With a daunting road trip looming next week, the Chicago White Sox are doing their best to take advantage of their current homestand against a pair of last-place teams.
After taking two of three from the AL’s worst club, the White Sox look to continue their success in the opener of a three-game series against the lowly Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Chicago (62-59) is 2 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central, and enters this set after beating Kansas City 4-2 on Wednesday to win two of three from the league-worst Royals.
With a challenging road stretch against Boston, New York and Minnesota starting Monday, the White Sox can’t afford to slip against the Orioles (49-72), who snapped a five-game losing streak with an 8-7 win at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Though the teams have split six meetings this season, Chicago took two of three from Baltimore at home July 17-19. The Orioles are an AL-worst 19-41 on the road, while the White Sox have won eight of their last nine series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Beckham, Carlos Quentin(notes) and Alex Rios(notes) each homered Wednesday to help Chicago earn its fifth win in eight games. Batting .297 overall, Beckham is 5 for 10 against the Orioles this season.
Rios, meanwhile, is hitting .276 in seven games since the White Sox acquired him off waivers from Toronto on Aug. 10. The veteran outfielder is 5 for 10 in his last three contests, and batting .333 with three homers against Baltimore this season.
Floyd is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts - both in 2008 - versus the Orioles, but faces them for the first time at home, where he’s 5-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 11 outings this year.
The right-hander allowed one run and struck out eight in seven innings of an 8-1 win at Oakland on Saturday.
“Floyd is a tough guy to hit,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said
Roberts hit his fourth career grand slam and rookie Nolan Reimold(notes) added a three-run shot Thursday for the Orioles, who are 9-24 since the All-Star break and headed for their 12th straight losing season.
“This may sound bad, but we’re not too focused on wins and losses,” said Roberts, who’s batting .383 with three homers and 10 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak. “They are what they are right now.”
Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (7-12, 5.66) looks to avoid a fifth straight loss when he takes the ball for the Baltimore. Guthrie allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, in a game the Orioles lost 17-8 in 13 innings.
The right-hander, who’s 0-4 with a 7.55 ERA in his last five starts overall, is 1-3 with a 5.65 ERA in five career outings against Chicago. He’s 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts versus the White Sox this season.