White Sox close out year with Tigers looking for better days
Following a 100-loss campaign, the Chicago White Sox have shown some progress this season.
Their offense has improved, behind Tim Anderson’s surprising run at the batting title, Jose Abreu’s steady contributions, and the development of Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez.
It also helps to be in the same division as the majors’ worst team, the Detroit Tigers. The White Sox have racked up 36 hits while winning the first two games of a three-game series this weekend.
They’ll finish off their trip to Detroit on Sunday.
Jimenez hit a grand slam in the White Sox’s 10-1 victory on Friday. Abreu contributed three hits and two RBIs in a 5-3 win on Saturday. He’s driven in 121 runs.
Anderson is batting a major-league-best .335 and hit a solo homer on Saturday. Moncada lifted his average to .315 with two hits.
“Ultimately, you don’t want just individual successes,” manager Rick Renteria said to MLB.com. “You want a team success, you want everybody to be contributing in some way, shape or form, and I think our guys are learning to kind of feed off each other.”
The White Sox, who now have 68 wins, are looking to challenge Minnesota and Cleveland in the Central Division next season.
“I hope that any time we go out and play a decent ballgame, it’s a foreshadowing of what we want to be,” Renteria said. “That will ultimately be the goal, and we want it to start occurring sooner rather than later.”
They’ll try to do more damage against the Tigers’ ace.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd is scheduled to start for Detroit. Boyd (8-11, 4.54 ERA) missed his last start for personal reasons. He’s racked up 228 strikeouts, including 13 the last time he faced the White Sox on July 4.
Boyd’s most recent start was Sept. 12 against the New York Yankees. He gave up four runs (two earned) on three hits in five innings and was charged with the loss.
Boyd, won his two previous starts, has struggled with the long ball. He’s surrendered 38 homers in 176 1/3 innings.
In 12 career starts, he’s 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA against the White Sox.
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (9-14, 5.44 ERA) will make his 32nd start of the season for Chicago, equaling his total from last season. A year ago, he went 7-10 with a 3.91 ERA.
This season has been more difficult. He’s 9-14 with a 5.44 ERA.
He’s been battered in his last two starts. Kansas City blasted four homers off him on Sept. 11. In a road outing on Monday, Lopez gave up five earned on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings against Minnesota.
He’s 2-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 10 career starts against the Tigers.
Manager Ron Gardenhire felt a little better about his club after Saturday’s game. It showed some signs of life and rallied for a ninth-inning run.
“They were into it,” Gardenhire said of his team. “(Friday) was just one of those days where we were a little gassed or something. You have those moments but with a young group, you shouldn’t. We just had to kind of regroup and (his players) came ready to go. We were into the ballgame and that’s what we’re looking for.”
–Field Level Media