Chicago slugger Frank Thomas will be activated from the disabled list and eligible to make his season debut for the White Sox in the opener of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago has lost three straight for the second time this season and has scored a total of 17 runs over its last seven games. Thomas, who has been out all season with an ankle injury, is a .308 career hitter with 436 homers and 1,439 RBIs in 1,925 games over 15 seasons, all with the White Sox.
“He’s healthy and ready to help this team,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said of Thomas. “Our offense will be better. He’ll take the pressure off a couple of guys.”
Guillen would not commit to whether Thomas would be in the starting lineup. Thomas hit just .190 in 11 games during a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
“In the past when we win, it’s because Frank is hot, and when we lose it’s because Frank is not,” Guillen said. “He’s a big part, but he’s just another player. We’ve been winning with different people. Hopefully, we can continue to do that.”
Despite owning the best record in the majors, Chicago batted just .219 on a 4-5 road trip that ended with a 12-4 loss at Texas on Sunday. Third baseman Joe Crede (.229) is in a 4-for-48 slide, with designated hitter Carl Everett (11-for-68 his last 21 games and .234 overall) and Jermaine Dye (.213) also struggling.
The White Sox have won because of stellar starting pitching and will send Mark Buehrle to the mound on Monday. Buehrle is 6-0 with a 3.06 ERA over his last eight starts since his lone loss on April 10 at Minnesota.
The 26-year-old left-hander allowed one run and four hits over nine innings in Chicago’s 2-1, 11-inning win at Los Angeles on Tuesday. Buehrle is 1-2 with a 3.46 ERA against the Angels in eight career appearances, including seven starts.
“It was one of those days where I had every pitch working for me, and I felt like I could throw any pitch in any situation,” Buehrle said. “I knew I’d need my changeup tonight, because I knew these guys were sitting on my fastball.”
Los Angeles won its fourth straight with a 7-6 victory over Kansas City on Sunday. Steve Finley had a three-run triple and Jose Molina also drove in three runs for the Angels, who scored 30 runs in a three-game sweep of the lowly Royals.
The Angels have won 10 of their last 13 road games, posting a 2.61 ERA in that stretch. Los Angeles is beginning a 12-game trip against four opponents (Boston, Atlanta, New York Mets) with a combined 61-28 home mark.