White Sox seek rare winning streak vs. Rangers

The Chicago White Sox will try to build a winning streak when they host the Texas Rangers for the second contest of a four-game series Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Chicago (11-29) is coming off a comeback win in which it scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 4-2 victory in the series opener. The White Sox are looking for their first back-to-back wins since late April.

Meanwhile, Texas (17-28) will try to recover quickly and avoid falling further behind in last place in the AL West. The Rangers have lost four of the past five contests, and they have scored two runs or fewer in four of the past six.

White Sox right-hander Carson Fulmer (2-3, 6.23 ERA) will look to bounce back in his eighth start of the season Friday. The 24-year-old was Chicago’s first-round pick (No. 8 overall) in 2015, but has struggled with command at the big-league level.

In his past two outings, Fulmer has allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in 5 1/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs. He has allowed 17 baserunners in that time with 10 hits, six walks and a hit batsman.

Fulmer said he was working on a couple of mechanical adjustments that could help eliminate his recent trouble. The first inning has proved especially troublesome as he surrendered five runs in the opening frame his last time out.

“For a lot of pitchers that first inning is the hardest one to get through,” Fulmer said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “You’re trying to feel out what you have that day. When you’re too fresh you can lose control a little. But we’re all going through that learning process of what exactly works.”

His philosophy is simple in terms of turning around his season.

“Command the zone, get ahead, eliminate free passes and create early contact to go as deep as possible,” he said.

Fulmer has never faced the Rangers.

The Rangers will announce their starter before Friday’s contest. Right-hander Doug Fister initially was scheduled to take the mound, but he was pushed up to Thursday night because teammate Cole Hamels felt tightness in his neck.

Hamels expects to miss “a few days” with the injury, according to MLB.com, which makes it unlikely that he will start Friday. Another option to take the ball is left-hander Matt Moore (1-5, 7.82 ERA), who has struggled badly as of late with a 12.79 ERA in his last three starts.

In six career starts against the White Sox, Moore is 5-1 with a 1.67 ERA. He has eight walks and 43 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings during those starts. He has allowed only 23 hits, three of which have been home runs.

“Any time (neck discomfort) is so bothersome you’re not able to make a start for a pitcher, you have to worry a little bit,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Hamels, according to MLB.com. “I think if it lingers, we might have to do something else, but we’ll be patient with him.”

Chicago is 4-15 at home; Texas is 10-12 on the road.