Just one week ago, the Chicago White Sox appeared to have one of the most feared offenses in the majors. Now, its looking like one of the most inept.
The White Sox again try to get their offense back on track when they wrap up their three-game series against the visiting Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Chicago (38-30) managed just three hits in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Rockies (27-41), and has dropped four of five following a seven-game winning streak.
The White Sox have scored only 11 runs and are batting just .201 in their last five contests after averaging 8.7 runs and hitting .347 during their winning streak.
Chicago also saw its nine-game home win streak come to an end Saturday.
The Rockies, meanwhile, own one of the worst road records in the majors (11-25), but have won three of their last four away from Coors Field following a franchise-record 13-game losing streak away from home.
Colorado has won seven of 10 overall following an eight-game skid.
The Rockies won Saturday despite going 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. They are batting .230 with runners in scoring position on the season.
“We have dealt with that for the most of the season,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “Maybe those hits with runners in scoring position will show up (Sunday).”
Willy Taveras stole a career-high five bases Saturday, and has eight steals in his last five games. He has 29 in 31 attempts this season, most in the NL and just five shy of his career high.
Colorado’s Aaron Cook (9-3, 3.21 ERA) looks to reach the 10-win mark for the first time in his career when he takes the hill for the first time against the White Sox.
Cook won a career-best nine games in 2006, but also suffered 15 losses that year. In 2007, the right-hander went 8-7 in 25 starts, and this year he has already won nine games in 14 outings.
“When Cookie’s out there, you feel pretty good,” Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said after Cook’s latest outing.
On Tuesday, Cook allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 10-5 victory over San Francisco - his third straight win. The sinkerballer became the first Colorado pitcher to win nine games before the All-Star break since Shawn Chacon and Jason Jennings in 2003.
While Cook has had plenty of success against the NL this season, he’s struggled against the AL in his career. This will be Cook’s first interleague start of the year, and he went 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts versus the AL last season.
Chicago counters with Jose Contreras (6-4, 3.18), who was tagged for a season-high six runs and 13 hits - matching a career high - in six innings of a 6-4 loss to Detroit on Tuesday. The right-hander had won his previous four decisions, allowing only seven runs over 42 innings in those six starts combined.
Contreras hopes to bounce back at home, where he is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA in his last four starts.
Contreras, who last faced Colorado on June 7, 2005, has won both of his career starts against the Rockies, yielding five runs in 13 innings in those contests.
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski went 2-for-4 Saturday, and is batting .400 (18-for-45) with a homer and seven RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak. However, he is hitless in eight career at-bats versus Cook.