CHICAGO -- It only took five pitches for Jake Petricka to pick up his first career victory in his first career appearance during Thursday night's 4-3 win over the Royals in 12 innings. That effort, which involved inducing an inning-ending double play from Salvador Perez, earned him the game ball, the lineup card and a beer shower that basically ruined his cleats.
Pitching in that game-on-the-line situation stands as part of the learning curve for the second-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, who had been exclusively used as a starter until moving into the bullpen for Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte during the 2013 season. Now, Petricka is being talked about as a potential member of the 2014 White Sox relief crew, although he isn't ready to make such a bold leap.
"I'm just going to try to get comfortable up here and hopefully stick it out," Petricka said. "It's still my first year of relief, and I understand maybe they want more time down in the Minors. We'll just take it as it goes.
"I struggled a little bit at the start. I kind of went into the games in relief still a little around 90-92 [mph] range. I wasn't going at people 100 percent. I had to sit down with the pitching coach [Britt Burns] and manager [Julio Vinas] at Double-A, and they said, 'You need to start going after hitters. You're out there for one inning, it's time to get after them right away.' Once I made that transition, I had some good results."
Stuck ball leads to inside-the-park HR, Ventura ejection
CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura was ejected by third-base umpire Greg Gibson during the top of the third inning of Texas' 11-5 victory over the White Sox in Friday night's series opener at U.S. Cellular Field. Ventura was thrown out for the second time this season and sixth time in his career, arguing ground rules regarding an inside-the-park homer for Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler hit a soft liner just fair down the left-field line that eventually wedged under the padding along the wall. Left fielder Dayan Viciedo raced over toward the baseball and held up his hand to signal it was unplayable, but Viciedo then bent down and tried to pick up the ball. Viciedo's throw overshot the cutoff man and Kinsler raced around to score, with Gibson waving off any play stoppage.
Ventura, who also was ejected on July 23 in a game against the Tigers, explained postgame that there was nothing automatic in the ground rules to make the hit a ground-rule double. But ….
"Usually when a guy is crawling on his hands and knees, he's looking for help. It makes sense," Ventura said. "[Gibson] just said he saw it. I figured [Viciedo] got on his hands and knees to go get it, you'd think it would be lodged under there pretty good and they'd rule a double. But they didn't."
A frustrating year plagued by a lack of run support for Chris Sale took another hit with this call. The White Sox had rallied to cut a four-run deficit to 4-3 when Kinsler connected off the White Sox ace with one out in the third for the first inside-the-park homer allowed by the White Sox since Carl Crawford on July 20, 2009, for the Rays in Chicago.
"You see [Viciedo] like a mechanic on his hands and knees, getting underneath the car trying to get to that," said Sale. "I know he did everything he could to get to it and try to make the right play.
"So, it's just … baseball is a crazy sport. You never know what you are going to get from it. Crazy things happen in this game and probably not the last time it's going to happen."
White Sox thrilled to be part of CRG
CHICAGO -- The entire White Sox team will make the trip to the Magnificent Marriott on Michigan Avenue on Saturday morning for the Beacon Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT. Those awards will be followed by Major League Baseball's seventh Civil Rights Game on Saturday night, marking the third one in which the White Sox have participated.
They took part in the second contest in Memphis, Tenn., as the final preseason contest in 2008, and then moved to Cincinnati in 2009 for the first regular-season Civil Rights Game. It's an honor for the players and manager Robin Ventura to take part in this special contest.
"It's cool, it's definitely the right thing to do," said White Sox captain Paul Konerko. "You get a lot of different things that happen throughout the course of the year where they want to honor certain things. And there's no question that that's something that should be done, so it's good that MLB has jumped on board with that over the last few years."
"This is my second time I get to play in it," White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn said. "It's amazing how much of a, I don't want to say spotlight, but it does, it brings to your city and it's a really big game to play in. And it's an honor, I think that's how everybody looks at it."
Hector Santiago was thrilled to find out that he will get the start Saturday night for the White Sox, after originally figuring that Chris Sale would get the nod. He's equally thrilled to have a chance to interact with Bo Jackson and Henry Aaron on Saturday, among the dignitaries scheduled to attend the Beacon Awards, with Jackson being honored.
"I think the last one in Cincinnati, we're in the locker room and Muhammad Ali came in, and that just doesn't happen on a normal game," Konerko said. "So that's kind of cool for the players, and I'm sure something like that will happen [Saturday] night. It'll be some good energy there. You'll see some people that you don't normally see around just a normal game, so yeah, I think it's all good. It's definitely something that should be recognized."
"We're fortunate to have it," Ventura said. "It's important that all our guys go, sit there, listen and understand and kind of appreciate what has evolved and where the game is right now."
Minoso collected 4,000-plus hits during pro career
CHICAGO -- All of the talk surrounding Ichiro Suzuki reaching the elite 4,000 hit club has produced research that shows Minnie Minoso also is a member.
According to Scott Simkus of the Society for American Baseball Research, Minoso ranks sixth all-time behind Pete Rose (4,769), Ty Cobb (4,379), Hank Aaron (4,245), Jigger Statz (4,093) and Julio Franco (4,074) when factoring in all of Minoso's professional hits. The White Sox legend had 1,963 Major League hits, 429 in the Minor Leagues, 838 in the Cuban League, 715 in the Mexican League and at least 128 documented hits in the Negro Leagues. Those numbers add up to 4,073 hits for his career.
Minoso ranks ninth on the White Sox hits list with 1,523. He is scheduled to be in attendance for Saturday's Civil Rights Game festivities, with this seventh such event being hosted by the White Sox, as Minoso stands as the first black player for the White Sox and Major League Baseball's first black Latino to suit up. He strongly supports MLB's role in the civil rights movement.
"I believe that everybody right now, they aren't looking what nationality you are, what race you are or what color you are. They are looking at what you do like a human," said Minoso in a recent interview. "That's the only thing that you ask in this kind of case. Everyone is trying to win a baseball game."
Third to first
• White Sox Minor League pitcher Pedro Rodriguez was suspended for 50 games without pay after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, as announced by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball on Friday.
Rodriguez, who currently is on the team's Dominican Summer League roster, was signed by the organization in June and is not considered a top prospect. He tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.
"We continue to work with Major League Baseball to educate our players and teach them that they have to deal with the ramifications of violating the policy and make sure that's clear to them," said White Sox vice president of communications Scott Reifert in a statement from the team concerning the suspension.
• After Addison Reed became the first closer in White Sox history to save six straight games, Ventura expressed a desire to stay away from using the right-hander on Friday night.
• The White Sox held the lead at some point in 17 of their last 18 games entering Friday's game against the Rangers.