White Sox-Orioles Preview

The White Sox hope the addition of Edwin Jackson will alleviate
any concerns about their rotation as they push for the
playoffs.

It’s the Baltimore Orioles’ staff, though, that has placed
Chicago’s hold on sole possession of first place in the AL Central
in jeopardy.

Jackson will make his second start for the White Sox as they
close a four-game series against the Orioles on Monday night.

Chicago (63-48) needed to fill a major void in its rotation
after losing Jake Peavy to season-ending shoulder injury last
month. The White Sox think they’ve done so after acquiring Jackson
(1-0, 1.29 ERA) from Arizona for Daniel Hudson and a prospect just
before the trade deadline.

Jackson made his Chicago debut Wednesday against one of his
former teams. Facing Detroit, the right-hander allowed one run,
nine hits, one walk and struck out six over seven innings of the
4-1 win.

“He was throwing 98 (mph) – I didn’t know he threw that hard,”
manager Ozzie Guillen said. “But great pitching like that is the
reason we got him.”

The win also snapped a personal four-game losing streak in which
Jackson had a 7.25 ERA.

Monday’s start will be critical for Jackson as he tries to help
his new club split a four-game series against the major
league-worst Orioles. The White Sox are trying to build momentum
before playing six of their next nine against Minnesota, which
trails Chicago by a half-game.

Jackson has won his last four starts against the Orioles, giving
up two runs and five hits over 16 innings in the last two.

However, Jackson may not get much support as Baltimore’s
starting pitching has been hot during the series.

The Orioles (37-74) posted a 4-3 win Sunday, their fifth in six
game under new manager Buck Showalter as Felix Pie homered and
Jeremy Guthrie gave up one run in eight innings. Baltimore’s
starters are 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA and each has gone six innings
under Showalter.

“It’s not like these guys have never pitched well this year,”
he said. “And they seem to be feeding off each other.”

Chicago, which scored 23 runs during four games at Detroit last
week, has totaled eight against the Orioles so far.

“It’s a combination of good pitching and we’re not hitting right
now,” Guillen said. “Right now our bats are very silent.”

The White Sox are batting .243 in the series, 20 points below
their season average.

Alex Rios had two hits with an RBI Sunday after batting .139 (5
for 36) in the previous nine games.

Rios is the only White Sox player that has faced Brian Matusz
(4-11, 5.26), who will take the mound for Baltimore and is coming
off his best start in a month. Rios is 1 for 2 against the
left-hander.

Matusz gave up one run in six innings of a 9-7 win over Los
Angeles on Wednesday. He was 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA in his previous
four starts, which lasted a combined 13 innings.

Chicago second baseman Gordon Beckham left Sunday with a
strained groin, and Guillen intends to rest him for this contest.
Beckham has batted .390 over his last 24 games, and is hitting .251
after struggling for much of the first half of the season.