White Sox-Cardinals Preview

Carlos Beltran and Adam Dunn are enjoying huge comeback seasons

for their respective teams.

These sluggers are among baseball’s home run leaders and will

meet Tuesday night as Dunn’s Chicago White Sox look for an eighth

straight road win in the opener of a three-game set against

Beltran’s St. Louis Cardinals.

Beltran leads the NL with 18 homers while Dunn has 20 for the

majors’ second-highest total behind Texas slugger Josh Hamilton.

Beltran averaged 13.0 homers over his previous three injury-plagued

seasons while Dunn has already nearly doubled his total of 11 from

2011, his first season with Chicago (33-27).

Both homered in consecutive games to finish solid weekend

series, as Beltran went 6 for 11 and Dunn was 5 for 12 with seven

RBIs.

St. Louis (31-30) and Chicago both lost two of three, however.

The Cardinals opened a nine-game interleague homestand with a

series loss to Cleveland and have dropped eight of 12 overall.

“I felt that we have been battling injuries and things like

that, but at the same time we just need to find a way to play

better,” Beltran told the Cardinals’ official website. “There’s no

excuses. We have a good team. We just have to find a way to put it

together.”

The White Sox stumbled against Houston to cap a 4-5

homestand.

“Come Tuesday night, that’s another little moment where we can

respond again to a bad series,” said slugger Paul Konerko, who is

second on the all-time list with 56 interleague homers. “We’ve done

it probably six or seven times this year. We’ll probably have to do

it six or seven more times.”

Manager Robin Ventura has indicated that Dunn will start in left

field in this series. The White Sox are visiting the new Busch

Stadium for the first time, having gone 2-7 over three previous

trips to St. Louis with the most recent in 2001.

Chicago may be happy to start a six-game trip after its mediocre

homestand. The White Sox own the majors’ best road mark at 17-9 and

can win eight in a row away from home for the first time since a

12-game run June 4-July 3, 2000.

Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday has missed the last two

games with a back injury but could return Tuesday. St. Louis

totaled five runs against Cleveland, with Rafael Furcal going 0 for

11 and David Freese 2 for 11.

“Would I like to see us more consistent? There’s no question,”

manager Mike Matheny said. “Guys are grinding, they’re fighting,

and I’m going to continue to stay optimistic because that’s what I

believe.”

Matheny will start veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright, who

yielded three runs and struck out eight over 5 2-3 innings

Wednesday to get credit for a 4-3 win over the Astros.

Wainwright (5-6, 4.97 ERA) has never started against the White

Sox, but Dunn is 8 for 18 with a homer and eight walks against

him.

Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana (1-1, 2.05) will make his

fourth start for Chicago. He has gone 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA in his

first three while filling in for an injured John Danks.