The Chicago White Sox or the Los Angeles Angels—and possibly both—might not need to use their bullpens on Sunday. When they meet for the three-game series finale at Angel Stadium, each will turn to right-handed pitchers— Chicago’s Jon Garland and Los Angeles’ Ervin Santana—who threw complete games the last time they started against Sunday’s opponent.
Garland (2-1, 7.30 ERA) could help the surging White Sox (16-7) sweep a three-game series with the Angels (12-12) for the first time since Aug. 18-20, 2003. Chicago hasn’t swept the Angels on the road since April 7-9, 1993.
Chicago, with a 1 1-2 game lead on the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, has won 11 of its last 13 and 15 of its last 18. Including this weekend, the White Sox have won five out of their last six series.
Garland was the second of four straight White Sox pitchers to throw complete games in last season’s ALCS, which the White Sox won in five games over the Angels. Garland allowed two runs and four hits while striking out seven in a 5-2 win in Game 3.
Garland has lowered his ERA by allowing four runs in 14 1-3 innings over his previous two starts. His ERA was 13.94 after allowing 16 runs in 10 1-3 innings over his first two appearances this season.
Angels center fielder Darin Erstad is 10-for-20 in his career against Garland.
Santana (2-0, 2.96 ERA) threw his only career complete game in his only start against the White Sox, a five-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 4-0 win last May 23 at U.S. Cellular Field.
In Monday’s 3-0 win over the Tigers, Santana allowed five hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings.
“Every pitch was working and I kept the ball down,” said Santana, who struck out six of the first nine batters he faced. “I had great command with my fastball, changeup and slider.”
While the White Sox relievers are mostly rested, the Angels bullpen could use some relief.
Jose Contreras pitched 8 1-3 innings to win his 12th straight regular-season decision in a 2-1 White Sox victory on Saturday. Contreras’ streak is tied for the fourth-longest in White Sox history.
Meanwhile, Kelvim Escobar left after five innings because of a blister on his right middle finger, requiring the Angels to use three relievers for a second straight day. Jeff Weaver allowed eight runs in 2 1-3 innings while starting for the Angels on Friday.
Thome, who went 0-for-5 Friday, is 1-for-9 in the series, but has become an important addition for the White Sox as their leader in both homers and RBIs (22). In an injury-plagued 2005, Thome had seven homers and 30 RBIs in 59 games for Philadelphia.
Jermaine Dye’s RBI single in the fourth inning made it 1-0 on Saturday. The reigning World Series MVP has three RBIs in the series and six in his last four games.
The White Sox will complete their eight-game road trip by visiting AL Central rival Cleveland on Monday and Tuesday. The Angels will host Oakland the next two days.