video thumbnail

CWS@KC: Axelrod holds Royals to two runs over 7 2/3

The way Dylan Axelrod is pitching, he's bound to get a win sometime. The White Sox are hoping his elusive first victory of the season comes Friday against the Angels.

The 27-year-old right-hander has looked sharp pretty much all year, specifically in his last four outings -- all of them quality starts -- but he has been done in by poor run support and bullpen struggles in the games he has pitched.

Right-hander Tommy Hanson was originally scheduled to start Friday's game for the Angels, but he continues to deal with family issues after being placed on the bereavement list in April. Right-hander Barry Enright, who has made two relief appearances for the Angels, the last being on April 30, will make the start.

Enright previously made four starts for Triple-A Salt Lake, pitching to a 9.61 ERA in 19 2/3 innings. During two seasons with Arizona from 2010-11, Enright went 7-11 with a 4.87 ERA in 24 Major League starts.

The Halos haven't won a series since they swept the Tigers on April 19-21, and that's one of only two they've won all season.

The South Siders finished their road trip on a high note, beating the Mets, 6-3, on Wednesday night, while the Angels avoided a sweep against the Astros Thursday night by a score of 6-5 to snap their four-game skid.

"You battle that hard, you'd like to come away with the win, especially going into a new series. This is what we're going to have to do," Mark Trumbo said after Thursday's game. "They're not going to be easy. If this is indicative of what we have to do, we have to do it. It's all about getting the W's."

Axelrod's lone start during the road trip came in the form of 7 2/3 solid innings against the Royals. He threw 113 pitches -- 70 of them strikes -- and allowed two runs on eight hits.

"That's my goal: to get a quality start," said Axelrod, who is fighting to maintain his rotation spot with John Danks' return on the horizon. "Every time out, give your team a chance to win. I'm trying to build off that."

White Sox slugger Paul Konerko has been slumping a bit. He's 10-for-54 in his last 13 games and has just one homer since April 16.

"He's fighting and working through on it," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's not where he wants to be, but you can see glimpses of coming out. Kansas City, he hit the ball very well, but it's a big park. It wasn't carrying good. We've been playing in some weather that will make you change your swing a bit. Hopefully it warms up and guys will feel better."

Angels: Weaver throws first bullpen session
For the first time since suffering a broken left elbow on April 7, Angels' ace Jered Weaver threw off a mound on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.

"It was nice to put cleats on again," Weaver said after a 28-pitch, all-fastball bullpen session in which he threw at an estimated 90 percent intensity.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Weaver needs at least four bullpen sessions, coming every other day if he stays pain-free, before he can start a rehab assignment. While a late May return to the Angels' rotation still seems like a possibility, Weaver didn't want to put a timeline on his return.

"Everything felt good coming through, so I don't think I'm going to be worried about that as we go on," Weaver said. "It felt good. No pain turning it over, nothing like that. I thought maybe the glove would give me a little problem coming through real quick, but everything felt good."

White Sox: Power surge for De Aza
Alejandro De Aza hit his sixth homer of the season on Wednesday night, meaning he's already two-thirds of the way to his single-season high of nine.

"I never try hitting home runs. Sometimes I put on a good swing, hit the ball in front and it goes," De Aza said. "I'm just trying to put the ball in play."

The power surge may have come with a price, as De Aza is hitting just .246 and has struck out 41 times.

Worth noting
• Ventura's next victory will mark his 100th as the manager of the White Sox. Ventura was hired after the 2011 season and won 85 games last year.

• Trumbo has homered in six of his last 10 games. He is fourth in the American League with 76 total bases and has reached base safely in 33 of 34 games this season.

• The White Sox lead the all-time series between the two clubs, 348-347, but the Angels have won the season series in each of the past two years.

MLB.com Comments