Chicago (12-13) at Los Angeles (16-13)

Fair Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 86° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Fri May 4, 2007
  • TV: WGN, FSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said his struggling lineup won’t be getting help anytime soon, so it would certainly help if Darin Erstad can continue to hit well against his former team.

Erstad returns to Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels for the first time since leaving for the White Sox in the offseason as the teams open a three-game series Friday night.

Erstad, who played 11 seasons with the Angels (16-13), faced them in Chicago in a three-game set from April 27-29, going 6-for-12 with a home run and three RBIs. The White Sox (12-13), though, lost two of the three games.

A two-time All-Star with the Angels, Erstad is batting .258, but that average leads a Chicago team that ranks near the bottom of the league with 99 runs. The White Sox have been shut out once and have totaled six runs during a season-high four-game losing streak, and Guillen won’t be counting on a couple of his big hitters for a while.

Scott Podsednik (groin) will likely miss another month, and Jim Thome (rib cage) may get a minor league assignment next week, Guillen said Wednesday.

The White Sox did not have a runner in scoring position in a two-game series in Seattle, losing the finale 3-2 on Wednesday.

The White Sox entered Wednesday ranked last in the AL with a .220 average with runners in scoring position. Last year, they led the major leagues in such situations, at .307, baseball’s fourth-highest figure since 1974.

“Who’s to blame? Everybody,” Guillen said. “I blame Walk (hitting coach Greg Walker). I blame myself. I blame the lineup.”

Jose Contreras (2-2, 5.68 ERA) will take the mound for Chicago. The right-hander beat the Angels in his last start, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings as the White Sox won 7-3 last Friday.

Contreras is 3-2 with a 3.96 ERA in six starts against the Angels.

Erstad has been successful against Los Angeles’ Kelvim Escobar (2-1, 3.28 ERA), who will get the start Friday. Erstad is batting .412 (7-for-17) against his former teammate, going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in a 5-2 loss to the Angels on Sunday.

Escobar earned the win, giving up four hits in 7 2-3 innings Sunday.

The right-hander has given up three runs or less in each of his four starts. But he is 3-9 with a 5.57 ERA in 11 starts and nine relief appearances against the White Sox.

Los Angeles has lost consecutive games after a four-game winning streak.

The Angels lost the final two games of a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals, including a 5-2 defeat Thursday.

Gary Matthews Jr. and Orlando Cabrera were the only Los Angeles players to play every game this season before Thursday, when Cabrera was given the day off.

“Orlando’s played a lot,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the team’s Web site. “Another guy we’d like to get off his feet is Gary. Those two guys have been playing a lot of baseball, playing well.”

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Starting Pitchers

J. Contreras Tex vs. K. Escobar NYM
10-17 Record 18-7
5.57 ERA 3.40
113 K 160
62 BB 66
1.56 WHIP 1.27

Scoreboard

Friday, May 4