White Sox-Phillies Preview
The Chicago White Sox have had a miserable season - particularly offensively - but their lineup seemed to find a groove while winning a road series this week.
The visiting White Sox will try to continue their hot hitting during Saturday's day-night doubleheader against a Philadelphia Phillies team in the midst of its most successful month of the season.
Chicago (36-53) is second-to-last in baseball with 336 runs, and its .301 on-base percentage and .384 slugging percentage are also near the bottom.
However, the White Sox hope the postponement of Friday's series opener won't halt any momentum earned after they scored 22 runs while taking two of three from AL Central-leading Detroit. Chicago won 6-3 on Thursday behind Josh Phegley's grand slam, his third homer in five games since making his big league debut.
It was the most runs Chicago scored in a series this year.
"You just keep going. It's a good feeling," manager Robin Ventura told the team's official website. "As low as it has been, you can have a series like this and beat a really good team."
The White Sox face a serious challenge against Philadelphia, which has won seven of 10. The Phillies (46-47) are on the verge of being .500 for the first time since they were 31-31 on June 7.
"It would be real good if we could win a series before we go into the break," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's what we need to do, start winning series. If you do that every day, you're right there, you're sitting in good position."
Scheduled Phillies Game 1 starter Jonathan Pettibone (5-3, 3.84 ERA) has posted a 2.35 ERA in his last four starts and won the past two, matching a season high with six strikeouts in each. He limited the Braves to one run over 5 1-3 innings of a 7-3 win Sunday.
The right-hander has had mixed results in two interleague starts, posting a 1-1 record and 4.63 ERA.
Chicago counters with John Danks (2-6, 4.31), who is 1-2 in his last three starts despite a 2.53 ERA. Danks, who gave up three runs in seven innings of a 3-1 road loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, has received six runs of support in the three games.
The left-hander has gone 7-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 19 interleague starts but is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in three such outings this season.
Taking the mound for Chicago in the nightcap, left-hander Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.49) has not earned a decision in three straight starts but has allowed two runs and five hits in each of the last two. He lasted 5 1-3 innings of an 8-2 loss to the Cubs on Monday.
The two runs Santiago allowed in that contest are his only surrendered over 12 1-3 innings while not earning a decision in two 2013 starts against the NL.
He'll be opposed by John Lannan (2-3, 4.23), who looks to build on Monday's outing when he gave up four hits in eight scoreless innings of a 3-2 win over Washington.
The left-hander last faced Chicago in 2010, when he gave up five runs in four innings of a 6-3 loss while with the Nationals.
The Phillies took three of four at home from Washington, capped by a 3-1 win Thursday.
Left-handed hitting Ben Revere, who went 2 for 4 and is batting .436 during a nine-game hit streak, has a .455 average against lefties in his last 11 games. He's batting .362 against those pitchers this season.
Teammate Delmon Young is batting .372 with two homers and four doubles off Danks.
The status of White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez is uncertain after he left Thursday's game with a cramp in his right leg. Ramirez, who has started all 89 games, is 7 for 18 over his last four.