Blue Jays-White Sox Preview

The Associated Press

The Toronto Blue Jays are trying to end their longest road losing streak of the season.

A visit to Chicago might not provide the ideal opportunity to get it done.

The Blue Jays look to avoid a sixth consecutive road loss Tuesday night against the AL Central-leading White Sox.

Though Toronto (28-26) is fresh off a 4-2 homestand against Baltimore and Boston, it lost the final five of a six-game trip to Tampa and Texas last month. The Blue Jays have not dropped six straight on the road since a nine-game skid May 19-27, 2009.

They'll face a major challenge against the White Sox (31-23), who have hit .290 and averaged 6.8 runs while winning 14 of 16 to build a 2 1/2-game lead over Cleveland in the Central.

Toronto's chances could get even tougher if Edwin Encarnacion can't play after being hit on the hand with a pitch in Sunday's 5-1 win over the Red Sox. Encarnacion leads the team with 17 home runs and 43 RBIs.

"Hopefully this isn't a situation with Edwin that's too long term," manager John Farrell told the Blue Jays' official website.

With or without one of their top hitters, the Blue Jays should be in for a challenge against scheduled Chicago starter Philip Humber (2-2, 5.37 ERA).

Though the right-hander did not receive a decision in either of his two starts versus Toronto in 2011, he allowed two runs and struck out 12 in 14 1-3 innings.

Humber was 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in six starts since throwing a perfect game at Seattle on April 21 before giving up a two-run homer and four other hits in seven innings of a 7-2 win at Tampa on Tuesday.

"It was a good start and hopefully something I can build on," Humber said.

One day after its nine-game winning streak ended with a 10-8, 12-inning loss to Seattle, Chicago won 4-2 on Sunday behind Chris Sale's first career complete game.

Ex-Blue Jay Alex Rios had two hits with two RBIs and Gordon Beckham also drove in a run Sunday. Rios is batting .354 with 13 RBIs in his last 11 games while Beckham is hitting .333 during a 10-game hitting streak and has seven RBIs in the last three contests.

While Beckham is 0 for 6 with six strikeouts versus scheduled starter Ricky Romero (6-1, 4.04), Rios is 4 for 9 with a homer against the left-hander.

Romero is 2-0 with a 3.54 ERA in three starts against the White Sox, but he allowed four runs and five walks in 5 1-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 9-7 win in his only start at U.S. Cellular Field on May 9, 2010.

He is 2-0 in his last three starts overall but has yielded four runs in six innings in each of the past two. That included a seven-walk performance during a 5-4, 11-inning loss at Tampa on May 23. He walked one in Tuesday's 8-6 win over the Orioles.

"I've been hard on myself this whole year," Romero said. "I work so hard to go out there and have long outings and be deep in the game, and when I don't I kick myself in the head."

Toronto slugger Jose Bautista has homered in back-to-back games but has two in his last 73 at-bats versus Chicago.

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