White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams and Bulls players Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler discuss issues facing the youth in Chicago.
This story has 10 updates
* The White Sox have won three of their last four games, averaging 5.75 runs per game over that stretch. Over their eleven games prior to the four-game period, Chicago averaged just 2.64 runs per game while winning just one game.
* Houston ended a six-game losing streak by beating Seattle on Wednesday. It was its first win in 39 games this season when trailing after eight innings. Houston scored six runs in the ninth to beat Seattle after scoring zero runs in the previous 17 innings, and just seven runs during the previous six games.
* Erik Bedard has been a better pitcher at home this season than on the road. His home ERA (3.05) is less than half that of his road ERA (6.69) and his home K/BB ratio (2.4) is nearly twice as high as his K/BB ratio on the road (1.3).
* Chris Sale has pitched at least seven innings in nine of his 11 starts this season, tied for the third most starts of at least seven innings in the AL this season. In one career start against Houston, Sale threw eight shutout innings.
* J.D. Martinez is currently riding a five-game hitting streak, during which he has hit 6-for-18 (.333). He has recorded at least one hit in 14 of his last 16 games. Martinez has just two hits in 13 career at bats against the White Sox.
* Over his past four games, Adam Dunn has gone 8-for-15 with four home runs and seven RBI. Dunn is just 5-for-50 this season against left-handed pitchers like Bedard.
* The Blue Jays lost, 6-4, to the Rangers yesterday, snapping their 3-game win streak in the process. Toronto is 19-3 when scoring five or more runs this season, but just 8-32 when scoring less than five times in 2013.
* Chicago defeated Oakland, 4-2, on Sunday and has now posted back-to-back victories for the first time since May 25-26. The White Sox are 18-11 when putting at least four runs on the scoreboard in 2013 (16-28 when scoring less than four times).
* These two clubs split four games in Toronto earlier this season (April 15-18), each winning twice. Dating to May 7, 2010, the Jays and Sox have taken the field 12 times at U.S. Cellular, and both teams have won six of those contests.
* R.A. Dickey pitched 8.1 innings of shutout ball vs. the Giants in his last start (June 5), snapping his personal 2-game losing streak with the win. Including a victory at U.S. Cellular on April 10, 2009, Dickey is 2-0 with a 4.38 ERA in three starts against the White Sox overall.
* Dylan Axelrod went 5.1 innings and allowed zero runs vs. the Mariners last Wednesday, but got a no-decision for his efforts. Axelrod is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three career starts vs. the Blue Jays (includes no-decision earlier this season).
* Edwin Encarnacion was 8-for-14 (.571 BA) in his first four games against the White Sox this year. Including 2013, Encarnacion is batting .429 (18-for-42) with two homers and five RBI during his current 11-game hitting streak vs. Chicago.
* The A’s swept a three-game series in Oakland from the White Sox May 31-June 2, holding Chicago to a total of just three runs. However, the White Sox have won four of their last five home games against the A’s.
* Oakland is off to a fast start to the month, going 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA. That ERA is on pace for the lowest in the month of June by the A’s since at least 1921.
* Tied 0-0 through 13 innings, the White Sox and Mariners combined for 12 runs of the final three frames of Chicago’s 16-inning victory on Wednesday. Those 12 combined runs in extra innings are tied for the most in any game between AL teams since 1918.
* Josh Donaldson has had two or more hits in eight of his last 12 games, including three straight. Those eight multi-hit games are tied with Matt Carpenter for the most in the majors since May 25.
* Dan Straily is 2-0 with a 0.95 (2/19.0) ERA and .176 (12/68) opponent average in his last three starts. Since May 21, that ERA is tied for fourth best and the opponent average is seventh best in the majors among pitchers with a minimum of three starts.
* Alex Rios had four hits in Wednesday’s extra-inning win over the Mariners. It was his 18th career game with four or more hits, but his first since he had four against the M’s on May 7, 2011.
* Even after losing the first two games of this series, the White Sox have enjoyed remarkable success against the Mariners in recent years with a 26-7 record.
*The Sox are last in the AL scoring 3.43 runs per game and the Mariners are only one rank higher at 3.68.
