MLB

Sat, Jun 18, 2011 - 8:10 PM ET
 

White Sox-Diamondbacks Preview

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Justin Upton is doing major damage with his bat. The only damage the Chicago White Sox are doing these days is to their own record.

Upton looks to continue his tear at the plate and the Arizona Diamondbacks try to improve to 5-0 in interleague play when they host the punchless White Sox on Saturday night.

Upton is 13 for 22 with three doubles, one homer and five RBIs during a string of five straight multi-hit games. The right fielder's .429 average since May 29 is the highest in baseball.

He had three hits and an RBI in Friday's 4-1 win over the White Sox (33-38) to open this three-game set.

The Diamondbacks (39-32), 5-2 all-time versus the White Sox, have won all four of their interleague games this season while batting .305 and averaging six runs.

Chicago hasn't been nearly that productive during a three-game slide, totaling two runs and batting .183 average after hitting .288 with 21 homers in the previous 15 contests. The team's lone run Friday came on a solo homer by Paul Konerko in the seventh, ending an 18-inning scoreless streak.

"(Friday) we did nothing, nothing exciting about it," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We got the home run and the last inning was OK but we are struggling and we have to come out of it as quick as we can."

With the offense sputtering, the White Sox could use another strong outing from John Danks (2-8, 4.54 ERA).

Danks, a career-best 15-game winner last year, has revived his 2011 season by winning his first two starts of June. The left-hander allowed two runs and four hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 3-2 win over Oakland last Saturday. That came five days after he yielded one unearned run in 7 1-3 innings of a 3-1 victory versus Seattle.

"This is awesome," Danks told the White Sox's official website. "Who would have thought I'd be celebrating being 2-8? But you know what, June's a new month, I'm looking at it that way. I'm going to put the first two months behind me and really focus on just making the next four months my whole season this year, and I'm off to a good start."

Danks has never faced Arizona, but is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last three interleague road outings.

The Diamondbacks will counter with Zach Duke (1-1, 4.56), who looks to rebound from his worst and shortest start of the season.

The left-hander surrendered season highs of seven runs and 13 hits while getting pulled with two outs in the fifth of Monday's 12-9 victory at Florida. He also produced offense at the plate, connecting for a two-run homer in the third. Both of his hits in seven at-bats on the season have left the park.

"That's about the only positive," Duke said.

Duke is 0-2 with a 5.61 ERA and a .327 opponent batting average in four career starts against the White Sox.

Konerko is 5 for 10 versus Duke, and is hitting .426 with seven homers and 16 RBIs over his last eight games overall. His .320 average, 17 homers and 53 RBIs all rank among the AL leaders.

Konerko has also homered in each of his last three games against the Diamondbacks.

Tagged: White Sox, Diamondbacks, Paul Konerko, Zach Duke, John Danks, Justin Upton

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