After being completely demolished by the best team in the majors, the Chicago White Sox will gladly welcome a game against the team with baseball’s worst record.
The White Sox look to avoid losing their sixth straight game as they host the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday in a makeup game from three months ago.
Chicago (56-74) lost to Boston 11-1 on Sunday, getting outscored 46-7 in the Red Sox’s four-game sweep.
The White Sox have lost five straight games and 13 of 15 to fall into last place in the AL Central.
“I think if you try, you can’t play on this (terrible) level that we do,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Chicago had lost five straight, and 15 of 18 games before its last series with the Devil Rays, but came away with a four-game sweep at Tampa Bay to spark a stretch where it won 11 of 16.
The White Sox have won five of six over the Devil Rays this season, and 12 of their last 16 over them. They split their two games played at U.S. Cellular Field in late May, and this game is a makeup game from their May 26th rainout.
Paul Konerko was hitless in four at-bats on Sunday, and was just 1-for-14 (.071) with a homer in the Red Sox series. Konerko has had much better success against the Devil Rays this season, however, batting .435 (10-for-23) with two home runs and six RBIs in five games.
Jose Contreras (6-16, 6.18 ERA) once again seeks his first win as a starter in more than two months for the White Sox. Contreras has posted a 9.17 ERA in losing each of his last nine starts since June 24.
After losing his seventh in a row, Contreras was taken out of the starting rotation and sent to the bullpen, where he gave up just one run in seven innings of work in two outings and picked up a win. He has allowed nine runs in 13 innings in two losses since returning to the starting rotation, though.
The right-hander gave up four runs and six hits in six innings of a 7-6 loss to Kansas City on Wednesday, and Guillen said he will continue to send out Contreras for the remainder of the season.
Contreras is 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA in seven games—six starts—lifetime against the Devil Rays, but hasn’t faced them since 2005.
Tampa Bay (51-79) counters with Edwin Jackson (4-12, 5.49), who has a 1.36 ERA in his last five starts.
The 23-year-old right-hander gave up one run and five hits in six innings of a 2-1 win over Boston on Wednesday, and has allowed one run or less in four of his last seven starts.
This will be Jackson’s first career start against the White Sox.
The Devil Rays are coming off a 7-4 win over Oakland on Sunday, and have scored 33 runs during a three-game winning streak. They had scored just 24 runs in their previous 11 games, and have not won four straight since May 13-17.
“I am very impressed,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “The mental quality of the at-bat has really been lifted. You can work physical in all you want. Until the mental end gets lifted, you never become the type of hitter you should become. I think more than anything, our mental at-bats have got a lot better.”
B.J. Upton hit his 20th homer on Sunday, and has four home runs in his last eight games.