Coming off yet another loss, the White Sox may again be without Thome when they face the Florida Marlins Wednesday in the decisive game of their interleague series.
Thome (stiff back) was out of the lineup Tuesday night as Chicago (29-38) lost 7-5 to Florida (34-38). His back first got sore after starting at first base in an interleague game with Philadelphia last week.
“We’ll see how he feels. You have to be patient,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I would rather be careful with him for the next couple of days then miss him for the next 15 or 20 days.”
Thome, who had an extended stint on the disabled list with a rib cage injury earlier this season, homered Monday night to lead Chicago to a 10-6 win over Florida in the series opener.
The White Sox had scored three runs or fewer in 14 of their previous 23 games. Chicago is batting .246 when Thome plays, but only .216 when he does not appear in the game.
Chicago has lost 18 of 23 overall, and is just 2 1/2 games ahead of last-place Kansas City in the AL Central.
Trying to win their first series since taking two of three against Oakland from May 21-23, the White Sox will send Jon Garland (4-4, 3.59 ERA) to the mound.
The right-hander allowed four runs and 11 hits in six innings Friday night as the White Sox fell 4-2 to Pittsburgh. Chicago has lost four of the last five games Garland has started.
Garland will face a Florida lineup that has scored 26 runs in its last four games.
Second baseman Dan Uggla went 2-for-5 with a homer to lead off the ninth inning Tuesday, and shortstop Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run. Ramirez is 8-for-19 (.421) in his last four games.
The Marlins, who had lost seven of nine before Tuesday, are now trying to win their first series since beating Atlanta in three of four games from June 4-6.
Sergio Mitre (2-3, 2.29), coming off his worst start of the season, will get the ball for Florida. He surrendered six runs and 12 hits in 6 1-3 innings as the Marlins lost 6-2 to Kansas City on Friday night.
Mitre hadn’t allowed an earned run in 23 2-3 innings coming into that game and saw his ERA climb from 1.59, which was No. 2 in the majors at the time. Florida has scored an average of just 3.4 runs for him.
“Those things even out,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez told the team’s official Web site. “Some guys go 10-2 with an 8.00 ERA, and some guys are 2-10 with a 1.00 (ERA). And some guys, every time they pitch, it rains. It’s just one of those things.”