His chances of reaching that mark on Friday don’t appear to be much better as the Red Sox (76-51) and White Sox (56-70) try to play a day-night doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field.
The fast-moving storms that started in the mid-afternoon Thursday resulted in power outages to more than 300,000 in northern Illinois. Though the ballpark wasn’t affected, players never took the field and the game was postponed after a delay of 2 hours, 19 minutes.
“We all know it’s going to be a long day at best (Friday),” Boston manager Terry Francona said.
The National Weather Service is calling for a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in Chicago during the day Friday. At night, the chance for precipitation increases to 70 percent, according to the forecast.
“I’m not very optimistic (about playing Friday). We’ll show up at the cages and play when they tell us to,” Francona said.
If they get underway, Beckett (15-5, 3.15 ERA) also will try to continue his strong pitching on the road in the opener. The right-hander is 8-1 with a AL-best 1.65 ERA in nine road starts. He has given up only three home runs in 65 1-3 road innings while walking 10 and striking out 56.
“I’m just executing pitches. That’s what it is,” Beckett said of his success on the road.
The Red Sox ace was denied in his first chance for his 16th win Friday at home against the Los Angeles Angels despite limiting them to two runs and five hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out eight in a 7-5 loss.
Beckett gave up three runs and four hits in six innings of a 10-3 home win over the White Sox on July 20. He is 2-0 with a 4.60 ERA in three career starts against them.
The Red Sox are 23-17 since the All-Star break and have a five-game lead in the AL East over the second-place New York Yankees.
Coming off one of his shortest outings of the season, Jon Garland (8-9, 4.84) goes for his first win in five starts for the White Sox. The right-hander lasted only 2 2-3 innings Sunday against Seattle and gave up 10 runs - five earned - and 10 hits in an 11-5 loss.
“(Garland) got in trouble one time and his teammates don’t help,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Garland had given up eight runs in 1 1-3 innings of Chicago’s 13-9 win over the New York Yankees on Aug. 2. That started the four-start winless streak, in which Garland is 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA and has allowed seven homers. Prior to his skid, Garland had given up seven homers in his last 13 starts.
On July 22, Garland faced Boston and allowed six runs, six hits and five walks in 4 2-3 innings of Chicago’s 8-5 defeat. He’s 2-4 with a 5.01 ERA in eight career starts against the Red Sox, including 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA when facing them at U.S. Cellular Field.
Curt Schilling (7-5, 4.25) will try to win consecutive starts for only the second time this season for Boston in the nightcap. The right-hander got his first victory in more than two months on Saturday in Boston’s 10-5 win over the Angels despite giving up five runs and eight hits in six innings.
“As much as I hate to say it, I am a work in progress in a lot of ways,” said Schilling, who came off the disabled list Aug. 6 after missing time with shoulder tendinitis. “I don’t have the consistent low to mid-90s velocity.”
Schilling’s only wins in consecutive starts this season came when he defeated Texas and the Angels on April 8 and 14, respectively. In five starts since then after victories, though, Schilling is 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA and he’s allowed 21 runs and 43 hits in only 29 1-3 innings.
Schilling hasn’t faced the White Sox this season, and is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in only four career starts against them. He’s also made seven relief appearances versus Chicago, going 1-0 with a 5.84 ERA.
John Danks (6-11, 5.30) gets the start in the second game for the White Sox and hopes to end a personal four-start losing streak. The rookie left-hander has had a dismal August, losing all four starts while posting a 7.91 ERA. He has allowed 27 hits, including six home runs, over 19 1-3 innings during that span.
Danks gave up four runs and a season high-tying nine hits in five-plus innings Saturday in a 7-5 loss at Seattle. He lost his only start against the Red Sox 11-2 at Boston on July 21, giving up four runs and seven hits in six innings.
The White Sox have lost 10 of their last 13 games. They start play tied with Kansas City for last in the AL Central.