White Sox up against red-hot Mariners

CHICAGO – The White Sox will be facing a much different Seattle Mariners team from the one they confronted last month in the Pacific Northwest.

The two teams open a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field beginning Monday night when Michael Pineda faces off against John Danks in a 7:10 p.m. start.

When they last played May 6-8 in Seattle, the White Sox won two of the three games in the series and went on to a successful West Coast road swing.

Just over a week after that series, and about a week after outfielder Milton Bradley was released, the Mariners’ play improved drastically. Seattle not only heads into this series having won 14 of their last 18, but they have won consecutive series over the Angels, Padres, Twins, Yankees, Orioles and Rays.

Seattle pitchers have been able to prevent the long ball this season. They are tied with the Oakland A’s for best in the American League by giving up 37 home runs as a staff. The White Sox are in the middle of the pack of the 14-team American League by allowing 54, while the Royals are the worst in the category by allowing 72.

With the temperatures rising, though, and U.S. Cellular Field starting to play small again, the White Sox might be able to neutralize the Mariners’ long-ball-prevention advantage.