White Sox-Cubs Preview
By no means is a .500 record something to celebrate, but for the
Chicago White Sox it would mean they’ve further distanced
themselves from a disastrous start.
The White Sox try to get back to the break-even mark for the
first time in 2 1/2 months and win their fourth straight over the
crosstown Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field.
After owning the majors’ worst record (11-22) on May 6, the
White Sox have managed to creep back into the AL Central race. They
are now within one game of returning to .500 for the first time
since being 7-7 on April 16.
A reason for the White Sox’s turnaround has been their play
against the NL.
They are 10-6 in interleague play and have won 18 of 19 series
against the Senior Circuit. The White Sox (41-42) are trying to win
their 10th consecutive interleague series on the road after posting
a 6-4 win Friday, their 14th in 19 meetings with the Cubs
The White Sox scored four times in the seventh inning after
trailing by two. Alexei Ramirez tied the game with a two-run homer
and Juan Pierre put them ahead with a two-run triple.
Pierre has received a lot of criticism for owning a .321 on-base
percentage – one of the worst among leadoff hitters in baseball –
but he finally appears to be looking comfortable at the plate. The
former Cub had the tiebreaking two-run single in the 10th inning in
Thursday’s 6-4 win over Colorado and is batting .435 with six RBIs
during a five-game hitting streak.
“I know Juan is a good player,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Not
because he won the last two games for us.”
Aramis Ramirez put the Cubs up 4-2 on Friday with a solo shot in
the sixth – the 300th homer of his career – before they lost for
the ninth time in 14 games.
Ramirez is batting .441 with six home runs and nine RBIs in his
last nine games, and nine of his 11 homers have come in the last
“(Ramirez is) really playing well and anchoring this thing,”
manager Mike Quade told the Cubs’ official website.
He’ll look to continue his surge against Philip Humber (7-4,
2.89 ERA), who tries to bounce back from his first loss in two
Humber carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning against
Washington on Sunday, but his two-out walk in the seventh was
followed by a homer in a 2-1 loss. The right-hander allowed three
hits in 6 2-3 innings in losing for the first time since April 30,
snapping a string of winning five straight decisions.
Humber, who is holding NL opponents to a .192 batting average in
three starts, will make his first appearance against the Cubs.
Chicago counters with Matt Garza (4-6, 4.07), who allowed three
runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings in Monday’s 7-3 win over
Colorado. He gave up two homers and has yielded five in 18 1-3
innings over his last three starts.
Prior to facing Colorado, Garza surrendered a solo shot to Paul
Konerko at U.S. Cellular Field on June 21. The right-hander gave up
two runs and four hits in five innings before a lengthy rain delay
ended his night. The Cubs lost 3-2 and Garza didn’t receive a
Konerko is 5 for 8 with two homers, two doubles and two walks