Pitching to contact produced nine strikeouts for Carson Fulmer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With a night to sleep on his first career win as a starter, right-hander Carson Fulmer felt every bit as good the next day about those nine strikeouts and three hits allowed in six innings of one-run ball against the visiting Giants on Sunday.

Fulmer’s stuff has never been in question. The bugaboo for the No.  8 overall pick in the 2015 draft has been his command, but perhaps he’s on to something after getting eight of his nine K’s on fastballs.

“I didn’t really try to pitch for strikeouts,’’ he said Monday. “I tried to pitch for contact. I just pounded the zone and got the results.

“I had a lot of tail [on the fastball]. That means I’m staying through the baseball, which is really good. I felt really comfortable, felt composed, felt in control of the game.’’

Carson Fulmer pitches against the San Francisco Giants Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field. He earned his first career win. (AP)

Perhaps pitching to contact will continue to help Fulmer stay in control. Tune in Friday, when he gets his third career start against the Tigers in Detroit.

Efforts have been made to slow down Fulmer’s delivery. Fulmer said this about the adjustments: “I’m staying a little taller. Sometimes I hunch down too much and get a little flat. I have to stay tall, get through the baseball like I did yesterday. Add a couple of key notes I give to myself before every outing, and I feel like I figured out what I need to do to have success.’’

Two good relief outings after his first start, in which he got only four outs, coupled with his very good outing against San Francisco, put a little bounce in Fulmer’s step.

“I’m feeling more comfortable each time out, commanding all my pitches,’’ he said. “The biggest part is settling in a little bit. I feel really good where I am right now.’’

Fulmer, who made eight relief appearances in his first taste of the majors last season (0-2, 8.49 ERA), still has designs on starting, and that’s his goal.

But “whatever role they want me to do, I’ll do it as long as I get an opportunity to stay here,’’ he said.

Sanchez closes in on rare feat

Yolmer Sanchez needed two triples and two stolen bases to become the 10th White Sox player with 10 or more home runs, triples, doubles and steals in a season.

The others: Minnie Minoso (three times), Carl Reynolds (twice), Ray Durham, Lance Johnson, Sammy Sosa, Jorge Orta, Jim Rivera, Gee Walker and Mike Kreevich.

Manager Rick Renteria said Sanchez is his best defensive infielder: “I would say yes. That would be accurate.’’

Engel due for a rest

Adam Engel’s defense in center field stands out on a poor defensive team, producing many highlights in his 2017 portfolio that desperately needs offense thrown in for ballast. But Engel, the every-day center fielder since the end of May, was batting .176 in 77 games.

Engel was hitting .116 in his previous 28 games, but he hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and had two infield hits against the Royals. He was also hit by a pitch.

“There is some point here in the next couple of days where he’s going to get a day off to see if we can allow him just to take a breath,’’ Renteria said.

Make way for Bono

The game Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium was switched from
7:15 p.m. to 12:15 p.m. to make room for the U2 concert next door at Arrowhead Stadium.

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com


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