White Sox-Indians Preview
The White Sox and Indians continue a three-game series at Progressive Field on Tuesday night.
Chicago ranked 11th and Cleveland ninth in runs scored among AL teams last season, and with few offseason additions to their respective lineups, those offenses may not be in line to improve much in 2012.
The White Sox (2-2) opened the series against the Indians (1-3) with a 4-2 victory Monday. Chris Sale gave up one run in 6 2-3 innings to win his first major league start, while Alejandro De Aza and A.J. Pierzynski homered during a three-run first inning.
Chicago's rotation has produced three quality starts in four games while the bullpen has given up one run in 9 2-3 innings.
"Those guys have the talent to be pretty good," Pierzynski told the team's official website of the young relief corps.
However, the White Sox struck out 10 times and went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Adam Dunn, who homered in the season opener, is 1 for 11 with four strikeouts since.
Cleveland has been even worse. The Indians are batting .153 on the season after totaling five hits Monday.
"We've just got to stay positive," manager Manny Acta said. "Four games does not define the offense of a ballclub."
Injuries were a big part of Cleveland's struggles last season. Shin-Soo Choo was one of the major losses, limited to 85 games after sustaining several injuries including a broken thumb.
The Indians are counting on him to help their offense this season, but he was sent sprawling after Sale hit him on the right hand Monday. Choo stayed in the game, though, and promptly stole second before Carlos Santana brought him home with a single to right.
Choo is batting 3 for 15 with two runs scored.
"That was a big scare," Acta said. "It shattered his thumb protector. He came back and swung well and got a hit. So I don't think there's any fear."
With neither team showing much pop at the plate, it's putting extra pressure on their respective pitching staffs.
Chicago will turn Tuesday to Philip Humber, who went 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA in 28 appearances for the White Sox last season. While he faded late in his first full season as a starter, he had a strong spring training this year, giving up seven runs and 10 hits in 17 innings.
The right-hander went 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA in four appearances - three starts - against the Indians in 2011.
The right-hander went 5-3 with a 4.47 ERA in 11 appearances last season, including 10 starts. He had a 1.37 ERA in six spring outings.
Gomez gave up three earned runs in 12 innings over two starts against the White Sox last season, winning them both.