The American League Central Division race is hot as ever, and the White Sox are right in the middle of it. They were also heading into the middle of a nine-game homestand, as they hosted three games against the 45-62 Kansas City Royals. Sandwiched in between a series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland Athletics, the White Sox were seeking to take advantage of the weakest of the three teams. But sometimes in baseball, things just do not go as planned.
Things started off well for the Sox on Monday night, as the Sox were led by home runs from Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham. With Chris Sale on the mound, the White Sox were in good hands, and 30,097 witnessed a White Sox winner as they took the series opener 4-2.
On Tuesday night, the White Sox would face Bruce Chen, who hadn’t won a game in about six weeks. However, the White Sox have had plenty of problems with Chen in the past, so something had to give. Unfortunately for the White Sox, it wouldn’t go in their favor. It seemed all good at first, as Gordon Beckham led the game off with a home run. It didn’t bother Chen, who settled in just after that, and the White Sox would muster just one other run the rest of the game.
Chen went six and two-thirds, allowing seven hits and just two runs. Beckham’s home run was his 11th of the season, and Dunn also added his 75th RBI of the year.
The series finale gave the White Sox a great chance to take the series, as Jeremy Guthrie took the mound, who hadn’t won in almost 10 weeks. The results would play out even worse than they did against Chen. In fact, the White Sox would manage to score their first run in the ninth, but not before two early home runs by Kansas City off White Sox starter Jose Quintana, giving the Royals a 2-1 victory.
With the Detroit Tigers taking two of the first three from the New York Yankees in their four-game series, the White Sox stand a half-game ahead of the Tigers in the American League Central. With an off day on Thursday, the White Sox will await the result of the series finale of the Tigers/Yankees series to find out if they will enter the series with Oakland in sole possession of first place.
The Oakland A’s stand at 60-51, and have a chance at the playoffs for the first time in a few years. The White Sox may have to play without first baseman Paul Konerko, who suffered a “mild concussion” during Tuesday night’s game, when he took an elbow to the head on a play at first.
The series will kick off with former White Sox pitcher Brandon McCarthy taking the mound for Oakland, as the White Sox send Gavin Floyd to the mound. McCarthy is just coming off the disabled list from a shoulder injury. Oakland’s pitching is what has kept them in the race, as they rank in the bottom third offensively in many offensive categories. The team leader in ERA is another former White Sox pitcher, Bartolo Colon, whose ERA currently stands at 3.38.
After the Tigers finish up their series with the Yankees, they will travel down to Texas to take on the Texas Rangers this weekend.
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