Chad Billingsley’s(notes) first attempt to become the NL’s first 10-game winner didn’t go so well. His next chance might not be any easier if the Chicago White Sox continue to swing the bats like they did in their most recent contest.
The Los Angeles right-hander again looks to accomplish that feat while trying to help the Dodgers take the decisive game of their interleague series with the White Sox on Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Billingsley (9-3, 2.83 ERA) appeared set to match current 10-game winners Kevin Slowey(notes) from Minnesota and Toronto’s Roy Halladay(notes) on Friday, but he couldn’t hold a three-run lead and gave up three runs in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
He allowed four runs - three earned - and six hits while walking five in six innings against the Angels, but didn’t factor in the decision. Billingsley was 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA during his previous three outings.
“I was just behind in counts,” Billingsley told the Dodgers’ official Web site of his last start. “I struggled with my delivery. I was struggling with all my pitches.”
Billingsley is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three interleague starts this season, and might be in for a challenge against Chicago (34-37).
The White Sox matched a season high for runs at home in a 10-7 win Wednesday over Los Angeles (47-25), which owns the best record in the majors.
Josh Fields(notes) snapped an 0-for-16 slump with two homers, while Jermaine Dye(notes) hit his team-leading 16th and Paul Konerko(notes) added his second in as many games for the White Sox, who tied a season-high with six home runs.
The Dodgers hadn’t surrendered six homers in a game since Aug. 2, 2001, against Cincinnati.
Hitting just .222 at home, compared to .280 on the road, the White Sox have lost their last three series at U.S. Cellular since taking two of three May 22-24 against Pittsburgh.
“A much-needed game,” Fields said of Wednesday’s effort. “We’ve been struggling at home and to come out of it and go off like that was good. Hopefully we didn’t get rid of all of it and saved some for (Thursday).”
Konerko, who broke into the majors with the Dodgers in 1997, has homered in three of his last five contests while hitting safely in nine straight games.
The left-hander gave up five runs - three earned - and six hits in three innings of a 10-8 win at Cincinnati on Saturday. In three interleague starts that have all come this season, Richard is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA.
“We showed some fight - most teams would lay down,” said leadoff hitter Juan Pierre(notes), who’s 1 for 9 in the series. “You take some positive out of this, because we made every at-bat count. You never know what can happen.”