Vazquez looks to win his fourth straight start as the White Sox continue a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night at Camden Yards.
Few pitchers in either league have been as good recently as Vazquez (6-5, 3.65 ERA), who is 3-0 with a 1.68 ERA in his last four starts, winning the last three. He has walked three and struck out 33 in 32 innings during that span.
The right-hander tossed his second straight complete game Sunday in a 6-3 victory over Minnesota, allowing eight hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
“It’s awesome. As a pitcher, throwing a complete game is what you work for,” Vazquez said.
The right-hander also knows how to beat the Orioles, having thrown a complete game against them in a 5-1 victory at U.S. Cellular Field on July 3.
He is 6-2 with a 5.14 ERA in 10 career starts against Baltimore.
Corey Patterson is one of the few Orioles that has had any success against Vazquez. Patterson is batting .385 (5-for-13) lifetime against the right-hander.
Patterson and Nick Markakis hit solo homers Friday to provide all the offense Baltimore (39-50) would need. After scoring nine runs in a series-opening victory on Thursday, the White Sox (40-48) were shut down by Orioles ace Erik Bedard and three relievers in a 2-0 loss.
“Just throwing a lot of strikes is the key. Throwing the first-pitch strike helps a lot,” said Bedard, who allowed just three hits in seven innings.
Three of Baltimore’s last four wins have come in games Bedard has started. The Orioles had dropped four of five before Friday.
Chicago had a three-game win streak snapped, losing for the sixth time in 17 contests overall. The White Sox had also won seven of eight on the road, and eight of nine at Camden Yards before Friday night’s defeat.
Jim Thome went 0-for-2 with two walks, but is still hitting .400 (8-for-20) with three home runs against Baltimore this season.
With his first homer since June 8, Markakis joined third baseman Melvin Mora as the only Orioles with at least 10 home runs.
Baltimore will be without Mora for at least a week and likely longer after tests on his left foot Friday revealed a grade one sprain. The injury comes at a particularly bad time for the Orioles, who are already missing star shortstop Miguel Tejada and backup Freddie Bynum.
Daniel Cabrera (6-10, 5.04) hopes to fare better in his second start against the White Sox this month. The right-hander was reached for five runs over six innings in a 5-1 loss at Chicago on July 3.
Cabrera was a bit better Sunday, when he gave up two runs through six innings of a 2-1 loss at Texas. He did, however, walk five for the second consecutive start, increasing his major league-leading total to 61.
Cabrera, tied for the AL lead in losses, is 2-3 with a 4.96 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox.