White Sox-Indians Preview

The already formidable lineup of the Chicago White Sox will
likely have to wait one more day for an additional boost.

Hours after officially acquiring Manny Ramirez to make a playoff
push, the White Sox open a 10-game road trip Monday night against
the Cleveland Indians.

As was expected, Chicago (70-60) claimed the slugger on waivers
earlier in the day from the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, the
12-time All-Star is not expected to join his new club until
Tuesday.

Ramirez’s first appearance for the White Sox will come against
the last-place Indians, who he broke into the majors with and
played for until 2000. He’ll then head to Fenway Park, where he was
adored by Boston fans before being dealt to the Dodgers two years
ago.

With 554 homers, Ramirez is third among active players behind
Jim Thome (582) and Alex Rodriguez (604).

Ramirez is hitting .311 with eight homers and 40 RBIs, but right
leg injuries have limited him to 66 games. The White Sox are
hedging a change of scenery will rejuvenate him as they insert him
into the middle of a batting order that features Paul Konerko (32
homers, 92 RBIs) and Carlos Quentin (24 HRs, 80 RBIs).

While the White Sox hope to add some punch to their lineup after
dropping two of three to the New York Yankees, they also are
counting on Mark Buehrle to get their road trip off to a positive
start.

Buehrle (12-10, 3.93 ERA) is known as a better pitcher prior to
the All-Star break than after, going 82-53 with a 3.63 ERA before
and 65-54 with a 4.03 ERA after. This year, however, Buehrle has
been steady since the midsummer classic, going 4-3 with a 3.32 ERA
in eight starts.

“This is the best I’ve pitched late in the season,” he said
after giving up four runs over seven innings of Wednesday’s 4-2
loss to Baltimore. “… I went out there and I felt strong and my
pitch count got up (a season-high 115) there tonight and I still
felt strong in the seventh inning, so all that stuff I did in the
offseason is paying off but it wasn’t enough tonight.”

Buehrle, 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA in four starts against Cleveland
this season, makes his first start at Progressive Field since
getting ejected in the third inning of a 5-4 victory May 26 for
arguing balk calls.

He will face an Indians club that had its three-game winning
streak snapped Sunday, losing 6-2 to Kansas City.

The Indians (53-77) were held to six hits after averaging 7.3
runs while hitting .320 during their winning streak.

“We couldn’t get the hit we were looking for,” manager Manny
Acta told the Indians’ official website.

Cleveland is hitting .221 and scoring 3.1 runs per game while
losing six of nine.

The Indians, who are 8-4 versus the White Sox, will look to get
back on track with Mitch Talbot (8-11, 4.44) going for his first
victory since June 27. The right-hander, who is 0-5 with a 5.87 ERA
in last eight starts, went six innings in Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to
Oakland, surrendering six runs and six hits.

“That first inning was a lot of struggles in a lot of different
areas,” Talbot told the Indians’ official website after giving up
five first-inning runs. “Mechanically, I felt all over the
place.”

Talbot is 0-5 with a 7.22 ERA in his last seven home starts, but
he is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in three outings against the White Sox
this season, including two victories at Progressive Field.

He should be careful pitching to first baseman Paul Konerko, who
is batting .512 (21 for 41) with two homers and 11 RBIs during a
10-game hitting streak. Konerko is 2 for 6 with a homer lifetime
against the Indians starter.

Acta said first baseman Matt LaPorta is not expected to play
after leaving Sunday’s game with a strained left hip.

The White Sox have dropped seven of 10 on the road.