Chicago (17-10) at Toronto (10-18)

Clear Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri May 7, 2004
  • TV: WCIU, RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It may be only one month into the season, but the Chicago White Sox are displaying two characteristics of a very good team.

The first-place White Sox will look to continue their strong play when they open a three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Chicago rallied from a pair of one-run deficits and held on for a 6-5 victory at Baltimore Wednesday.

Hot-hitting Juan Uribe keyed a seventh-inning rally with a triple, and Billy Koch worked in and out of trouble in the ninth, leading the White Sox to their sixth win in eight games.

Chicago, a major-league best 11-1 in one-run games, has come from behind in 12 of its 17 wins this season.

“It’s great. They believe in themselves and they fight until the end,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We have been playing solid baseball, doing the little things to win games.”

Uribe has been one of the catalysts for Chicago, hitting .444 (16-for-36) with two homers, five RBIs and nine runs in his last nine games.

The White Sox failed to hit a home run Wednesday after doing so in 15 straight games, two short of the franchise record set in 2000.

Catcher Sandy Alomar left Wednesday’s game in the second inning with a hyperextended right hip. The injury isn’t believed to be serious, but Alomar will not play Friday.

Struggling Vernon Wells had his best game of the season Wednesday in Toronto’s 10-3 victory over visiting Kansas City.

Wells homered twice and tied a career high with five RBIs, leading the Blue Jays to their third win in four home games following an 0-9 start at SkyDome.

Wells led the majors with 215 hits last season, finishing with a .317 average, 33 home runs and 117 RBIs. He entered Wednesday batting .228 with one homer and seven RBIs.

“I’ve been swinging the bat better over the last few days,” Wells said. “I’m seeing the ball a lot better.”

Toronto was one of the best hitting teams in the AL in 2003, batting .279 and finishing second in runs scored (894) and fifth in homers (190). This season, the Blue Jays are hitting .260 and rank 10th in runs (132) and 13th in homers (20).

STANDINGS (through May 5): White Sox - 1st place, AL Central. Blue Jays - 4th place (tied), 6 1/2 GB, AL East.

WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Jon Garland (2-1, 4.15 ERA). The right-hander continued to pitch well against the Blue Jays, limiting them to two runs on 10 hits in seven innings of a 3-2 victory Sunday. In nine career games, including seven starts, against Toronto, Garland is 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA. He has pitched at least six innings in each of his five starts this season.

BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Ted Lilly (2-2, 4.99 ERA). After pitching a two-hitter in a 6-1 victory over Minnesota, Lilly wasn’t nearly as sharp against the White Sox on Saturday, but still managed to win his second straight start. He allowed five runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 10-6 victory. The left-hander is 3-1 with a 6.15 ERA in five career starts against Chicago.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: White Sox - Uribe, .372 avg.; Magglio Ordonez, 8 HRs and 23 RBIs; Frank Thomas and Ordonez, 17 runs; Willie Harris, 5 SBs. Blue Jays - Frank Catalanotto, .316 avg.; Carlos Delgado, 5 HRs and 17 RBIs; Wells, 19 runs; Orlando Hudson and Wells, 1 SB.

SEASON SERIES: White Sox, 3-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - C Miguel Olivo is 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs lifetime against Lilly. … Chicago has won 14 of its last 21 games at SkyDome. … 3B Joe Crede is batting .167 (7-for-42) with three homers and three RBIs on the road this season. He is hitting .291 (16-for-55) with three homers and 11 RBIs at home. Blue Jays - 1B Delgado and CF Wells are hitting a combined .194 (7-for-36) against Garland. … Toronto is 3-13 when the opposition scores first. … 3B Eric Hinske has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games, raising his average from .163 to .250.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 7-5 on the road; Blue Jays - 3-9 at home.

INJURIES: White Sox - C Alomar (hip), day-to-day; SS Jose Valentin (ankle), 15-day DL; LHP Kelly Wunsch (shoulder), 15-day DL. Blue Jays - C Greg Myers (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Garland Col vs. T. Lilly LAD
12-11 Record 12-10
4.89 ERA 4.06
113 K 168
76 BB 89
1.38 WHIP 1.32