Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds congratulates Zack Cozart #2 after Cozart scored on a passed ball in the 3rd inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on April 8, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Chicago White Sox own a better record against the Cincinnati Reds than they do versus any opponent.
That means little Friday night since they are sending Hector Noesi to the mound.
Noesi has lost six straight starts for the White Sox heading into the opener of this three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago (10-15) is 14-3 against Cincinnati, including 4-1 at home, but these teams haven’t met since 2009.
The White Sox begin the weekend by starting Noesi (0-3, 6.75 ERA), who has posted a 5.94 ERA in losing his last six outings – three this year. The right-hander gave up five runs over 4 1-3 innings in Saturday’s 5-3 defeat at Minnesota.
Though Noesi hasn’t pitched well in this losing streak, the White Sox haven’t helped him by totaling seven runs of support.
That’s been an issue all season for Chicago, one of baseball’s lowest scoring teams with 3.3 runs per game and a major league-low 14 homers. The White Sox have not gone deep in 10 of their last 11 games.
Cincinnati (14-14) can’t be certain of the status of Joey Votto, who was ejected and then made contact with home plate umpire Chris Conroy in Wednesday’s 3-0 win at Pittsburgh. Votto, who will likely face a suspension, went 0 for 4 in Thursday’s 7-2 defeat to the Pirates.
Votto, second on the team with a .311 average, has admitted that he made contact with Conroy.
The Reds will play their first interleague game after going 6-14 in such contests a year ago for baseball’s second-worst mark. They went 1-9 on the road against the AL.
Shortstop Zack Cozart may be back in the lineup after missing all three games in Pittsburgh when he was hit by a pitch on the wrist Sunday in Atlanta.
"There is still inflammation in there right now, but it just feels way better," Cozart told MLB’s official site. "I swung, took soft toss, and did my normal routine and it felt really good."
Cincinnati may like its chances of adding to Noesi’s woes because starter Jason Marquis (3-1, 5.22) leads the NL with a run support average of 9.82. The Reds have totaled 28 runs in his three-start win streak, with the right-hander posting a 4.66 ERA.
Marquis gave up three runs over 6 1-3 innings in Saturday’s 8-4 win at Atlanta.
This will be his first start against Chicago since 2008.
Adam LaRoche is a .289 hitter against Marquis in 38 at-bats and Melky Cabrera is 0 for 8. Chicago may want to use Emilio Bonifacio, who is 7 for 16 against Marquis but didn’t play in this week’s three-game home set against Detroit.
The White Sox, who fell 4-1 to the Tigers on Thursday, have taken two of three in every home series. Jose Abreu, homerless in his last 11 games, is hitting .356 at home compared to .212 on the road.
"You want to win every game, but taking two of three from a good team like them is a good step for us," center fielder Adam Eaton said.