.
"If I strike someone out, I take off for third," Santiago said. "But my father and brother said that he kind of looked straight at me and smirked, like, 'You got me.' That was kind of nice."
Santiago has been working out of the stretch recently but employed the windup in the eighth inning on Thursday to get a little bit more on his pitches. He had close to 300 people in attendance on Friday and planned to celebrate with friends and family at a big postgame party in Newark on Saturday night.
It will be hard to match Friday's adrenaline rush or the approximately 150 postgame text messages of congratulations he received.
Sale prioritizes duty to White Sox over All-Stars
NEW YORK -- The White Sox have penciled in Chris Sale as their starting pitcher on Tuesday night against the Rangers and Sunday, July 8, against the Blue Jays to close out the first half of the season.
As far as the talented southpaw is concerned, those starts can be written in pen regardless of whether his name is called on Sunday as a first-time All-Star.
"I've got to pitch here before I pitch anywhere else, to be honest with you," Sale said. "I'd hate for them to have to rearrange things for that to happen.
"That would be very selfish to do. This is important to me. This is my team. This is our team. I have to do what's best for us, and if that means, if I even make it, not pitching in the All-Star Game, then so be it. It would be cool, but I know we've got more important things going on."
Sale will be working on five days' rest when he takes the mound on Tuesday, and moving him to Wednesday could give Sale a 12-day break in between first-half and second-half starts, depending on when he pitched after the break. But the White Sox want to win as many games as possible, and having Sale and his 2.27 ERA on the mound as often as possible gives them a great chance.
Although he got an extra day this week when his bullpen session was moved to Saturday, Sale could still view the All-Star Game as a side session and have a set pitch limit if he pitches on Sunday, then again in Kansas City, where the Midsummer Classic will be held. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement allows a starting pitcher who pitches on the final Sunday of the first half to petition to appear in the All-Star Game with a fixed pitch count, whereas he previously couldn't pitch if he started that Sunday.
This decision is up to the White Sox, according to Sale. But the club knows how important the appearance would be to the 23-year-old.
"From where he started out in Spring Training and going through it, it's a big deal," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. "It's important and it's fun, too, for him to actually make the All-Star team and play in it. We'll kind of weigh how he's feeling and how it's going for him."
"If they'd rather me have a rest, then I'd take the rest," Sale said. "This is what is important to me and something I want to do for the whole season. Like I said, it'd be nice if I do get selected. If I do have the opportunity to pitch, that'd be awesome. But I don't want to deviate from what we have got going on here."
White Sox add Omogrosso; Bruney to DL
NEW YORK -- Brian Omogrosso became the ninth rookie on the 2012 White Sox roster and seventh rookie pitcher when the right-hander's contract was purchased from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Friday's game against the Yankees. Righty Brian Bruney went on the 15-day disabled list with left hip inflammation to open up the spot.
An eighth rookie hurler could be arriving soon if the soreness in the back of Jesse Crain's right shoulder doesn't dissipate. Crain felt a little shoulder soreness after his most recent outing, last Saturday against Milwaukee, and then "felt something" on Monday. He threw off the mound on Tuesday night, and the discomfort was a little worse on Wednesday.
When Crain still felt it on Thursday, he went to see Dr. David Altchek, who repaired his torn rotator cuff and labrum in 2007. From what Altchek saw, no MRI exam was needed. The telling sign will be when Crain throws again, after taking off Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
"That's going to have to be a decision they make," said Crain of a potential trip to the disabled list. "If I'm not ready to throw in the next day or two, then probably. There's no point of rushing back if we're not ready to go, so we'll see how it goes on Sunday or Monday if I throw and go from there."
One explanation is that some muscles could be "exhausted" after Crain had a short Spring Training due to a right oblique strain and then missed from April 21 to May 14 with a left oblique strain.
"Maybe the arm wasn't quite in shape and maybe the rotator muscles are exhausted," Crain said. "That's where we think we are right now. Hopefully, give those a couple days and they recover fast."
Omogrosso, 28, has been with the White Sox since they made him their sixth-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. The hard-throwing righty, who can reach the high 90s with his fastball, has battled injuries through parts of seven years in the White Sox system, but he smiled on Friday as he realized his perseverance paid dividends.
"I've had a lot of days where I would sit in the hotel room with injuries and think that I would never get here," said Omogrosso, who credited Minor League pitching coaches J.R. Perdew and Richard Dotson for pushing him. "I always said there would be a light at the end of the tunnel."
Reed gets relief advice from one of the best
NEW YORK -- Addison Reed recently gained a little extra knowledge from one of the game's greatest closers.
Hall of Famer Rich "Goose" Gossage was in Chicago last weekend as the White Sox honored members of their 1972 team prior to Sunday's series finale with the Brewers. As Gossage was doing interviews at U.S. Cellular Field, White Sox bench coach Mark Parent brought Reed over for a brief chat.
"I'd never met him before," said Reed of Gossage. "I know about him. I know everything he has done. It was awesome talking to him."
"He came up and introduced himself to me," Gossage said. "He seems like a great kid, and boy, I wish I was starting my career out again."
Gossage pointed out that when he was "closing," he was really just a reliever who might come into the game in the sixth or seventh inning and work all the way until the end. Now, a four- or five-out save has become a rarity for closers.
"What they are doing, I think, is the way the relievers should be used," Gossage said. "Maybe they use them too exclusively in that ninth-inning role. What's wrong with bringing him in once in a while in the eighth inning and getting a couple of outs? But the setup guys have become such an important part and taking that workload off that closer so he can be fresh every game."
As for advice imparted by the man with 310 saves to the rookie who picked up save No. 11 on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium, Reed said it was very straightforward.
"Just go out there and don't give the other team too much credit," Reed said. "Don't be friendly. Go out there and get after them."
Rowand not ready to officially hang 'em up
NEW YORK -- Aaron Rowand, the White Sox fan favorite for five seasons and one of the many contributors to the 2005 World Series championship, was in attendance at Yankee Stadium on Friday in preparation for his fill-in radio color work with flagship station WSCR 670-AM on Saturday and Sunday. Rowand has enjoyed spending time with his family while away from baseball, bringing his 7-year-old son to Yankee Stadium on Friday, but the affable outfielder with 136 career homers and two championship rings isn't quite ready to say his playing career has concluded.
"I'm going to keep my options open as far as next season goes," said Rowand, who was in Spring Training with the Marlins this year. "But it would have to be the right situation in the right spot.
"There's not too many of those out there right now that I can envision myself going and doing. So, as of now, I'll say no, but I'm not going to make anything official until probably Spring Training next year some time."
Third to first
The White Sox tied their season high in runs with Friday's 14-7 victory over the Yankees.
Paul Konerko's 21 career homers against the Yankees are tied with Joe Kuhel for the most by any White Sox player against the Bronx Bombers.
Gordon Beckham picked up his first hits since moving back to the nine-hole upon Kevin Youkilis' arrival, ending an 0-for-12 drought.