After salvaging the final game of a three-game series at Texas with an offensive eruption, the Chicago White Sox open a four-game series Monday night at Detroit in the first meeting with the division-rival Tigers this season.
A lull in offensive production early in the series at Texas gave way for a 16-run explosion Sunday, a sign that the White Sox might be able to recover from any valleys they venture into with their bats.
Pitching remains the question, with answers on two fronts set to come in the upcoming series.
First, it will be interesting to see how left-hander Chris Sale bounces back from his 127-pitch outing Thursday against the Boston Red Sox. Early command issues in his start on Tuesday could signal that Sale was overtaxed in the outing.
Second, the coaching staff will have to decide on a starter for Wednesday's game. Felipe Paulino was crushed in his outing at Texas on Friday and was put on the disabled list the following day with rotator cuff inflammation.
Andre Rienzo, who was recalled over the weekend, is the likely candidate to pitch Wednesday, but he did work one inning Sunday, throwing 26 pitches. The White Sox haven't ruled him out of Wednesday's game because of the one inning, but they haven't confirmed it either.
While the White Sox head into the series tied with the Colorado Rockies for most runs in baseball at 106, they are 29th out of 30 teams with a 5.18 ERA. The starters have had their issues, but the biggest problem is the 5.72 ERA from the bullpen.
HEAD TO HEAD
Conor Gillaspie, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo are a combined 5-for-30 (.167) against Anibal Sanchez, and nobody on the current roster has a home run against him. ... Tyler Flowers is 3-for-10 in his career against Justin Verlander with two walks, and two of his three hits are home runs ... Adam Dunn has struck out 16 times in 35 at-bats against Max Scherzer. ... Ian Kinsler is 12-for-31 (.387) lifetime against John Danks with four home runs. ... Austin Jackson is just 2-for-30 (.067) against Sale, but Victor Martinez is 12-for-22 (.545). ... Rajai Davis is 7-for-14 (.500) lifetime against Jose Quintana.
Since Aug. 14, 2010, the White Sox are 19-45 against the Tigers and 7-24 at Comerica Park. Over the previous 96 games in the series, they were 68-38. ... The White Sox were 7-12 against the Tigers last season, with a .274 batting average and a 3.50 ERA, while being outscored 90-76. ... The White Sox are 5-4 against American League Central opponents this year, after going 26-50 against the division last season. ... The White Sox have won just one game per road series this year (3-6 overall). ... After four hits Sunday, Marcus Semien is the first rookie in White Sox history to record two four-hit games in April. Semien also had four hits April 8 at Colorado. ... Paul Konerko needs two hits for 2,300 in his career and four total bases to tie Frank Thomas' franchise record of 3,949. ... Flowers has 21 hits. He had 11 the entire month of April last season.
Monday: White Sox left-hander John Danks (1-0, 3.32 ERA) vs. Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez (0-1, 3.12), 6:08 p.m. CT.
Tuesday: White Sox left-hander Chris Sale (3-0, 2.30) vs. Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander (2-1, 2.08), 6:08 p.m. CT.
Wednesday: White Sox TBA vs. Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly (1-1, 4.00), 6:08 p.m. CT.
Thursday: White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana (1-1, 3.75) vs. Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer (1-1, 3.75), 12:08 p.m. CT.