White Sox-Orioles Preview
Early next week, the Chicago White Sox start a crucial set of
games that could go a long way toward determining if they win the
First, they’ll try to stay hot during a four-game road series
beginning Friday night against new manager Buck Showalter and his
suddenly resurgent Baltimore Orioles.
Chicago (62-46) enters this weekend’s set holding a 1 1/2-game
division lead over Minnesota, which it will face in its return home
Tuesday night. The White Sox will then host third-place Detroit for
three games, before traveling to Minnesota for three more.
Chicago made strides against one of its challengers this week by
taking three of four road games from the Tigers, improving to 9-2
in its last 11 and a major league-best 38-13 since June 8.
Despite taking a 6-4 victory in 11 innings in Detroit on
Thursday, the White Sox still have concerns about closer Bobby
Jenks yielded three ninth-inning runs in the eventual win,
blowing his second save opportunity in five tries as his ERA
increased to 11.37 since July 17. Mark Kotsay bailed the White Sox
out when he delivered a two-run triple in the 11th after hitting a
two-run homer in the top of the ninth.
“I keep saying Bobby will be the closer,” manager Ozzie Guillen
said. “But we’ll see over the next couple of days.”
If John Danks can regain the form he showed most of last month,
Guillen might not need to worry as much. Danks (11-8, 3.40 ERA) was
4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in his first five starts of July, but ended the
month by giving up five runs over 6 2-3 innings in Saturday’s 6-2
loss to Oakland.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last three
matchups with Baltimore.
However, he’ll now face an Orioles team that’s 3-0 under
Showalter and completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a
5-4 victory Thursday night.
Baltimore (35-73) blew a four-run lead in the eighth inning, but
won on an RBI single by Cesar Izturis in the bottom of the
“(Showalter’s) track record speaks for itself,” Orioles reliever
Jason Berken said. “Guys have a lot of respect for him. He’s done a
great job; he’s going to do a great job. For us, it’s just a matter
of really just putting all facets of the game together, and we’ve
been able to do that so far.”
Baltimore starter Brad Bergesen (3-9, 6.63) will try to end his
lengthy slide and help the worst team in the majors match its
longest win streak of the season. The Orioles have won four
straight twice in 2010, most recently a four-game sweep of Texas
just before the All-Star break.
Bergesen is 0-7 with a 7.26 ERA in his last 11 starts. Another
loss Friday would give him the longest active skid in the
The right-hander nearly ended his drought Saturday, when he left
after seven innings with the Orioles holding a 3-2 lead over Kansas
City. Baltimore’s bullpen, however, couldn’t hold on in a 4-3
Bergesen went 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts last season
against the White Sox as a rookie.