Dodgers-White Sox Preview
The Chicago White Sox finally seem to be getting some consistency out of their lineup. It may be hard, though, to keep that going against Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda, who hasn't allowed a run in his last two starts, takes the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of a three-game series against the White Sox on Sunday.
Despite the struggles of offseason acquisition Adam Dunn, the White Sox (21-26) offense is producing after a frustrating start. They have won 10 of 14 after losing 18 of the previous 22, bouncing back from a 6-4, 10-inning loss to the Dodgers (21-26) on Friday with a 9-2 victory Saturday.
Mark Buehrle pitched seven strong innings, Paul Konerko had three hits and drove in three runs, and Alex Rios and Brent Lillibridge each homered. Lillibridge started after Carlos Quentin was scratched with a bruised left knee.
Chicago finished with 16 hits, the third straight game it's recorded at least 10. The White Sox have averaged 4.5 runs and hit .288 the last 14 games after scoring 2.5 and batting .202 in the previous 22 contests.
"We went out and were pretty aggressive today," Konerko said. "That's a good sign and it worked out. Some days, that can backfire on you."
Dunn hasn't been much of a factor in the turnaround, going 2 for 26 with 12 strikeouts the last seven games to drop his average to .190. He struck out four times Saturday, the fifth time this season he has fanned at least three times in a game.
He is, however, 3 for 7 with two doubles, a home run and four walks against Kuroda (5-3, 2.80 ERA), who will try for his third straight win Sunday.
After giving up three hits in seven innings of a 2-0 win at Pittsburgh on May 11, Kuroda allowed six hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 3-0 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday. He's struck out 15 in the two starts.
"He's been the one guy I've had no concerns about so far this year," manager Don Mattingly told the team's official website.
The right-hander made his only start against the White Sox on June 23, 2009, allowing two runs while striking out nine in 8 2-3 innings of a 5-2 victory.
The Dodgers have dropped six of eight, scoring two or fewer runs five times.
One bright spot in Saturday's loss was rookie Jerry Sands' first big league homer, which improved his average to .205 in 27 games.
"It feels good," Sands said. "I got it off my back a little bit. ... I came up here and scuffled for my first 30 games. But it feels good to get one, just wish it could have come in a win."
The White Sox will send Edwin Jackson (3-5, 4.53) to the mound Sunday.
Jackson labored in a 4-0 loss to Texas on Monday, throwing 111 pitches over 5 1-3 innings while allowing four runs, 11 hits and three walks with two wild pitches. It was the fifth loss in six starts for the right-hander since he went 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA his first two outings.
Jackson, who broke into the majors with the Dodgers in 2003, faced his former team three times last year with Arizona, going 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA.
James Loney is 5 for 12 against Jackson.