The Tampa Bay Rays couldn’t even get to first base in their last matchup with the Chicago White Sox. Their baserunners have spent relatively little time there this past week, too, but only because they’re advancing so frequently.
The Rays, facing the White Sox for the first time since they were on the losing side of a perfect game, look to continue their success at the plate and set a club record for consecutive road wins in a single season Tuesday night.
These teams haven’t met since Chicago’s Mark Buehrle(notes) pitched the 18th perfect game in major league history, a 5-0 win over Tampa Bay on July 23. Buehrle will start Wednesday night in the middle game of this three-game set, but he might not find it nearly as easy to contend with this Rays’ lineup.
Tampa Bay (10-3) has hit 11 home runs and 17 doubles while stealing 10 bases and averaging 6.6 runs over the course of seven straight wins, all on the road, to match the club’s longest single-season streak away from Tropicana Field. The Rays last won seven in a row in June 2004.
Tampa Bay, which has won eight straight road games dating back to last season, beat Boston 8-2 on Monday to complete a four-game sweep.
The speedy center fielder is batting .318 in 13 road games versus the White Sox (4-9), but he has never homered at U.S. Cellular Field.
Upton had two home runs and four RBIs in the last game David Price(notes) (2-0, 2.45 ERA) started. The left-hander is set to take the mound again after giving up one run in seven innings of a 9-1 win over Baltimore on Wednesday.
Price has struck out 14 in 14 2-3 innings, and has gotten nine runs to work with in each of his two starts. He faced the White Sox for the first time last season, surrendering four runs and eight hits in six innings as the Rays lost 4-3 on July 20.
Chicago will counter with John Danks(notes) (1-0, 1.38), who appears on his way to another strong season, yielding one earned run in each of his two starts. The left-hander earned a win Wednesday night, giving up two hits and striking out six in seven innings of an 11-1 victory over Toronto.
Danks is 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts against the Rays, striking out 31 in 30 1-3 innings.
Chicago, which has posted a 5.63 ERA during a four-game losing streak, is in desperate need of a boost from Danks. The White Sox concluded a 2-5 road trip with a 7-4 loss to Cleveland on Sunday.
Chicago’s lineup isn’t faring any better, going 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position versus the Indians and hitting .222 this season.
Chicago went 6-2 against Tampa Bay last season.