video thumbnail

SEA@HOU: Walker fans six in first start of 2014

Hector Noesi took a no-hitter into the fifth inning against a powerful Angels offense the last time he trekked to the mound. But the Los Angeles bats eventually found life, and Noesi couldn't stop the bleeding.

Noesi was credited with five earned runs over the next two innings of Tuesday's 8-4 loss, and still remains a question mark in the White Sox rotation for the long term after being claimed off waivers on April 25.

Noesi spent the last two seasons in Seattle before moving to Texas and landing in Chicago. He has only faced five current Mariners during his career, and has held slugger Robinson Cano hitless in five at-bats.

From the opposing dugout, Taijuan Walker will make his second start of the season. The 21-year-old, and top prospect for the Mariners a year ago, was victorious in his debut on Monday against the Astros with six strikeouts, five hits and three earned runs.

Walker is off to a slower start in 2014 after sustaining a shoulder injury, but capped his Minor League rehab with a four-hit, eight strikeout scoreless performance last Tuesday. Walker pitched 15 innings over three starts last year with 12 strikeouts and a 3.60 ERA.

"His stuff has gotten better, more consistent," said catcher Mike Zunino. "The changeup is even better. I think he's going to start fitting into that mold of what he wants to do and how he wants to attack guys. It was a good first start for him. I think it's something he can build on."

Added manager Lloyd McClendon: "He has a chance to be a pretty good pitcher at this level if he can keep his head about him. One of the things we tried to impress upon him is it's not always power. It's location sometimes, and sometimes it's OK to go softer. He made a couple mistakes, but he'll shore those things up and hopefully he'll be better this next time out."

The White Sox close their first-half home slate in Sunday's series finale with the Mariners before opening a seven-game road trip that will lead into the All-Star break. Chicago comes in 23-21 at U.S. Cellular Field, and has won five of its last eight overall.

White Sox: Ventura buying in for 2014?
Manager Robin Ventura won't concede that his 41-47 team is a seller as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches.

"I like my team, but I'm not going there," Ventura said earlier this week. "I'm not telling you we're trading people or getting people. I'm not going there."

Pitcher John Danks, infielders Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez, designated hitter Adam Dunn, and outfielders Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo have all been linked to trade talks.

Mariners: McClendon not worrying about A's trade
While the A's made a big move to improve a team already leading the American League West on Friday night with the acquisition of pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs, McClendon said his club needs to continue on its own path in what quickly has turned into one of the toughest divisions in baseball.

"Obviously those are two fine young pitchers and they did a nice job of pulling that one off," McClendon said prior to Saturday's game with the White Sox. "They're a good team. Their record indicates that and they've gotten better. I don't think that really changes anything as far as we're concerned. We just have to continue going about our business and doing what we do."

Worth noting
• The Mariners have lost seven of their last nine games at U.S. Cellular Field and are 5-22 since the start of the 2008 season. Seattle hasn't won a series against the White Sox in Chicago since 2007.

• The White Sox have hit 12 home runs over their last eight games, four of which have come from league-leading Jose Abreu. Chicago is 34-18 when hitting at least one home run, 20-6 when recording a multihomer game and 6-29 when homerless.

MLB.com Comments