Cleveland (67-74) at Chicago (82-60)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL, US
Temp: 64° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Sun Sep 10, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Chicago White Sox bullpen has had its share of trouble in its series against the Cleveland Indians, although it hasn’t cost the team in the loss column.

The White Sox hope to sort out their relief problems and continue their playoff push Sunday when they play the finale of the four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

Chicago (82-60) has survived bullpen meltdowns each of the last two nights, and held on for a 10-8 victory on Saturday.

The White Sox remained one-half game behind AL wild-card leader Minnesota and moved within 3 1/2 games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central. The Twins defeated the Tigers 2-1.

Chicago’s relievers have a 10.13 ERA in this series. Closer Bobby Jenks let a 5-3 lead slip away in the ninth inning of Friday’s 7-6 victory and three relievers allowed Cleveland (67-74) to score seven runs in the seventh inning Saturday, nearly blowing a 10-1 lead.

“I was embarrassed,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I was embarrassed because I’m one that brought those guys in. We expect better outings from them. We have to be better than that if we want to win this thing, obviously, we have to be on the top of our game everyday.”

Jenks, who has been battling soreness on his side, said it did not factor into his poor performance on Friday. However, he was not given a chance to record a 40th save Saturday, as Matt Thornton recorded the final out.

Chicago has gotten reliable work from right-hander Mike MacDougal, who has pitched three scoreless innings in this series and has a 1.01 ERA in 24 appearances this season.

Paul Konerko homered twice and Jermaine Dye fell a single short of the cycle as the White Sox finished with 18 hits on Saturday. Konerko is 8-for-13 with two home runs and six RBIs in this series.

White Sox starter Javier Vazquez (11-9, 4.80) is 0-3 with a 3.38 ERA in his last five starts. However, he pitched his first complete game of the season in his last outing with a three-hitter in a tough-luck 1-0 loss at Boston on Wednesday.

“I think Javy threw the game of his life,” Guillen said. “It’s a shame he pitched that way and we didn’t put it together.”

Vazquez is 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA in three starts against Cleveland this year, striking out 20 over 17 2-3 innings. He’s done a good job against Indians catcher Victor Martinez, who’s 2-for-11 in his career against the right-hander.

The Indians announced slugger Travis Hafner will miss the rest of the season with a broken right hand. Hafner tied a major league record with six grand slams this season and finished with team highs of 42 home runs and 117 RBIs.

“It would’ve been nice to get a couple chances with the bases loaded to see what could’ve happen out of that because I think that’s something that never going to happen in your career,” Hafner said.

Cleveland’s C.C. Sabathia (10-9, 3.31) will try to continue his success against Chicago. He’s 10-3 with a 4.05 ERA in his career against the White Sox, including 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA in four outings this season.

The left-hander failed to pitch at least eight innings for the first time in his last five starts when he allowed four runs and six hits over seven innings in a 4-3 loss at Toronto on Monday.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Sabathia NYY vs. J. Vazquez MIA
12-11 Record 11-12
3.22 ERA 4.84
172 K 184
44 BB 56
1.17 WHIP 1.29


Sunday, Sep 10