Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has made clear he won’t be endorsing interleague play any time soon.
The Chicago White Sox, meanwhile, are likely looking forward to it.
The teams open a three-game series Friday night in Chicago as the White Sox look to keep rolling against the struggling Dodgers.
Chicago went a major league-best 15-3 in interleague games last season while Los Angeles struggled to a 4-11 mark. The Dodgers have lost five of six meetings in Chicago and nine of 12 overall.
“We’re set up to play a certain way and we go to an American League park and we’re not set up the way they are,” Mattingly told the team’s official website. “We’re not a big power club and that puts us behind the eight ball. They sit there with a DH every day and it’s a 25- or 30-homer guy. Our extra guys are versatile guys, utility guys. We set up our roster completely different.”
To make matters worse for the Dodgers, the White Sox (20-25) have won three straight and nine of their last 12 after beating AL Central-leading Cleveland 8-2 on Thursday. Chicago was 11-22 prior to their recent stretch.
“The ball is bouncing our way right now,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We made so many mistakes early and had so many bad at-bats and so many good pitchers. Everybody that came to town pitched like it was Cy Young and we’re not going to get any hits. This group sticks together, this group believes in themselves and they didn’t panic.”
The White Sox have taken some criticism for sticking with a six-man rotation despite the return of oft-injured starter Jake Peavy(notes), but Phil Humber(notes) (3-3, 3.18 ERA) hasn’t given Guillen any reason to change things.
Humber continued his solid season Friday, beating Oakland 4-3 after allowing three runs in six innings. He’s never faced the Dodgers, though his counterpart is plenty familiar with the White Sox.
Left-hander Ted Lilly(notes) (3-4, 4.83) has struggled to find consistency this season, but facing Chicago may get him back on track. Lilly is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last four starts against the White Sox. He had a no-hitter through eight innings in his last start against them, giving up a leadoff single in the ninth before being relieved in a 1-0 win while with the Cubs on June 13.
Lilly looks to help the Dodgers (20-25) rebound from a 3-1 loss to San Francisco on Thursday - their fifth loss in six games.
Former White Sox Juan Uribe(notes) and Jon Garland(notes) will make their first return to U.S. Cellular Field as the opposition. Each were part of Chicago’s 2005 World Series championship team, and Guillen said the team plans to recognize each player. Garland is scheduled to start Saturday against close friend Mark Buehrle(notes).