White Sox Pound Tigers Behind 23 Hits
DETROIT — White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spent more than 15 minutes in manager Robin Ventura’s office Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Some of the information Ventura heard regarding the future of the Sox roster piqued his interest.
But with representatives from the Rangers, Cardinals, Giants, Blue Jays and Phillies in attendance, the possibility of losing some of his veteran players in trades appeared difficult for Ventura to digest.
“There are two trains of thought,” Ventura said after the meeting. “One, you want to have that information. On the other hand, you want to play games and want to stay away from that. We just talk and keep in contact of what’s going on.
“Once the game starts, it’s just trying to win a game.”
For one of the few times this season, the Sox offense responded in an impressive manner with a season-high 23 hits — including 12 off former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander — en route to an 11-4 win that snapped a four-game losing streak.
Alex Rios tied a franchise and American League record for a nine-inning game with six hits, and Adam Dunn snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run home run off Verlander, who lost to the Sox for the first time since July 15, 2011.
But the biggest blows were struck by the enigmatic Dayan Viciedo, who entered Tuesday’s game with only five home runs and none since June 21.
Viciedo hit a game-tying homer in the sixth and a three-run, opposite-field shot off Al Alburquerque to highlight a seven-run eighth — the Sox’s highest-scoring inning of the season.
The breakout enabled left-hander Jose Quintana (4-2) to win for the first time since May 21.
That temporarily defused speculation regarding whom the Sox (35-52) might deal before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
For Hahn, the decisions run deeper than just trying to get what he perceives as fair value for potential free agents Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton and Matt Lindstrom, as well as Rios and Jake Peavy — once Peavy returns from a left rib fracture after the All-Star break.
Part of the reason the Sox already find themselves looking past 2013 are the struggles of Viciedo, whom the Sox decided to keep last winter instead of trading after a breakout 2012 season.
According to two sources, the Mariners were interested in Viciedo before landing Kendrys Morales, but the Sox asked for much more than the Mariners were willing to trade. Viciedo won’t be arbitration-eligible until 2015, but his lack of power has been a concern.
“It’s been difficult,” Viciedo said before the game. “You set some expectations and goals for yourself, and then those things don’t happen. But the most important thing is to continue to work and never get down on yourself because if it didn’t happen, it will happen. That’s the attitude you have to have.”