White Sox-Blue Jays Preview
For whatever reason, the Chicago White Sox just can't seem to generate much offense at Rogers Centre.
As a result, wins have been very scarce there recently.
The White Sox try to avoid a fifth straight loss in the Toronto Blue Jays' home park Tuesday night when these teams continue a four-game set.
Chicago's struggles in Toronto continued with a 3-2, 11-inning loss in Monday's series opener. The White Sox have dropped four straight and 16 of 19 at Rogers Centre due in large part to an offense that has batted .198 overall and .178 with runners in scoring position. They have scored three runs or fewer in 15 of those 19 contests.
Despite their fourth loss in six games overall, the White Sox (62-52) maintained a two-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central.
Adam Dunn provided all of Chicago's offense Monday with two home runs - his major league-leading 32nd and 33rd - to reach 1,000 career RBIs. Dunn is 5 for 27 (.185) this season against the Blue Jays, but three of those five hits are homers.
"Besides Adam, we didn't really get anything going, didn't look fluid or anything,'' White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We have to get something else going besides waiting for home runs.''
David Cooper singled home the winning run in the 11th to give last-place Toronto (55-60) back-to-back wins after a five-game skid. Rookie Moises Sierra hit his first big league homer for the Jays and is batting .375 in 11 games - four of them multihit games - since being promoted from Triple-A on July 31.
"It's hard right now, it's hard because it's my first time here,'' Sierra said. "I'm not very experienced and a little nervous.''
Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski is batting .373 during a 14-game hitting streak, but is a lifetime .180 hitter in Toronto.
Ventura started Tyler Flowers behind the plate Monday and Pierzynski was the designated hitter. Ventura plans to start Pierzynski at catcher on Tuesday and Wednesday.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana (4-2, 2.78 ERA) is all too familiar with Chicago's offensive struggles, a trend he hopes to see end Tuesday.
The left-hander gave up two solo homers and three other hits over seven-plus innings against Kansas City on Wednesday but received minimal run support again in a 2-1 loss.
It was the first decision in five starts for Quintana, who hasn't won since beating Texas on July 5 and has been given two runs or fewer of support in eight of 13 starts.
The rookie allowed two runs over six innings of a 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays on June 6.
Toronto's Henderson Alvarez (7-9, 4.58) looks to rebound from one of his worst starts of the season. After walking a career-high five in his previous outing, the right-hander was tagged for six runs - four earned - and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 7-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
He is 2-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his last four starts, but was excellent in his lone home outing during that span, a 5-1 victory over Detroit on July 28.
This will be Alvarez's first home start versus the White Sox after going 0-1 with a 3.21 ERA in two outings at U.S. Cellular Field.
Dunn is 0 for 6 with four strikeouts against Alvarez.