The Chicago White Sox are feeling better about themselves after a brief trip home, but now they’ll have to figure out a way to win on the road.
The White Sox kick off a 10-game trip on Friday when they open a three-game series with the struggling Seattle Mariners.
Chicago (16-17) took two of three against Minnesota at home, including Thursday’s 6-2 victory. That series win came after a frustrating 0-6 road trip, in which the White Sox were outscored 19-9 while losing twice in Minnesota and four times in Toronto.
During this week’s series back in Chicago, however, the White Sox scored 14 runs - despite a 13-1 loss on Wednesday - and yielded only three runs in the two victories. Jermaine Dye homered in all three games while going 5-for-10 to boost his season average from .253 to .275.
Juan Uribe, batting just .191 this season, added a two-run homer Thursday for the White Sox.
“This kid will take the ugliest swing and the ugliest at-bat,” manager Ozzie Guillen said of Uribe. “We’ve seen that for four, five years. Sometimes you get upset and you scratch your head. You ask how this kid plays at the big league level and then all of a sudden a couple of days later, he’s unbelievable.”
While Chicago’s offense came to life, Seattle’s sputtered. After winning 7-3 in the opener of their four-game series against Texas on Monday, the Mariners (14-22) managed just one run over the remaining three contests and were shut out in the final two.
Seattle had only four hits in Thursday’s 5-0 loss as its scoreless drought reached 22 innings. The Mariners, who have just one run in their last 32 innings, have never been shut out in three consecutive games.
They have lost eight of nine, scoring more than three runs only once.
“It’s no secret we haven’t scored any runs for a while,” Seattle’s Richie Sexson said. “It’s no secret we haven’t lived up to our potential for a while.”
Sexson’s frustration boiled over on Thursday as he was ejected for charging the mound and flinging his helmet at Rangers starter Kason Gabbard, who had thrown an eye-high pitch at him in the fourth inning.
While it’s possible the Mariners may be without Sexson if the league is quick to hand down a suspension, they also could be missing designated hitter Jose Vidro, who has sat out the last three games with back spasms.
“He’s feeling better but he’s not even close to 100 percent,” manager John McLaren said. “We’re just taking it day by day.”
Chicago’s Jose Contreras (2-3, 4.08 ERA) will try to extend Seattle’s offensive woes.
Contreras tossed his fifth career complete game on Sunday, but lost 4-3 to Toronto. He has pitched into the seventh in five straight starts, but has yielded four runs in three of those outings and lost each of them.
The Cuban right-hander is 2-2 with a 4.18 ERA in five career appearances - four starts - against the Mariners.
Seattle counters with Carlos Silva (3-1, 4.20), who will be trying to rebound from his worst start of the season. He was battered for eight runs and 11 hits in three innings of Sunday’s 8-2 road loss to the New York Yankees.
Silva, acquired as a free agent in the offseason after four seasons in Minnesota, had gone at least six innings in each of his first six starts.
“I tried to pitch the same game I’ve been pitching, but I left some balls up. They are very smart hitters,” Silva said. “Every time I made a mistake, they put good wood on it.”
Silva is 4-9 with a 5.55 ERA in 18 career appearances - 16 starts - against the White Sox. In four starts against them last season, he was 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA.