Frank Thomas should be refreshed and ready to go after having virtually a week off.
Chicago is coming off going 5-1 on the road against Colorado and San Diego. Because the White Sox were unable to use a designated hitter while playing in NL parks, the slugger did not start a single game and had just three at-bats as a pinch-hitter.
Thomas has just 15 at-bats this season after missing nearly the first two months due to an ankle injury. He struck out in his only plate appearance in an 8-5, 10-inning win over the Padres on Sunday.
“Frank hasn’t swung the bat for the last week, and I will try to use him as quick as I can,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Guillen will be able to use Thomas as his DH on Monday when the White Sox begin a 12-game homestand. Chicago has won six of its last eight games at U.S. Cellular Field.
In reality, the White Sox hardly needed Thomas during another terrific road trip. Aaron Rowand’s three-run homer in the top of the 10th inning was the difference on Sunday as Chicago improved to a major league-best 23-12 on the road.
Chicago received outstanding pitching on the trip, compiling a 2.81 ERA. Jose Contreras will take the ball on Monday in search of his first wins in consecutive starts this season.
The Cuban right-hander allowed one run and five hits over six innings in a 2-1 win at Colorado on Tuesday. Contreras is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA over his last four starts.
“Jose has always had a good arm and always believed in his pitches,” Guillen said. “And as long as he throws strikes with them, he’ll give us a chance to win games.”
This will be Contreras’ second career start against the Diamondbacks. As a member of the New York Yankees, he allowed two runs and five hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 4-2 win on June 15, 2004.
Arizona has lost nine of 12 following a 9-4, 12-inning defeat to Kansas City on Sunday. The Diamondbacks surrendered 28 runs in dropping two of three to the lowly Royals.
Shawn Green had a big series, batting .600 (9-for-15) with seven RBIs and six runs scored for Arizona. Green has six extra-base hits during his torrid stretch, including three homers.
“No, nothing’s changed. The calendar’s changed,” Green said. “For some reason, it takes a little while for me to start feeling good at the plate.”
The teams are meeting in a series for just the second time. Arizona won two of three at home against Chicago from June 3-5, 2003.