Reds-White Sox Preview
Though producing runs has been a struggle for the Chicago White Sox, they believe they're certainly capable of being a consistently successful offensive club.
After salvaging a doubleheader split with a solid effort at the plate in the nightcap, the White Sox conclude their home set with the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Chicago (11-16) totaled six hits overall and managed one run prior to the ninth inning of Saturday's 10-4 loss in Game 1. However, the AL's lowest scoring team (95 runs) homered three times and recorded 14 hits during an 8-2 victory over Cincinnati (15-15) in the second contest.
''Everybody's frustrated that's got a low average right now and it's not getting done offensively," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "But these guys, they stick together and it'll get better.''
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez entered Saturday batting .202, but went 5 for 8 - recording a home run and two RBIs in each contest.
''Hopefully, this is a good sign to turn the corner for him,'' Ventura said about Ramirez, who connected for his 100th home run in Game 1.
The White Sox average 4.1 runs while going 9-5 at home compared to the road, where they're 2-11 and scoring 2.8 per contest.
Chicago also is near the bottom of the majors with 19 home runs even after hitting five Saturday.
All four runs Cincinnati's Michael Lorenzen (1-1, 3.27 ERA) has allowed through his first two career starts have come via solo homers. He yielded one in the second inning and two other hits over six of a 7-1 victory at Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
''I kind of collected myself and thought about what a young pitcher who had given up four home runs in his first two starts should do,'' the right-hander said. ''I thought the answer was (to) pound the strike zone, so that's what I tried to do.''
Chicago counters with John Danks (1-3, 6.20), who needs to bounce back after allowing seven runs - three earned - and eight hits over 2 1-3 innings of last Sunday's 13-3 loss at Minnesota.
''It's pretty awful," said Danks, who also committed two errors.
Marlon Byrd has faced Danks more than any other Reds player but is 3 for 20 with a double and five strikeouts against the left-hander. Byrd hit a three-run home run while recording his fifth consecutive two-hit game in Saturday's opener.
He went 0 for 1 with three walks in the nightcap.
Teammate Joey Votto had half of Cincinnati's six hits in Game 2 after sitting the opener to serve a one-game suspension for making contact with an umpire Wednesday.
Chicago's Jose Abreu was shaken up after he fouled a ball off his lower left leg in the first inning of the opener, but homered in the ninth off Johnny Cueto and went 1 for 4 in the second game.
After going 0 for 6 in the first season's first two home games, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year is batting .383 while hitting safely in has last 12 at U.S. Cellular Field.