Our Pledge To You

News

Bullpen big part of White Sox’ early success

Matt Albers (center) celebrates with Avisail Garcia and catcher Alex Avila after they defeated the Indians 7-3 on Saturday. | Nam Y. Huh/AP

A week into the season, the White Sox’ bullpen has been a key part of the team’s positive start. Its 1.76 ERA through six games is among the best in the league, with only one of seven inherited runners scoring.

“It’s only been six games, but how could I not [like what the bullpen has done],” pitching coach Don Cooper said.

“You need some diversity in there, and you need some guys to be able to do some different things,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We’re going to stretch them in some different ways.”

On Saturday, Matt Albers pitched the final two innings against the Indians, extending his scoreless streak to 25⅓ innings, dating to last season.

“Matty finishing the game was big for us, just to be able to conserve some other guys,” Ventura said. “Last year he was still coming back from injury, and you didn’t want to [extend him] that much. I think he’s kind of evolved into a guy that can come in and get some big outs.”

“You start moving some pieces around, it’s better to be able to use guys later instead of using the same guys over and over again.”

It’s a boy

Adam Eaton went on the paternity list Sunday after the birth Saturday of son Brayden, the first child for Eaton and wife Katie.

He’ll be with the team Monday for the start of a three-game series at Minnesota. Being on the paternity list means a player must miss one day, even with no game, but not more than three.

The Sox had recalled rookie pitcher Michael Ynoa, 24, from Class AA Birmingham to take Eaton’s roster spot, but he was sent back.

“He had an interesting day,” Ventura said. “But it’s good. You take a young guy and he gets to be in the clubhouse and put on the uniform and be part of it.”

Better late

The Sox’ offense has done what was hoped for with the offseason retooling, but hitting late in games “is probably the biggest thing,” Ventura said.

“You have the ability to come back if a team maybe ties it up or takes the lead. [Players] don’t get too caught up in the disappointment of having it either tied up or losing the lead [because] they can come back and score some runs late on them, and that’s a nice feeling to have. It’s something you have in your pocket that you can continue with.

“You’re not always going to be able to come back and get the lead, but just the quality type of at-bats guys are having you like to see.”

Make-up game

The series finale against the Indians, postponed because of rain, will be made up in a straight doubleheader May 23. The first game will begin at 4:10 p.m., with the regularly scheduled game to begin at 7:10 or 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.

Fans can exchange tickets and parking passes for any future regular-season game of equal or lesser value.

Follow me on Twitter @toniginnetti.