The Chicago White Sox will try and complete a sweep of this weekend’s series — as well as the season’s series– when they meet the host Baltimore Orioles for the final time Sunday afternoon.
Chicago has won the first two games of this series and are 6-0 this year against the Orioles as both teams finish up the first half of their seasons.
The White Sox have scored 38 runs in these first six games, including 20 in the two games of this series. Chicago rolled to an 8-3 victory on Saturday, thanks mainly to the hitting of Brian Goodwin (4-for-5, three RBIs, homer) and Leury Garcia (a pair of RBI doubles).
Starter Lucas Giolito gave up two runs and struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings. The Sox held an 8-3 lead before Baltimore loaded the bases in the eighth so closer Liam Hendriks entered to record the final four outs for his 23rd save.
The White Sox have pounded the Baltimore pitchers in the first two games of this series, constantly putting runners on base and causing trouble. That successful formula is what they’ve been doing all season and why Chicago holds a big lead in the American League Central.
Shortstop Tim Anderson received some good news this weekend as he has been named to the American League roster for the All-Star Game Tuesday in Colorado.
“You got to see him every day to appreciate him,” said White Sox manager Tony La Russa. “You need exposure to see how great he is in all phases of the game. He does things on the bases, his explosion; it’s just a beautiful thing to watch.”
Dylan Cease (7-4, 4.14 ERA) starts on Sunday for Chicago, and he’s pitched well this season. Cease is 1-0 with a 1.50 career ERA in one career appearance against Baltimore.
Spenser Watkins (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will be pitching in his third major-league game and making a second start after beating Toronto on July 6.
The Orioles need help from their starting rotation, which has struggled over the last several weeks. Thomas Eshelman took the loss in Saturday’s game, lasting only two-plus innings and giving up four runs on four hits in the process.
Manager Brandon Hyde was pretty blunt when asked about his starting pitching.
“We’re in dire need of rotation help,” Hyde said after Saturday’s loss. “Right now, we’re definitely struggling in the rotation. It’s been very challenging.”
The team’s hitting is better but they still have problems with runners in scoring position. On Saturday, Baltimore finished with eight hits but went just 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Domingo Leyba drove in two runs, and Ramon Urias remained hot with a 2-for-4 performance that improved his average to .296. Urias has been filling in for the injured Freddy Galvis at shortstop and played well since taking over the job.
–Field Level Media