The already formidable lineup of the Chicago White Sox will likely have to wait one more day for an additional boost.
As was expected, Chicago (70-60) claimed the slugger on waivers earlier in the day from the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, the 12-time All-Star is not expected to join his new club until Tuesday.
Ramirez’s first appearance for the White Sox will come against the last-place Indians, who he broke into the majors with and played for until 2000. He’ll then head to Fenway Park, where he was adored by Boston fans before being dealt to the Dodgers two years ago.
Ramirez is hitting .311 with eight homers and 40 RBIs, but right leg injuries have limited him to 66 games. The White Sox are hedging a change of scenery will rejuvenate him as they insert him into the middle of a batting order that features Paul Konerko(notes) (32 homers, 92 RBIs) and Carlos Quentin(notes) (24 HRs, 80 RBIs).
While the White Sox hope to add some punch to their lineup after dropping two of three to the New York Yankees, they also are counting on Mark Buehrle(notes) to get their road trip off to a positive start.
Buehrle (12-10, 3.93 ERA) is known as a better pitcher prior to the All-Star break than after, going 82-53 with a 3.63 ERA before and 65-54 with a 4.03 ERA after. This year, however, Buehrle has been steady since the midsummer classic, going 4-3 with a 3.32 ERA in eight starts.
“This is the best I’ve pitched late in the season,” he said after giving up four runs over seven innings of Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Baltimore. “… I went out there and I felt strong and my pitch count got up (a season-high 115) there tonight and I still felt strong in the seventh inning, so all that stuff I did in the offseason is paying off but it wasn’t enough tonight.”
Buehrle, 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA in four starts against Cleveland this season, makes his first start at Progressive Field since getting ejected in the third inning of a 5-4 victory May 26 for arguing balk calls.
He will face an Indians club that had its three-game winning streak snapped Sunday, losing 6-2 to Kansas City.
The Indians (53-77) were held to six hits after averaging 7.3 runs while hitting .320 during their winning streak.
“We couldn’t get the hit we were looking for,” manager Manny Acta told the Indians’ official website.
Cleveland is hitting .221 and scoring 3.1 runs per game while losing six of nine.
The Indians, who are 8-4 versus the White Sox, will look to get back on track with Mitch Talbot(notes) (8-11, 4.44) going for his first victory since June 27. The right-hander, who is 0-5 with a 5.87 ERA in last eight starts, went six innings in Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to Oakland, surrendering six runs and six hits.
“That first inning was a lot of struggles in a lot of different areas,” Talbot told the Indians’ official website after giving up five first-inning runs. “Mechanically, I felt all over the place.”
Talbot is 0-5 with a 7.22 ERA in his last seven home starts, but he is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in three outings against the White Sox this season, including two victories at Progressive Field.
He should be careful pitching to first baseman Paul Konerko, who is batting .512 (21 for 41) with two homers and 11 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak. Konerko is 2 for 6 with a homer lifetime against the Indians starter.
The White Sox have dropped seven of 10 on the road.
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