Angels-White Sox Preview

While Freddy Garcia rarely loses to the Los Angeles Angels, Joe

Saunders has never lost at U.S. Cellular Field.

The pitchers meet Wednesday night when the Chicago White Sox

look for a fourth straight win and continue a four-game series

against the Angels.

Garcia (8-3, 4.65 ERA) is 14-3 with a 2.53 ERA in 24 career

starts versus the Angels, who he last faced Sept. 13, 2006. The ERA

represents his lowest against any AL opponent, and he’s 4-0 with a

2.29 ERA in his last five outings against them.

Los Angeles (46-40) will be getting re-acquainted with a pitcher

who is 5-0 with a 3.66 ERA in his last seven starts. The White Sox

(44-38) have won all of those outings, although Garcia did not get

a decision in a 5-3 win at Texas last Friday after giving up three

runs over six innings.

The only Angels hitter with extensive experience against the

veteran right-hander is All-Star center fielder Torii Hunter, who

is 16 for 40 with four homers.

Los Angeles will counter with Saunders (6-8, 4.59), who is 3-0

with a 1.53 ERA in four outings at U.S. Cellular Field for his

lowest ERA in a stadium where he has made multiple starts.

Saunders continued that success May 19 by yielding one run over

7 2-3 innings to earn a 3-2 road victory over the White Sox. He’s

enjoyed plenty of success against Alex Rios (.238), Alexei Ramirez

(.143) and Andruw Jones (2 for 10) while Paul Konerko is 5 for 15

against him.

The left-hander turned in a second straight strong outing

Friday, allowing one run over eight innings in a 2-1, 10-inning

home loss to Kansas City.

Chicago won 4-1 on Tuesday as Rios and Jones each homered off

major league strikeout leader Jered Weaver. Reliever Tony Pena

picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits in 4 1-3 innings

after starter Jake Peavy left with a back injury in the second

inning.

“Great job. I think Tony is doing a tremendous job,” manager

Ozzie Guillen said. “That was the key of the game right there, Tony

Pena. We had a couple of home runs, but I think Tony was the key to

win the game.”

Right fielder Carlos Quentin sat out with a sore left knee one

night after hitting two home runs and making a spectacular diving

catch on the warning track to rob Hunter of extra bases. Guillen

said that Quentin could have served as the designated hitter, and

may do so Wednesday despite being 0 for 6 against Saunders.

Hunter had three hits Tuesday, and is 12 for 25 over his last

eight games. He’s batting .378 in 25 games against AL Central

opponents.

The Angels have dropped four of five, scoring a total of six

runs in the losses.

Hideki Matsui is mired in an 8-for-42 slump and Bobby Abreu a

5-for-41 skid. They are a combined 0 for 14 in this series.