Two developments, one good and one bad, stood out in Sunday's 8-3 White Sox victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Comiskey Park.
The good news: Gary Glover made an adjustment and came back after a shaky start to pitch seven innings of four-hit, three-run ball, squaring his record at 6-6.
Graffanino slid to block an errant throw behind second base and said he "heard something pop" in his right knee. The Sox put the versatile infielder on the disabled list and scheduled him for an MRI exam Monday.
Graffanino was injured while chasing catcher Josh Paul's wild throw, which enabled Carl Crawford to continue to third after his steal of second base. The error, along with two walks, an RBI groundout and Steve Cox's double, helped give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead in the first.
Glover said he recognized after the first inning that he needed to adjust his mechanics.
"I wasn't able to hit the spots I wanted to hit, especially to left-handed hitters," he said. "A little change in my mechanics allowed me to hit the outside corner."
Glover limited the Devil Rays to three hits and one run over the last six innings he worked. Eight of those 18 outs came on fly balls to the outfield, three on infield popups and seven on infield grounders.
"I've had difficulty having one bad inning in recent games," Glover said. "Today, after the first, I had better command of the strike zone."
Glover is aware he is auditioning for a spot on next year's pitching staff.
"I'm working toward being in the regular rotation next year," he said. "This was a good outing. I hope it planted a seed in the minds of people who make those decisions."
The Sox tied the game 2-2 on Aaron Rowand's two-run homer in the third inning, his fourth. They chased loser Joe Kennedy during a four-run fourth in which Paul Konerko's two-run single was the big blow.
The Sox called up D'Angelo Jimenez from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Graffanino on the roster.
"Graf comes ready to play every day," manager Jerry Manuel said. "He is a leader in the clubhouse and does all the little things that make people around him better. We're going to miss him a lot."
No one more than Paul. "Why is it," Paul asked, "that things like this happen to the good guys? Tony is not only a fine ballplayer but one of my best friends. I really hurt for him."
Clock's ticking: Jeff Liefer, the White Sox's representative to the players association, believes there is still time to avert a strike despite Saturday's apparent breakdown in negotiations.
"This has been a roller coaster," Liefer said. "Everything proposed has dissatisfied the other side. But that's business. They want to get as much as they can in the time left, and so do we."
Liefer cited the union's acceptance of a luxury tax as evidence of its willingness to compromise. The tax "is actually a form of a salary cap," he said.
Glad you're here: Is it baseball or promotions that attract fans to Comiskey Park? The weekend series against lowly Tampa Bay provided a clue.
The combination of Elvis Presley Night, postgame fireworks and baseball attracted 27,988 fans Friday. Saturday's attendance for baseball and fireworks was 24,580. Finally, 20,340 turned out Sunday for baseball and kids day.
Sox general manager Ken Williams doesn't care whether Elvis impersonators or Magglio Ordonez spins the turnstiles. He just wants bodies in the seats.
"Certain promotions throughout the year draw well, better than the ballgame," Williams conceded. "For me, whatever works. I feel it's a tremendous advantage when we have more people in the stands rooting us on."
WHITE SOX 8, DEVIL RAYS 3