The pitchers meet Wednesday night when the Chicago White Sox look for a fourth straight win and continue a four-game series against the Angels.
Garcia (8-3, 4.65 ERA) is 14-3 with a 2.53 ERA in 24 career starts versus the Angels, who he last faced Sept. 13, 2006. The ERA represents his lowest against any AL opponent, and he’s 4-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his last five outings against them.
Los Angeles (46-40) will be getting re-acquainted with a pitcher who is 5-0 with a 3.66 ERA in his last seven starts. The White Sox (44-38) have won all of those outings, although Garcia did not get a decision in a 5-3 win at Texas last Friday after giving up three runs over six innings.
Los Angeles will counter with Saunders (6-8, 4.59), who is 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in four outings at U.S. Cellular Field for his lowest ERA in a stadium where he has made multiple starts.
Saunders continued that success May 19 by yielding one run over 7 2-3 innings to earn a 3-2 road victory over the White Sox. He’s enjoyed plenty of success against Alex Rios(notes) (.238), Alexei Ramirez(notes) (.143) and Andruw Jones(notes) (2 for 10) while Paul Konerko(notes) is 5 for 15 against him.
The left-hander turned in a second straight strong outing Friday, allowing one run over eight innings in a 2-1, 10-inning home loss to Kansas City.
Chicago won 4-1 on Tuesday as Rios and Jones each homered off major league strikeout leader Jered Weaver(notes). Reliever Tony Pena(notes) picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits in 4 1-3 innings after starter Jake Peavy(notes) left with a back injury in the second inning.
“Great job. I think Tony is doing a tremendous job,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “That was the key of the game right there, Tony Pena. We had a couple of home runs, but I think Tony was the key to win the game.”
Right fielder Carlos Quentin(notes) sat out with a sore left knee one night after hitting two home runs and making a spectacular diving catch on the warning track to rob Hunter of extra bases. Guillen said that Quentin could have served as the designated hitter, and may do so Wednesday despite being 0 for 6 against Saunders.
Hunter had three hits Tuesday, and is 12 for 25 over his last eight games. He’s batting .378 in 25 games against AL Central opponents.
The Angels have dropped four of five, scoring a total of six runs in the losses.