After struggling at the plate during their season-opening series, the Chicago White Sox found their groove during a matchup with an AL Central rival.
The White Sox will try to keep that going in manager Robin Ventura's debut at U.S. Cellular Field and prevail in a fifth consecutive home opener Friday against the red-hot Detroit Tigers.
Chicago (3-2) hit .192 and scored six runs while dropping two of three in Texas last weekend but had 11 hits in each of their two victories during a rain-shortened set in Cleveland.
The White Sox scored all of their runs in the first six innings during a 10-6 win Wednesday, with four in the opening frame. A.J. Pierzynski had three hits and drove in four runs.
"That's the one thing I don't want us to do, to get a few early and then sit on it the rest of the game," Ventura told the team's official website. "Guys were battling every inning, and you just keep doing that over and over again and you are able to put pressure on them."
Ventura returns to the White Sox's dugout following Ozzie Guillen's departure to Miami. Like Guillen, he had no managerial experience in the major or minor leagues before this season.
Ventura played his first 10 major league seasons in Chicago before signing with the New York Mets following the 1998 campaign. The longest-tenured player on the White Sox roster, first baseman Paul Konerko, arrived in Chicago in 1999.
"We're sure glad to be going home. It was a long spring training, then two tough series on the road," Ventura said. "It has been a long time since we've seen Chicago. It is always fun to go out and get your ovation. Things are always positive, where everybody is eager to get off to a good start."
Ventura's team will look for another strong performance at the plate when it faces Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer, who has been dealing with an illness since a miserable season debut.
Scherzer gave up seven runs over 2 2-3 innings Sunday against Boston but avoided a loss when Detroit rallied for a 13-12 victory.
"I didn't work hard all my life to get here and then miss a start because I was sick," he told the team's official website.
Scherzer (0-0, 23.63 ERA) is 1-2 with a 2.95 ERA in three road starts against the White Sox, allowing three runs or fewer in each. He'll try to produce another solid outing in Chicago while helping the Tigers (5-1) add to their impressive start.
The defending Central champs bounced back from their first defeat as Brennan Boesch drove in four runs during a 7-2 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday, his 27th birthday. Detroit, which had 10 hits, is batting .304 but none of its starting pitchers have earned a win.
Jake Peavy will attempt to slow down the Tigers while earning his first victory. The right-hander allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings during a 4-3 win in Texas on Saturday.
Peavy (0-0, 4.50) is 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA in five career starts against Detroit but was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two home matchups last season.
He'll try for a better outing while helping his team snap a six-game losing streak in the series. Chicago has also dropped 21 of 27 to Detroit and 11 of 14 at home.
The Tigers will play nine straight day games to open this season, the longest streak by an AL club since the White Sox in 2004.
- Robin Ventura
- Detroit Tigers