The struggling Chicago White Sox have suddenly found some success in Tampa Bay.
With their offense showing signs of life, the White Sox look to win their third straight game when they continue their four-game series against the Devil Rays on Wednesday night.
Chicago (31-42) pounded out 12 hits in its second straight game en route to beating Tampa Bay 6-1 on Tuesday. The White Sox have 11 runs to go with their hitting onslaught in their first two games against the Devil Rays, after getting just two runs and 16 hits while getting swept in a three-game weekend series to the Chicago Cubs.
“It’s a great feeling,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I told a couple of guys I’m starting to get used to winning now. It’s a great feeling after the tough two months we went through. We were fighting without results. Now we’re starting to get a little bit better.”
Chicago has not won three straight games since May 20-22, and is still a major league-worst 7-22 since May 27, leading general manager Ken Williams to say roster changes were likely.
White Sox starter Mark Buehrle’s (4-4, 3.39 ERA) name has been mentioned in trade talks, but he’ll try and put that behind him and bounce back from a tough loss when he takes the hill.
Buehrle allowed two solo homers in the first inning to the Cubs on Friday, before settling down and throwing six scoreless frames. In seven total innings, the left-hander gave up just four hits and walked none in a 5-1 defeat.
Buehrle has been outstanding in his last three starts, going 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA. He can become a free agent after this season, making him a top trade candidate for the White Sox, who own the third-worst record in the AL.
In his only start against the Devil Rays this season, Buehrle gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings of a 5-4 loss on May 25, but did not factor in the decision. He is 5-1 with a 4.35 ERA in 11 career games - six starts - against them with the White Sox winning eight of those games.
Tampa Bay (33-42) has lost two straight games, and nine of 13.
Devil Rays left fielder Carl Crawford is hitless in his last eight at-bats, but is batting .615 (8-for-13) with two doubles lifetime against Buehrle.
First baseman Carlos Pena is just 2-for-20 in his last six games, as his batting average has dropped 22 points to .292.
Rookie Andy Sonnanstine (1-2, 6.58) tries to regain some efficiency on the mound when he makes his fifth career start on Wednesday.
After striking out 15 while walking none over 14 innings in his first two career starts, Sonnanstine has struck out six and walked three in 12 innings over his last two starts - both losses.
The 24-year-old right-hander yielded four runs, a career-high 10 hits and had one walk and one strikeout in seven innings of a 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
“I thought that was his least sharp performance to this point. But he gave us a chance to win. And I think that’s what he is always going to do,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon told the team’s official Web site.
This will be his first career start against Chicago.