It’s the Baltimore Orioles’ staff, though, that has placed Chicago’s hold on sole possession of first place in the AL Central in jeopardy.
Jackson will make his second start for the White Sox as they close a four-game series against the Orioles on Monday night.
Chicago (63-48) needed to fill a major void in its rotation after losing Jake Peavy(notes) to season-ending shoulder injury last month. The White Sox think they’ve done so after acquiring Jackson (1-0, 1.29 ERA) from Arizona for Daniel Hudson(notes) and a prospect just before the trade deadline.
Jackson made his Chicago debut Wednesday against one of his former teams. Facing Detroit, the right-hander allowed one run, nine hits, one walk and struck out six over seven innings of the 4-1 win.
“He was throwing 98 (mph) - I didn’t know he threw that hard,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “But great pitching like that is the reason we got him.”
The win also snapped a personal four-game losing streak in which Jackson had a 7.25 ERA.
Monday’s start will be critical for Jackson as he tries to help his new club split a four-game series against the major league-worst Orioles. The White Sox are trying to build momentum before playing six of their next nine against Minnesota, which trails Chicago by a half-game.
Jackson has won his last four starts against the Orioles, giving up two runs and five hits over 16 innings in the last two.
However, Jackson may not get much support as Baltimore’s starting pitching has been hot during the series.
The Orioles (37-74) posted a 4-3 win Sunday, their fifth in six game under new manager Buck Showalter as Felix Pie(notes) homered and Jeremy Guthrie(notes) gave up one run in eight innings. Baltimore’s starters are 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA and each has gone six innings under Showalter.
“It’s not like these guys have never pitched well this year,” he said. “And they seem to be feeding off each other.”
Chicago, which scored 23 runs during four games at Detroit last week, has totaled eight against the Orioles so far.
“It’s a combination of good pitching and we’re not hitting right now,” Guillen said. “Right now our bats are very silent.”
The White Sox are batting .243 in the series, 20 points below their season average.
Rios is the only White Sox player that has faced Brian Matusz(notes) (4-11, 5.26), who will take the mound for Baltimore and is coming off his best start in a month. Rios is 1 for 2 against the left-hander.
Matusz gave up one run in six innings of a 9-7 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday. He was 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA in his previous four starts, which lasted a combined 13 innings.
Chicago second baseman Gordon Beckham(notes) left Sunday with a strained groin, and Guillen intends to rest him for this contest. Beckham has batted .390 over his last 24 games, and is hitting .251 after struggling for much of the first half of the season.