The Chicago White Sox offense hasn’t been particularly impressive in this series with the San Francisco Giants, but their starting pitching continues to compensate for what they are lacking at the plate.
The White Sox look to match their longest winning streak of the season when they close out a three-game interleague series with the Giants on Sunday.
Chicago (22-20) defeated San Francisco 3-1 on Saturday after being the Giants (17-27) 2-0 on Friday. Jermaine Dye had three hits while Carlos Quintin and Orlando Cabrera each had a sacrifice fly in Saturday’s win.
The four-game winning streak is the White Sox’s longest since they won five in a row from April 3-7. They had 12 hits on Saturday, and improved to 6-3 on their 10-game West Coast road trip despite stranding a season-high 14 runners.
Mark Buehrle, however, became the latest White Sox starter to have a strong start, allowing one run over 6 2-3 innings after Gavin Floyd pitched six scoreless innings the night before. The win was Buehrle’s first since April 6. He was 0-5 with a 5.26 ERA in his previous six starts.
“That’s the ugliest two-run game I’ve seen in my life,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We needed that win for Buehrle. He pitched well.”
White Sox starters are 3-0 in their last five games, and they have a 1.10 ERA during that stretch. They have the third-lowest ERA in the majors at 3.65.
The loss Saturday was San Francisco’s fourth straight and 10th in its last 13 games. Pinch-hitter Eugenio Velez drove in the Giants’ only run with a groundout.
“The bats are quiet right now,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We need a big hit and these guys are probably pressing a little bit.”
The White Sox close out the series by sending John Danks (3-3, 2.74) to the mound. Danks pitched 6 1-3 scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, allowing seven hits while striking out five in a 2-0 loss. Chicago failed to provide him with any run support for the third time in his last four starts.
“Danks threw great and it’s a shame we couldn’t get a win for him,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski told the White Sox’s official Web site. “He deserved a better fate.”
The left-hander has never faced the Giants. He is 0-1 with a 5.65 ERA in three interleague starts.
San Francisco counters with Matt Cain (2-3, 4.17), who is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA in his last five starts. Cain pitched a season-high eight innings on Tuesday against Houston, allowing two runs and seven hits in the 4-2 win. He also homered for the fourth time in his career.
“He did it all,” Bochy said of Cain. “He hit a home run and pitched eight innings. Today he looked like he was very determined to get it done.”
The right-hander has never faced the White Sox. He is 2-5 with a 3.02 ERA in seven career interleague starts.