Chicago (8-5) at Baltimore (8-6)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 88° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Apr 16, 2008
  • TV: WCIU, MASN2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Chicago White Sox have played well lately behind a run of strong starting pitching. Getting Jose Contreras to continue that trend would be particularly encouraging.

The White Sox hope to get another solid performance from a starter and win their fifth straight road game Wednesday night when they open a two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Although they received another excellent game from a starter, the White Sox (8-5) were coming off a 2-1 loss to Oakland when they took the field Tuesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

John Danks, pitching on his 23rd birthday, took a shutout into the eighth inning, and received support from Carlos Quentin’s three-run homer in Chicago 4-1 victory over the Athletics.

Quentin’s second home run this season gave him 13 RBIs - second on the team to Joe Crede’s 16.

“I’m trying to get more consistent,” Quentin said. “I’m trying not to give away at-bats. I feel like I’m doing all right doing that.”

Danks followed stellar starts by Mark Buehrle, Javier Vazquez and Gavin Floyd. Those four have combined to allow three runs and 24 hits in 36 innings in the last four games - a 0.75 ERA that has led Chicago to a 3-1 record.

The White Sox were headed toward their third shutout in four games before Oakland pushed across a run in the ninth.

“We have pretty good arms,” White Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera told the team’s official Web site. “As long as they throw strikes, they will keep us in the game.”

The last time a Chicago starter wasn’t sharp was when Contreras (0-1, 6.17 ERA) took the mound against Detroit on Friday. He gave up four runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-2 loss.

Coming off a dismal 2007 season, the veteran right-hander has allowed nine runs and 16 hits in 11 2-3 innings in his first two starts, walking seven and striking out four.

The Orioles (8-6) shouldn’t mind facing Contreras, who was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts against them last season. He is 3-4 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 appearances - nine starts - versus Baltimore.

Kevin Millar is 8-for-18 (.444) with two homers off Contreras.

The White Sox will have slugger Jim Thome back on Wednesday after he was fined and suspended one game for vehemently arguing a called third strike during a game against Detroit last week.

Baltimore is coming off a two-game split against Toronto, winning 4-3 on Monday and losing 11-3 Tuesday.

Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Melvin Mora homered Tuesday for the Orioles, who have dropped five of seven following a 6-1 start. The loss ended Baltimore’s six-game home winning streak.

Adam Loewen (0-0, 7.45) has also struggled in his first two starts this season. The left-hander has allowed four runs in each of his two outings, lasting 4 2-3 innings in his season debut and five innings at Texas on Thursday before leaving without a decision.

Although Loewen, who missed most of last season with an elbow injury, hasn’t pitched more than six innings in any of his last nine starts, he is 2-0 during that span.

This will be Loewen’s first appearance against the White Sox.

Baltimore went 5-3 last season against Chicago, winning the last three of a four-game set in the only series at Camden Yards.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Contreras Tex vs. A. Loewen Phi
7-6 Record 0-2
4.54 ERA 8.02
70 K 14
35 BB 18
1.36 WHIP 2.02

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Apr 16