White Sox hope formula against Blue Jays keeps working (Jun 17, 2017)

BY AP • June 17, 2017

TORONTO -- The Chicago White Sox have two more games this season at the Rogers Centre on Saturday and Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The way the White Sox have been playing under the retractable roof, that is not nearly enough.

The White Sox made it five wins in a row at the Rogers Centre on Friday night when they scored early and often to pound out an 11-4 victory.

Chicago swept three games from the Blue Jays in April 2016, but Friday was the first time the teams have met this year.

Right-hander Mike Pelfrey (2-5, 3.88 ERA) will try to keep it going for the White Sox in the second game of the series Saturday afternoon when he starts against Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (7-2, 3.09 ERA).

The White Sox (30-36) have been able to handle the Blue Jays (32-34) the past few seasons. The latest win gave them eight victories in their past nine games with the Blue Jays, including a 5-1 season series win in 2016.

"The team is playing well right now," White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera said. "The most important thing is to keep working, keep the things that we have been doing, and we believe in ourselves."

Cabrera, a former Blue Jay, had five RBIs with a two-run double and a three-run homer.

White Sox center fielder Leury Garcia did not start Friday for the fifth straight game because of a sore left hand. He hit a sacrifice fly as a pinch hitter on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles, but the hand swelled again and he was scratched.

"I can't really swing," Garcia said. "We'll see how it feels (Saturday)."

Rookie Alen Hanson started for the first time in center field -- a position he played once in Triple-A last season in the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization -- and contributed three singles and a walk in the game.

"When we got him, we were made aware that he could play the corner outfield positions and play multiple infield positions," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said.

"I know D-Bo (White Sox first-base coach Daryl Boston) took him out to work him out there, and he felt comfortable enough that he believed he could hold his own out there, and obviously he had a nice night with the stick."

Hanson was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on June 9 and made his White Sox debut last Saturday. His only other start for Chicago was at second base on Tuesday.

Based on Hanson's outing Friday, he will likely be playing again Saturday.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, failed in their seventh attempt this season to reach 500.

Steve Pearce started in left field for the Blue Jays and homered in his first at-bat. He had been in the disabled list since May 15 with a strained right calf. He likely will be rested Saturday with Dwight Smith Jr. starting in left field.

"He hit the home run, that was a good sign," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He had some at-bats down in the minor leagues, but not a lot of them. I thought he looked good in there."

Pearce replaces Chris Coghlan, who went on the disabled list Friday with a bruised left wrist.

Pearce was 2-for-22 in his rehabilitation assignment at Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo.

"I feel back to normal," Pearce said. "I'm glad to be back. ... It's definitely fun to get hits, but there was a process. I was down there and I knew what I was down there for. I got my at-bats, saw my pitches, and I'm ready."

The pitching matchup has a couple of starters who are throwing the ball well.

Stroman has gone 6-0 with a 2.77 ERA in his past 10 starts with hitters going .259/.315/.362 against him. He has not lost since April 18, his third start of the season. He will be trying to make it seven straight winning decisions Saturday.

Stroman is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA in seven starts this season at home. He is 0-2 with a 7.11 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox.

Pelfrey is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his past five starts. He allowed six hits, five walks and two runs in 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. He pitched one scoreless inning in relief two days later against the Orioles.

Pelfrey was 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in two starts with Triple-A Charlotte after signing a minor-league deal with the White Sox on April 5. He is 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA in four career starts against the Blue Jays.

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