Blue Jays-White Sox Preview
Having finally scored a bevy of runs at home following a record streak, the Chicago White Sox might keep rolling when they face one of the worst road pitchers in the majors.
The White Sox will get a matchup against R.A. Dickey to finish off their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.
Chicago (38-44) had scored four runs or fewer in a team-worst 24 consecutive home games dating back to May 10 before a 7-6 victory in 11 innings Wednesday. Adam Eaton finished off his team’s sixth win in eight contests with his sixth homer of the season and had the tying infield single in the sixth.
"In the past week and a half, we’ve been playing better baseball," Eaton said. "We’ve been battling and scoring more runs lately, but at least our pitching has been there."
The White Sox will next get to face Dickey, 0-6 with a 6.04 ERA in eight road starts for the worst record there among qualifying starters. He allowed five runs – four in the first inning – and matched a career high by giving up 11 hits over 5 2-3 innings in an 8-3 loss in Detroit on Saturday, his third in a row.
"Sometimes that’s the nature of the game. You have a rough first inning, sometimes you have rough fifth innings," Dickey told MLB’s official website.
Dickey (3-9, 5.02 ERA) is 2-3 with an 8.69 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox, and his 8.21 ERA in 10 lifetime appearances versus Chicago is his worst against any opponent. He dropped to 0-2 with a 9.56 ERA in his past three matchups May 26.
The knuckleballer gave up five runs in five innings but the Blue Jays were leading when he exited that 10-9 victory. Dickey is 1-2 with a 13.50 ERA in three lifetime road starts against the White Sox with the most recent June 10, 2013.
In his next one, he’ll try to keep Toronto (44-43) from dropping to .500 for the first time since it was 30-30 on June 9. The Blue Jays, losers in seven of 10, will face Jeff Samardzija (5-4, 4.33), who is reportedly drawing some trade interest from Toronto.
The right-hander yielded one run in 7 2-3 innings and matched a season high with nine strikeouts Saturday against Baltimore but did not get a decision in a 3-2 home win.
Samardzija has a 3.00 ERA in his last five games and has pitched at least seven innings in six straight, but he has one victory in that stretch, a 6-2 win in Minnesota on June 23. He’s gotten a 4.00 run support average in his last five games but has received a combined four runs in 14 2-3 innings in his last two at home.
Samardzija, 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in two starts against the Blue Jays, gave up one unearned run in seven innings in Toronto on May 27 but did not get a decision in a 5-3 win.
Jose Abreu will try to help him come away with a victory this time while extending a 10-game hit streak. Abreu’s three home runs in six career at-bats off Dickey are his most against any pitcher.
Alexei Ramirez, 5 for 13 (.385) with two homers in this matchup, is batting .435 (10 for 23) in a seven-game hit streak to start this month.
Toronto’s Russell Martin has four hits in his last nine at-bats against Samardzija, including a pair of doubles, but is 2 for 29 in his past 10 games.