White Sox-Indians Preview

The Associated Press

Neither the Cleveland Indians nor the Chicago White Sox seem to be concerned about the slow starts of their offenses.

Following a postponement due to rain and cold weather, the White Sox and Indians conclude their series at Progressive Field on Wednesday.

Chicago ranked 11th and Cleveland ninth in runs scored among AL teams last season, and with few offseason additions to their lineups, those offenses may not be in line to improve much in 2012.

The White Sox (2-2) opened this series against the Indians (1-3) with a 4-2 victory Monday before Tuesday's matchup was called off. Chris Sale gave up one run in 6 2-3 innings to win his first major league start, while Alejandro De Aza and A.J. Pierzynski homered during a three-run first inning.

Chicago's rotation has produced three quality starts in four games while the bullpen has given up one run in 9 2-3 innings.

"Those guys have the talent to be pretty good," Pierzynski told the team's official website of the young relief corps.

However, the White Sox struck out 10 times and went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Adam Dunn homered in the season opener but is 1 for 11 with four strikeouts since.

Cleveland has been even worse. The Indians are batting .153 after totaling five hits Monday.

"We've just got to stay positive," manager Manny Acta said. "Four games does not define the offense of a ballclub."

Injuries were a big part of Cleveland's struggles last season. Shin-Soo Choo was one of the major losses, limited to 85 games after sustaining several injuries including a broken thumb.

The Indians are counting on him to help their offense this season, but he was sent sprawling after Sale hit him on the right hand Monday. Choo stayed in the game, though, and promptly stole second before Carlos Santana brought him home with a single to right.

Choo is 3 for 15 with two runs scored.

"That was a big scare," Acta said. "It shattered his thumb protector. He came back and swung well and got a hit. So I don't think there's any fear."

With neither team showing much pop at the plate, it's putting extra pressure on their pitching staffs.

Chicago will turn Wednesday to John Danks, who allowed three runs and six hits while striking out six over six innings in losing 3-2 to Texas in the season opener Friday.

The left-hander lost 7-1 in his only start against Cleveland in 2011, giving up two runs and six hits while striking out eight over six innings at Progressive Field. He is 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA in 13 starts versus the Indians, with all three wins coming in Cleveland.

The Indians will hand the ball to Justin Masterson, who was in line for the win on opening day before the bullpen faltered. The right-hander gave up one run and two hits while striking out 10 in eight innings Thursday against Toronto, which scored three times in the ninth to tie it and won 7-4 in 16 innings.

Masterson posted a 1.61 ERA in four starts against Chicago last season but went 2-2. He is 3-4 with a 2.09 ERA in 14 appearances - 10 starts - versus the White Sox.

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