Shields managing to help Sox, self
James Shields delivered length for the White Sox on Friday night, pitching into the seventh inning for the third time in his last four starts.
It was the kind of outing he needs to repeat after the All-Star break if he is to be in play at the trade deadline.
Manager Rick Renteria said before Friday night’s 9-6 victory over the Royals that teams are inquiring about the starting pitcher. General manager Rick Hahn had said the same thing Monday.
Shields is 4-10 with a 4.43 ERA in 126 innings. The Sox have an option on his contract for 2019 but are unlikely to exercise it. He gave up eight runs in 52⁄3 innings in Houston in his last start.
“One thing I’ve been really happy about this season is that every time I’ve had a bad game I’ve come back with a good game,” Shields said. “Hopefully we can string together some wins.”
About time: Jose Abreu’s home run off reliever Heath Fillmyer in the sixth inning was his first since May 27. He has been stuck in one of the worst slumps of his career but went 2-for-5 against the Royals, hitting the ball hard all night.
When Abreu singled in the fourth inning, Renteria and others in the Sox dugout yelled out to ask if Abreu wanted the ball. He appreciated the humor.
“That was a good moment,” Abreu said. “I was happy. It was my first hit in a few games.
“Ricky is always trying to make it fun to relax us (and) just make us be confident and play the game with joy.”
Roll call: The Sox expect a strong turnout Saturday from their 1993 team, which will be honored for the 25-year anniversary of its American League West title.
Among the players and coaches expected to attend are Frank Thomas, Tim Raines, Bo Jackson, Jack McDowell, Ozzie Guillén, Wilson Alvarez, Jason Bere, Craig Grebck, Mike Huff, Lance Johnson, Warren Newson, Dan Pasqua, Gene Lamont and Terry Bevington.