KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Todd Frazier wasn’t happy about being buzzed Friday by hard-throwing right-hander Kelvin Herrera, whose first-pitch fastball put the White Sox’ leading home run hitter on the ground.
“I was frustrated, a little upset,” Frazier said. “Had the right to be. You don’t want anything close to your face.”
Frazier homered against Herrera on Aug. 9 and is 3-for-3 against him after responding to the pitch with a double. Frazier jumped back up and stared at him, prompting catcher Salvador Perez to step in front of him to make peace.
Regardless of Herrera’s intention — it’s possible the pitch merely just got away — the end result was scary to Frazier. Too close to the head.
“You never really know,” Frazier said. “It wasn’t the first time it has happened. I’m hitting pretty well off of him. Whenever you get a ball thrown up in that area, you second guess what’s going on.
“But it’s over, so that’s just the way it goes. You won’t forget about it.”
Frazier retaliated in the best way possible, lining a double into the left field corner and starting a four-run rally to give the Sox the lead for good. They went on to win 7-4.
Manager Robin Ventura said the Sox “zeroed in” after that pitch Frazier said the knockdown got him locked in, got his adrenaline going “and got the dugout going a little bit, changed the whole momentum of the game.”
“It’s like that old saying, don’t wake a sleeping dog,” Frazier said. “Bottom line, I wanted to do even that much better against him and kick-started that inning. It felt pretty good.”
The win was the Sox’ seventh in 10 games. While it’s nice to be on a good run in September, the Sox are out of contention for the postseason, but Frazier said the players talked before the start of the month about finishing well.
“You want to build up for next year,” he said.
Old man neck
Justin Morneau missed his fifth straight start with a case of what he calls “old man neck.” Morneau, 35, has dealt with the issue, which flared up while he was in the batting cage during the Sox game against the Indians Monday, in the past.
Ventura said Morneau could have started but didn’t with left-hander Jason Vargas starting for the Royals.
Morneau will decide after the season whether he wants to play next season.
“Like everybody that gets in their mid-30s there comes a point when you realize that you’re not going to be that same guy you were when you were 25 or 28,’’ he said.
Morneau said he sill enjoys the game and the work involved but it also depends on what opportunities are presented. He says he would want to play for a winner and also play some first base as well as DH.
Tyler Saladino, who tweaked something in his left calf Friday, was receiving treatment and did not play Saturday.
“He should be better by tomorrow, but we’ll see how that goes,’’ Ventura said.