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Monday, May 26, 2014
Series preview: Indians at White Sox

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox continue to search for an offensive identity one week after dynamic run-producing rookie Jose Abreu went on the disabled list.

The White Sox have scored just one run over their last 17 innings, while losing consecutive games to the New York Yankees, although it’s no shame to be held in check by Masahiro Tanaka like they were Sunday.

The White Sox scored a combined 14 runs in back-to-back games last week at Kansas City and scored six in a victory over the Yankees on Friday, but they have also been held to a single run in two games since Abreu has been out of action with left ankle tendonitis.

There are individuals delivering on offense right now like Gordon Beckham, Conor Gillaspie, Alexei Ramirez and Adam Dunn, but collectively the consistency isn’t there.

“We're just playing,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You can't sit back and count the days for Abreu (to return) or anything like that. You play and you want them competing. They were competing (Sunday) but (Tanaka) was really good.”

If the White Sox have been able to establish anything over the first 52 games it’s that they are a team worth watching until the final out. They are both fire and ice in the final inning, scoring a major league leading 40 runs in the ninth, while also remaining unsettled at closer with a shaky Ronald Belisario still being asked to finish games.


HEAD TO HEAD: Players currently on the Indians’ 40-man roster have batted a combined .219 against Jose Quintana in 114 at-bats and have hit just one home run. They are also batting a combined .125 against Hector Noesi in 32 at-bats, but two of their four hits off him are home runs. ... Quintana is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in six career starts against the Indians. ... Michael Brantley, who is batting .302 for the Indians this season, is just 2-for-18 (.111) in his career against Chris Sale, with nine strikeouts. ... Beckham is just 1-for-9 against Indians starter Josh Tomlin, while Ramirez is just 1-for-8. ... Dunn is batting .302 in 43 career at-bats against Indians starter Justin Masterson, but Dayan Viciedo is hitless in 17 at-bats against him.

NOTES: The Indians enter the series with a 24-27 record, which might mean bad news since the White Sox are 14-10 against teams at or above .500 and are 11-17 against teams with a losing record. ... White Sox starters have a combined 2.84 ERA with 36 strikeouts over the last seven games. Opponents are hitting .196 against the starters in that same time period. ... The Indians will start three right-handers in the upcoming series, which bodes well for Gillaspie, who is batting .333 (29-for-87) against righties this season. ... White Sox reliever Javy Guerra matched a career high with three strikeouts in his White Sox debut Sunday. ... Indians infielder Jason Kipnis, on the disabled list since May 2 with an oblique injury, will play in his final rehab game Monday against the White Sox’ Triple-A Charlotte affiliate and is expected to play against the White Sox on Tuesday. ... The Indians split a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend one series after a three-game sweep over the first-place Detroit Tigers.

PITCHING MATCHUPS:
Monday: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (2-4, 3.67 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (3-1, 2.91), 1:10 p.m.
Tuesday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (4-0, 1.89) vs. Indians RH Justin Masterson (2-3, 5.32), 7:10 p.m.
Wednesday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (0-4, 6.82) vs. Indians RH T.J. House (0-1, 6.43), 7:10 p.m.