The AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox failed to capitalize on a series against one of the lowest scoring teams in the AL. Now, they’ll have to deal with the best offensive team in baseball again.
The White Sox will try to continue remaining atop the division Monday night when they open a three-game series against the Texas Rangers.
Chicago (55-42) leads the Central by one-half game over second-place Minnesota. The White Sox lost 8-7 to Kansas City on Sunday to drop two of three to the Royals, but remained in first as the Twins were beaten 1-0 by the Rangers (51-48).
“We played terrible,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Kansas City showed up to kick our butts and they did.”
Chicago will now have to contend with Texas, which is the top scoring team in the majors (541) and among the leaders in hitting (.279) and slugging (.454), for the second time in less than two weeks.
The White Sox dropped two of three at Texas from July 11-13 in a series that featured plenty of offense. Chicago hit .377 with five homers and 22 runs, while the Rangers batted .330 with 13 doubles, four homers and 26 runs.
The series also featured a war of words between Guillen and Texas closer C.J. Wilson, who the Chicago manager felt showed up some of his players after recording outs.
“He showed a couple of my players up, and I don’t like that,” Guillen told the Rangers’ official Web site after the White Sox lost 12-11 on July 13. “He showed my dugout up in that inning and that’s why I screamed at him. The only reason I was screaming is because he was not professional.”
Wilson defended himself.
“I wouldn’t say I’m cocky, but I’m definitely emotional,” he told the Rangers’ site.
The Rangers lost two of three games at Minnesota, managing only three runs in the series. AL batting leader Ian Kinsler went 0-for-11 in the set and major league RBI leader Josh Hamilton sat out Sunday’s win after failing to drive in a run in the first two games.
Kinsler went 6-for-14 in the first series against Chicago while Hamilton was 5-for-14 with four RBIs.
The White Sox will give the ball to Javier Vazquez (7-7, 4.61 ERA) for the first time in nearly two weeks.
The right-hander is 2-3 with a 6.80 ERA in his last seven starts, and hasn’t won since beating Pittsburgh on June 17. He struggled through 5 2-3 innings during his last outing on July 9, getting tagged for six runs while not getting a decision in a 7-6 win at Kansas City.
Vazquez is 2-1 with a 6.29 ERA in four career starts against the Rangers.
Chicago isn’t expected to have Jermaine Dye back in the lineup as he left Sunday’s loss in the fourth inning when he suffered a bruised right knee after being hit by a pitch for a second consecutive game. The right fielder has a team-leading .310 batting average with 21 homers and 58 RBIs.
“I don’t expect him to play tomorrow. He got hit pretty good, hopefully it might only take a couple of days,” Guillen said.
The Rangers are expected to activate Eric Hurley (1-1, 3.57) from the 15-day disabled list Monday to give him his first start since he notched his first major league victory June 29.
The 22-year-old rookie right-hander landed on the DL July 8 due to a strained left hamstring. At the time, Hurley was coming off a strong performance in which he allowed one run over 5 2-3 innings of a 5-1 victory over Philadelphia.
He’ll get his first start against the White Sox.