Cardinals turn to Lackey to avoid two-game sweep at hands of ChiSox
Chris Sale mowed through the St. Louis lineup on his way to entering the record books and helping the Chicago White Sox snap a pair of Cardinals winning streaks.
Another left-hander now looks to help the White Sox accomplish something no team has done at Busch Stadium all season.
Jose Quintana takes the mound Wednesday night as Chicago seeks a two-game sweep of St. Louis.
Sale matched Pedro Martinez's MLB record set in 1999 of striking out at least 10 in eight straight starts by fanning 12 Cardinals over eight innings in the White Sox's 2-1, 11-inning win Tuesday night.
Randal Grichuk homered in the fourth for St. Louis (51-25), which had won nine straight at home and six in a row overall. Every Cardinals starter struck out at least once by the sixth inning.
"It's good to get out there and face that type of competition," said Xavier Scruggs, who struck out three times after going 7 for 11 over his previous three games. "You always want to face the best."
Quintana (3-7, 3.95 ERA) isn't as overpowering as Sale, but his approach has helped him post a 2.97 ERA over his last six starts. Another solid outing could help the White Sox (33-42) become the only team to sweep the Cardinals in a series of any length at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis is a baseball-best 29-8 at home, and the only visitor to win twice in a series there is Detroit on May 15 and 16.
Quintana, who won his only start in St. Louis by giving up one run in 5 1/3 innings June 12, 2012, allowed three runs and 11 hits in six innings of Chicago's 5-4 loss to Detroit on Friday. It marked the first time in 15 outings that he didn't walk a batter.
Quintana was in line for the victory before the Tigers tied it with a homer leading off the seventh. Five of Quintana's defeats have come when he's allowed three runs or fewer.
"I tried to get my outs, tried to get the game close," Quintana said. "(I'll) come back (in my next start)."
The White Sox didn't need many runs Tuesday, and they'll now try to win back-to-back road games for the first time since May 27 and 28. Jose Abreu's single in the third drove in Sale before Tyler Flowers hit a two-out homer in the 11th.
"You don't want to waste those opportunities," Flowers said.
Chicago could again find itself scrounging for runs as John Lackey (6-4, 3.35) takes the hill.
Lackey is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA in three starts since giving up 10 runs in four innings at Colorado on June 8. He held the Chicago Cubs to two runs in seven innings Friday before the Cardinals rallied for a 3-2 victory in 10.
The right-hander threw 95 pitches through five innings but needed just 11 to get through the next two.
"He's a guy that thrives in a game like that," manager Mike Matheny said. "He figures out a way to keep us close."
Lackey, who is 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA in eight home starts, hasn't faced the White Sox since 2010 while with Boston. He's had some experience against Melky Cabrera, who is 10 for 33 with three doubles in their matchups.
Cabrera hit .444 over his previous seven before going 0 for 4 on Tuesday.