The Chicago White Sox haven’t been at their best on the road this season, but they’re off to a good start on an important trip.
Chicago looks for its fourth straight win overall Saturday as it continues a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers.
The White Sox (58-43) began this nine-game road trip, which includes series against the division rival Tigers (52-50), Twins and Royals, with a 2 1/2-game lead over Minnesota and a 5 1/2-game advantage over third-place Detroit. Chicago was 22-27 on the road entering this weekend, but opened the trip with a come-from-behind 6-5 win over Detroit on Friday.
Jermaine Dye hit a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning to cap a rally from a 4-1 deficit. Orlando Cabrera also drove in two runs for Chicago, which is averaging more than seven runs over its last nine games and increased its lead over the Twins, who lost to Cleveland.
Manager Ozzie Guillen was frustrated, however, by his team’s two errors and the early struggles of starter Gavin Floyd, who gave up four runs in the first three innings.
“The only good thing we can say about this game was we won,” Guillen said.
Magglio Ordonez had three hits and drove in a run for Detroit, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped.
Dye’s has had some success against Justin Verlander (8-9, 3.95 ERA), who starts Saturday for the Tigers, going 10-for-30 with three homers against the right-hander.
Nobody has had much luck against Verlander recently, however. He has won his last four starts, and is 6-0 with a 2.30 ERA and a .183 opponent batting average in his last eight outings.
His run of dominance began June 11 against the White Sox, who he limited to four hits in a complete-game, 5-1 win. Dye went 0-for-3.
“He had electric stuff tonight,” Chicago outfielder Brian Anderson said of Verlander after that contest. “We helped him out by swinging at a lot of first pitches and keeping his pitch count down. He just pounded the zone with strikes. When a pitcher does that to you, it’s going to be a short night.”
White Sox starter John Danks (7-4, 3.03) looks to bounce back from one of his worst outings of the season. The right-hander lasted only four innings against Kansas City on Sunday, allowing six runs and nine hits in a game Chicago eventually lost 8-7.
He did not get saddled with the decision, though, and has not lost in 10 starts since May 24.
On Friday, the White Sox placed third baseman Joe Crede on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 22 because of back inflammation. Crede, who played in 47 games last year before having season-ending back surgery, was hitting .255 with 17 homers and 54 RBIs in 90 games.
Josh Fields, who led AL rookies last season with 23 homers, was called up to replace Crede and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.