White Sox-Angels Preview

While the Chicago White Sox are in the midst of their most

successful stretch of the season, the Los Angeles Angels yet again

find themselves in a slide.

The visiting White Sox look to extend their season-high winning

streak to five games by keeping Joe Blanton winless and handing the

Angels a fourth consecutive defeat Saturday.

Chicago (19-21) dropped five of seven before Chris Sale one-hit

Los Angeles to salvage one victory during a three-game home set

Sunday. The White Sox lost 10-3 the next night at Minnesota, but

since have won four in a row, including the first two in

Anaheim.

The Angels (15-27), meanwhile, have lost three straight and five

of six since winning three in a row.

Sale allowed three hits and struck out 12 over 7 2-3 innings and

Alex Rios homered for the second straight game in Chicago’s 3-0 win

at Los Angeles on Friday. The 24-year-old ace has gone 23 innings

without yielding a run.

“A team like (the Angels), they’ve got some amazing

ballplayers,” Sale said. “So you’ve got to make adjustments.

“It’s never easy facing a team in back-to-back starts.”

Rios is batting .388 with four home runs and nine RBIs during a

12-game hitting streak. He’s hit .350 (7 for 20) with three RBIs

this season versus Los Angeles.

Teammate Adam Dunn homered for the fourth time in four games

Friday. The slugger is 7 for 16 (.438) with eight RBIs during the

stretch that followed a four-game span which he went 0 for 14.

Chicago looks to stay hot against Blanton (0-7, 6.46 ERA), who

will try a ninth time to earn his first win as an Angel.

The right-hander allowed a season-high seven runs and 12 hits

while striking out seven without a walk in 4 2-3 innings of an 11-4

loss to Kansas City on Monday. It marked the first time in

franchise history that the Angels have lost each of a pitcher’s

first eight starts in a season.

“Joe had a rough outing, to say the least,” Angels manager Mike

Scioscia said. “We’ll turn the page on it, and hopefully he’ll get

where he needs to be in his next start.”

Blanton is 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA against the White Sox, but has

not faced them since 2008 with Oakland.

Chicago counters with Hector Santiago (1-2, 2.33), who allowed a

solo homer in 12 1-3 innings to go 1-0 in his first two starts

after replacing the injured Gavin Floyd, but gave up six – three

earned – in 5 2-3 frames Monday.

With injured starter John Danks apparently close to returning to

the rotation, Santiago could drop out. With a 3-1 record and 1.93

ERA in seven career starts, Santiago also has heard his name in

trade rumors.

“I kind of try not to think about it, but you always have

something in the back of your mind,” he told the White Sox’s

official website about his uncertain future.

In his only previous appearance against the Angels, Santiago

threw 2-3 scoreless innings of relief on Sept. 21.

Los Angeles’ Mike Trout is 0 for 6 in the series after he hit

.368 with six homers and 17 RBIs in the previous 15 contests.