The Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians continue their American League Central series Saturday night at Progressive Field
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians
Chicago picked up a 3-0 shutout victory on the road against Cleveland last night and has now won seven of its last eight games in the series. The White Sox are now a not-so-distant 3.5 games behind the second-place Indians in the division race and just five games back of the leading Tigers. “It’s very important to stay close to them. If we get too far behind, we’re creating a dangerous situation for us,” commented White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. The club has played good baseball away from home recently, posting a 10-5 mark in its last 15 road games. Much of that success comes from a bullpen posting a 0.97 ERA in its last 17 contests away from U.S. Cellular Field. Chicago is 13-13 versus left-handed starters this year.
White Sox starting pitcher Edwin Jackson is 6-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 18 starts this season and comes off a brilliant performance in his last outing. He captured a complete-game 5-0 shutout victory over the Tigers on the road, scattering nine hits and striking out two. The right-hander is an even 4-4 with a 5.12 ERA in nine road outings, as opposing hitters are batting .300 against him. In 13 games (12 starts) versus the Indians in his career, Jackson has tallied an impressive 8-1 mark and 2.70 ERA. The eight wins are his most against any team.
Cleveland is definitely in a dog fight in terms of the division race, but has managed to win just 10 of its last 20 contests. “There’s two months left,” said Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. “Anything can happen.” The Indians were shutout for the 10th time in the series opener and has gone 21-32 since May 23. The club is likely not going to pick up any ground on the Tigers over the course of the weekend, entering today’s game with a 1-6 record against the White Sox this season. Cleveland is 2-7 after getting blanked this year and 39-32 versus right-handed starters.
Indians starting pitcher David Huff picked up a 5-2 road win over the Twins in his first start of the 2011 season last time out, tossing seven shutout innings and scattering five hits. It was his first Major League win since May 23, 2010, breaking a seven-game drought. The left-hander posted an 8-3 record and 3.86 ERA in 17 Triple-A starts in Columbus, as he was tied for fifth in the International League in wins. Huff suffered through a dismal season last year, tallying a 2-11 record and 6.21 ERA in just 15 starts.
Bettors will likely back the White Sox due to their 6-0 mark on Saturdays, while the Indians are 4-9 versus the division