5/26/2014 7:12 P.M. ET
White Sox pause to reflect on Memorial Day
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- The White Sox honored United States military members with a pregame ceremony on Memorial Day.
There was a moment of remembrance followed by the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the official fanfare ensemble for the President of the United States, performing the national anthem. The ensemble was founded in 1959 to add splendor to official military ceremonies.
Challenger, a bald eagle trained for free flight, was included in the pregame ceremonies, landing near the mound as the rousing rendition of the anthem was concluded.
In addition to the Hero of the Game that takes place during the third inning, eight service men were honored as they took the field to greet White Sox players at their starting positions. Those eight service men represented the Navy, Army, Coast Guard and Marines.
Milton Greenfield, a United States Army World War II veteran, threw out a ceremonial first pitch to John Danks. Greenfield has received numerous awards and decorations for his service, including two Purple Hearts for his heroic actions at the Battle of Normandy and Bastogne.
His service also includes fighting at the Battle of the Bulge, pulling two men out of a burning tank and carrying a wounded man under fire nearly 175 yards through the snow. White Sox manager Robin Ventura and his team were honored to take part in the activities.
"Everybody has some connection or another. It's to honor them," said Ventura of Memorial Day. "You think of them and all of the sacrifices they've made. We wouldn't be able to be doing this if it wasn't for people that have served.
"It's emotional for a lot of guys we have on our team because of connections they have one way or another. We're always happy to do this, even the things we do in the top of the fourth inning. You honor those guys and everything they do to protect us."
Flowers tossed for arguing called third strike
CHICAGO -- Tyler Flowers was ejected by home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa in the fourth inning of Monday's 6-2 White Sox victory over the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. It was Flowers' first career ejection and the second of the season for the White Sox.
The White Sox starting catcher took a called third strike from Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin to finish the frame and tossed his bat in disagreement with the call. Flowers was immediately ejected, replaced behind the plate by Adrian Nieto.
Alejandro De Aza, who was called out on strikes in the second and the fourth, had argued at the end of the previous at-bat with Kulpa on that second called third. But De Aza was pulled away by Flowers and manager Robin Ventura and able to stay in the game.
"Obviously, I strongly disagreed with the call he made. A little heated at the moment," Flowers said. "He might have been a little heated, too, from whatever else transpired earlier in the game. It is what it is. [Starter Jose Quintana] did a good job and the bullpen did a good job."
Flowers has no worries about working with Kulpa in any upcoming games following Monday's argument.
"That stuff happens, you know. I see it from both ends, too," said Flowers, who added that he didn't say much before the ejection and didn't use profanity. "You see some that are generous and some that you disagree with.
"It's a bunch of human beings out there playing a game and doing a bunch of different things. I don't think he's that kind of a guy where it's going to be an issue next time we work together. I said my piece and that was it."
Abreu goes through limited workout without boot
CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu had the protective boot taken off of his left ankle and went through a limited workout prior to Monday's series opener with the Indians.
Abreu, who has been on the disabled list since May 18 with inflammation in his left ankle, took 25 grounders from bench coach Mark Parent at first base. He played catch for 10 minutes and then hit 30 balls off of a tee in the batting cages.
The first baseman went directly to treatment after the workout and will talk to the media later in the week. But Abreu gave a statement through Lino Diaz, the White Sox manager of cultural development and interpreter.
"He got all the work he needed to do and felt no pain at all," Diaz said. "He's feeling really good."
June 2 stands as the day when Abreu is eligible to be activated from the disabled list, with the White Sox beginning a six-game road trip in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. But the White Sox have not set a return date for Abreu, and that probably won't change.
"It's progressing, it's getting better," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "I know he's not happy sitting on the bench. It's getting better though. The timeline right now is still the same."
Semien stays prepared despite lack of playing time
CHICAGO -- Since May 7, Marcus Semien has made just five starts, including Monday's series opener against the Indians.
But Semien hasn't changed his preparation, even with 17 plate appearances during that stretch.
"Well, I do the same thing every day," Semien said. "I take ground balls at multiple positions, I hit BP the same every day. I hit in the cage. I keep the same routine, but when you don't know exactly what position you will be in certain days, you have to make sure you take [ground balls] at all of them."
Early hitting work is something Semien has done from the start of the season. So, when Chris Sale worked his way back to the mound via side sessions and a simulated game, Semien was happy to grab a bat.
"I look forward to any time a guy is throwing live," Semien said. "If I'm not playing every day, that's a good opportunity to see where I'm at that day and prepare myself for when I do play."
As a source of fun, Semien takes a few fly balls during batting practice but has never played the outfield and doesn't see that changing any time soon. He hasn't really had to adjust from playing every day to playing part time, or moving between third and second, because his intense work doesn't change.
"I'm the same every day," Semien said. "No matter if I'm in the lineup like I was earlier in the year every day, or, you know, how it is right now. I'm happy to fill in if guys aren't feeling great or if guys need a day. I'm ready."
Semien went 1-for-4 with two runs scored in Monday's 6-2 victory.
Third to first
• The White Sox will be happy to go back to night games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Indians and Friday against the Padres after Thursday's scheduled off-day. The last three games against the Yankees and Indians have all been 1:10 p.m. CT starts.
"It's weird. Playing a lot of day games in a row isn't all that easy when you're used to playing night games," Ventura said. "[During] Spring Training you get used to it because that's all you're doing, but once you get the season started, you're playing a lot of night games.
"You get these and it becomes, I don't know if it's difficult. But you see guys get a little more tired quicker than they normally would for a night game."
Ventura gave Paul Konerko, who is mired in a 4-for-35 slump, the day off on Monday, but he will be back in the lineup Tuesday night.
• Entering play Monday, 30 of the White Sox 52 games this season have been decided by three runs or fewer, including six of the last seven and 10 of the last 15. They have a 15-15 record in those 30 contests.
• Scott Carroll will never forget his first Major League relief appearance Sunday, as it ended with a strikeout of Derek Jeter in what figures to be his last career at-bat in Chicago. More important, Carroll felt good throwing in relief and was ready to get back out to the mound Monday if needed.
"It felt great to be back out there and compete again," said Carroll, who hadn't been in a game since starting last Monday in Kansas City. "I was overall pretty happy with the way I threw the ball. I was getting ahead of guys. I was throwing all my pitches for strikes. That's crucial."
Carroll threw a bullpen session two days before this relief appearance.
• Gordon Beckham got a rest Monday, with Semien playing second. Beckham is hitting .379 over a seven-game hitting streak and has a .341 average in his last 20 games. He also has a .481 average against left-handers this season.