The Chicago White Sox (72-60) and Detroit Tigers (71-61) will close out an important American League Central series at Comerica Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 ET on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball
These two AL Central rivals are heading in opposite directions as they start a four-game series with a doubleheader.
Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers
Chicago opens up a four-game series with a day-night doubleheader against the Tigers on Tuesday. The White Sox haven’t been very successful against divisional opponents this year, posting a 17-20 mark (-700) and the total is 16-18 O/U in those games. The team did finish its last homestand with a 6-1 record and are 20-2 over their last 22 games at U.S. Cellular Field. “We are playing good baseball all over,” said reliever Matt Thornton. Chicago has compiled a dominating 35-12 record since June 9, helping to erase a 9.5 game deficit in the divisional race in the process. It must not be lost that the White Sox are just an even 25-25 on the road this season (+390) and 96-118 away from Chicago the last three years (-1,080).
Two second-place teams do battle in the first game of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field
Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles starts a seven-game road trip tonight leading into the All-Star break, after posting a dominating 11-0 home victory over the Kansas City Royals on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. The Angels also made some moves to boost the team’s offense over the weekend, but will play out the week with a shorter pitching staff. “We’re looking right now to get through the week with 11 pitchers,” manager Mike Scioscia said. The Halos have won five of their last six road games and are an MLB-best 12-3 in their last 15 road contests. Overall, the team is an incredible 122-86 on the road the past three years (+4,330). Los Angeles also brings a 25-12 record into this contest since May 25, which is the best mark in the American League. The club leads the season series 2-0 over the White Sox, picking up a two-game sweep on May 19-20.
The Windy City has two teams going in opposite directions heading into the series finale.
Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox
The Chicago Cubs fell 3-2 to their crosstown rivals on Saturday afternoon, but things remained positive in the clubhouse afterwards. “Today was a little different,” starting pitcher Carlos Silva said. “Today I saw a team out there.” Manager Lou Piniella’s squad held a pregame meeting before the game, allowing the manager and players to move forward following pitcher Carlos Zambrano’s suspension. Yesterday’s defeat was the 39th game of the season decided by two or fewer runs, including the 28th one-run game (11-17). Today is the final game of a 15-game stretch against the American League (5-9) with the team’s designated hitter managing to hit just .100 on the road in interleague play. The Cubs are batting .193 and scoring 1.2 runs per game while dropping four of their last five games. Despite the downtrodden season, Piniella’s club has only been swept once in a three-game series.
The South Siders are the hottest team in baseball and look to finish off a 15-game interleague stretch in style.
Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox
Manager Lou Piniella’s team picked up a 3-2 road victory in 13 innings over the Seattle Mariners, in one of those games that may jumpstart the season. “I’m hoping we’re going to put together a run,” outfielder Marlon Byrd said after the game. The Cubs are now 7-8 during interleague play this year (-110) and are set to play the 13th game of a 15-game stretch against the American League this afternoon. The pitching staff has tallied a 3.69 ERA this month, fifth-best in the National League, but the offense has failed to deliver. Chicago has scored three or fewer runs in 12 games and two or fewer in eight contests this month.
The Cubs look to avoid being swept by their cross-town rivals on national television.
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
The Chicago White Sox have won four straight games and five of their last six as they continue a nine-game, 10-day road trip. It’s only helped to have starting pitchers Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and Mark Buehrle scheduled to throw in this series, as the three have combined to go 34-15 with a 3.25 ERA in interleague play. “We’re getting the good pitching and timely hitting,” White Sox outfielder Juan Pierre said following Saturday’s 2-1 victory. The lineup is filled with hitters that have been Cubs’ killers in the past, including OF Mark Kotsay batting .405 in his last 10 games against the club and OF Alex Rios being a red-hot 11-for-16 with six RBI in his last four. The team continues its winning ways against the National League, currently having a 4-1 record this year (+340), after going 12-6 in 2009.
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