White Sox-Indians Preview
Chicago White Sox pitchers have performed at a high level in recent road games. Their lineup has joined in on the fun in Cleveland.
The White Sox will try to finish off an impressive showing with their first four-game road sweep of the Indians in 10 years Sunday.
Chicago (45-50) has registered a 1.23 ERA in a 7-1 stretch away from home and has given up just four runs in this series. The White Sox’s hitters, meanwhile, have plated 24 while totaling 36 hits.
"They’ve outplayed us in every way," said Indians manager Terry Francona, whose team has dropped five straight at home. "They’ve pitched better than us. They’ve hit better than us. I hope that changes (Sunday)."
Melky Cabrera has driven in seven runs while going 7 for 13 in the series. Alexei Ramirez, batting .224 in his first 89 games, has gone 6 for 13 with five RBIs.
Jose Abreu brought home three runs in a 10-3 victory Saturday, including two in a five-run first inning, and Tyler Saladino went 3 for 5 while scoring three runs.
"We’re just putting it together. We’ve got a six-run lead and we’ve got guys diving for balls in the outfield, hustling down the line," pitcher Chris Sale said. "This is what we know we can play like."
The White Sox will next seek their first four-game sweep in Cleveland since July 14-17, 2005, and will likely need a better performance from Carlos Rodon (3-3, 4.48 ERA) to accomplish that goal.
The left-hander gave up seven runs in four innings in an 8-5 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday, dropping to 1-3 with a 6.98 ERA in his last six starts. That stretch includes six scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs on July 10.
Rodon yielded one run in six innings in his lone start against Cleveland (45-51) on May 20, but walked five and did not get a decision in a 4-3 loss.
He might have to face Jason Kipnis after the All-Star second baseman sat out Saturday because of a stiff neck. Kipnis, third in the AL with a .324 average, is 6 for 43 (.140) with 10 strikeouts in 11 games against the White Sox this season.
Danny Salazar (8-5, 3.78) will seek his third win in as many starts versus Chicago. He tossed six shutout innings in his lone 2015 matchup, a 5-2 victory May 21. That was also his only scoreless outing this season, and he gave up no earned runs over 8 2-3 innings in a 5-1 win over Oakland on July 10.
In his only appearance since that start, Salazar yielded three runs and two hits in six innings Tuesday in an 8-1 defeat in Milwaukee. He’s alternated wins and losses in his last four outings.
Ramirez is 9 for 13 (.692) with a home run and two doubles lifetime against Salazar, his best average versus any of the 120 pitchers he’s faced 11 or more times. Those nine hits are the most the right-hander has given up to any player.
Cleveland’s home skid is its longest since a six-game slide Aug. 5-10, 2013. The Indians have lost four in a row overall twice this season with the last coming April 25-28.