CHICAGO – Days off will be hard to come by for White Sox players during the final 21⁄2 weeks of the regular season.
The Sox’s schedule features no off days during the final 20 games of the season. Their final open day was replaced by Monday’s rescheduled game against the Tigers after it was rained out Thursday. Limited opportunities to rest starters during the stretch run have forced manager Robin Ventura to utilize his bench whenever he can.
Outfielder Alejandro De Aza sat out Monday against Detroit in place of Dewayne Wise, a decision largely based on De Aza’s recent offensive struggles.
“He’s fine, he’s just out of there today,” Ventura said. “Saturday, he just seemed out of sync. We’ll wait for him to kind of work on that and get back in there.”
De Aza is hitting .190 in 10 games this month with 12 strikeouts in 48 at-bats – including four strikeouts Saturday in Minnesota.
Veal shuts down Fielder: The next time Prince Fielder faces lefty Donnie Veal will be too soon for the Detroit slugger.
For the third time in a week, Veal bested Fielder in a critical late-game situation – this time striking him out on to end the seventh, part of a stretch when the Sox’s bullpen retired 14 consecutive hitters to end the game.
Fielder is 0 for 5 this season against Veal, the Sox’s lefty specialist. Veal, who signed with the Sox last November, has not allowed a hit to a left-handed batter in 24 at-bats.
“There’s no secret, a lot of breaking balls,” Veal said of facing Fielder. “He’s a good hitter, a very aggressive hitter, and if you leave anything over the heart of the plate, breaking ball, fastball, he can do a lot of damage. A lot of breaking balls, but just try to hopefully get himself out because he’s tough.”
Sox offer ticket deal: For the final home series of the year, the Sox again are offering deals to entice fans.
The Sox’s series opener against Cleveland on Sept. 24 features Value Monday prices as low as $7 for upper deck seats and $17 for lower level seats. The remaining two games of the Indians series plus the first game against Tampa Bay – Sept. 25-26 against the Indians and Sept 27 against the Rays – have tickets available starting at $20 in the bleachers with seats also available for $22 in the lower reserved seats.
The rest of the Tampa Bay series (Sept. 28-30) has tickets from $24-26. For Monday’s makeup game, the Sox announced an attendance of 29,138.