Indians looking for series split against White Sox

STATS/TSX

The Chicago White Sox will go for a series win against the Cleveland Indians when the teams square off Thursday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field on Chicago's South Side.

Chicago (24-42) has endured a bumpy start to the season but has won two of the first three in its four-game series against the Indians. The White Sox have gone 8-5 in June thanks in large part to better starting pitching.

Meanwhile, Cleveland (35-31) hopes to escape the Windy City with a series split. The Indians remain atop the American League Central standings but have posted an underwhelming 5-6 record in June.

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The getaway-day contest will represent the second start of the season for White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon (0-1, 3.60 ERA), who spent two-plus months on the disabled list as he recovered from shoulder surgery.

The White Sox's 2014 first-round pick (No. 3 overall) allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings during his season debut Saturday against the Boston Red Sox. He walked two and struck out seven.

Teammates were impressed with Rodon's assortment of pitches after a long layoff.

"Carlos has that killer (look in his eye) whenever he starts getting a little geeked up, when he's about to throw some stuff that is going to be unhittable," White Sox catcher Kevan Smith told The Athletic. "Even whenever we were catching in Triple-A, he had the same things kind of happen. He would pitch out of these jams, and that's what I'm saying. ...

"He has a fastball that ... just kind of control it and let it do its work, it's an impressive pitch."

In 10 career appearances (nine starts) against the Indians, Rodon is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA. He has walked 19 and struck out 64 in 61 2/3 innings. The only other team he has beaten four times is the Minnesota Twins.

For the visitors, Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (4-2, 3.31 ERA) will take the mound for his 14th start of the season. The 27-year-old needs one more win for No. 20 in the big leagues.

Clevinger has pitched six-plus innings in nine of his past 10 outings. In nine of his 13 starts this year, he has given up three earned runs or fewer.

The White Sox have had sporadic success against Clevinger, who is 1-2 with a 4.29 ERA against that team in five career appearances (three starts). Clevinger has walked nine and fanned 20 in 21 innings versus Chicago.

Chicago is 12-20 at home this season; Cleveland is 15-20 on the road.

The Indians are still without left-hander Andrew Miller out of the bullpen as he recovers from inflammation in his right knee. Miller threw a bullpen session Wednesday and could face hitters in live batting practice or in a simulated game as part of the next step in his rehabilitation.

"He did well, he did real well, probably his best one yet," Indians manager Terry Francona told mlb.com. "When we get back home, we'll see if he's ready to face hitters.

"How he's bouncing back is still the biggest challenge, but he's building up, he's doing a good job, so we're making progress, which is good. I'd much rather have that happen than the other way."

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