*The Sox have averaged only 4.21 runs in their 24 victories.
*Paul Konerko has 31 career home runs against the M’s.
* Since coming to the States in 2012, Hisashi Iwakuma has fashioned the lowest ERA in the American League at 2.76.
* The White Sox dropped a 2-0 decision in Oakland yesterday and have now lost six straight games overall (including three via shutout) by a combined score of 33-9. Chicago has been blanked six times total in 2013 – tied with the Angels for most of any AL club.
* Seattle was shut out, 10-0, in Minnesota on Sunday and is now just 4-12 in its last 16 games overall – the second-worst record of any MLB team since May 17 (Royals – 3-14). The Mariners have been blanked by 10+ runs twice in 2013 (lost 12-0 to Angels on May 21).
* Chicago took two of three from Seattle in the clubs’ first series of 2013 at U.S. Cellular Field. Including an eight-game winning streak at Safeco Field, the White Sox are a combined 26-5 vs. the Mariners since the beginning of the 2010 campaign.
* John Danks is making his third start of the season tonight, after lasting just four innings and allowing four runs (three earned) in his last outing against the Cubs on May 29. Danks is 7-0 with a 1.31 ERA in his last eight starts vs. the Mariners.
* Joe Saunders got a no-decision vs. the Padres in his last outing (May 29), despite going seven innings and allowing just one run. Saunders (4-4, 4.24 ERA in nine career starts vs. the White Sox) is 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA in five home starts this season.
* Paul Konerko sat out yesterday’s contest with a stiff neck, but is hoping to be back in the lineup tonight. Konerko has 31 career home runs vs. the Mariners – second most of any current player (Alex Rodriguez – 33).
* After winning just four of their first 14 games this month, Oakland has won 11 of its last 13 games played, and five straight games at home, their longest home winning streak of the season.
* The White Sox lost three straight to the Cubs earlier this week, getting outscored 24-6 and outhit 31-19. It was the first time the White Sox have lost three in a row to the Cubs since June 20-22, 2008.
* Bartolo Colon will look to build on the success of his last start where he threw seven scoreless innings and allowed no walks for the seventh time in 10 starts this season. In 22 career starts against the White Sox, Colon has only had three starts where he did not issue a walk.
* Dylan Axelrod has won three straight starts for the first time in his career, thanks in large part to 15 runs of support from his offense to cover the eight runs he allowed in 16.2 innings over those starts.
* Yoenis Cespedes is riding a career-best 12-game hit streak, during which time he has had four game-winning RBIs. Cespedes was 6-for-23 (.261) with one home run against the White Sox last season.
* Alex Rios is 9-for-22 (.409) in his career against Colon, the third-highest batting average against Colon among active players (minimum 20 plate appearances). Rios is also 16-for-42 (.381) in his last 10 games against the A’s.
* With their defeat on Wednesday, the Chicago White Sox have now lost 29 consecutive games when allowing five or more runs, the longest active streak in the majors.
* Jake Peavy heads to the hill trying to become the first White Sox pitcher to strike out at least five batters in 12 straight starts since Juan Pizarro in 1961.
*Travis Wood has allowed oppostion 1-4 hitters only a .118 batting average, by far the best in MLB this year.
*Dayan Viciedo’s .361 batting average against left-handed pitchers is the best among active players with at least 200 plate appearances.
* After ranking last in the majors with a .165 batting average with runners in scoring position in April, the Cubs have made quite a turnaround in May raising that number to .277.
The Chicago Cubs have had problems finishing what they started this season, but they’ve had no such problems so far in their City Series games against the crosstown rival White Sox.
Behind three home runs from catcher Dioner Navarro, the Cubs routed the Sox 9-3 Wednesday. Navarro wound up with six RBIs.
Lefthander John Danks (0-1) took the loss for the Sox. Scott Feldman (5-4) was the winner for the Cubs. After Tuesday night’s rainout at U.S. Cellular Field, players and managers from both teams were eager to play.
The Cubs broke through with an unearned run against Danks in the first inning. David DeJesus led off by reaching second when leftfielder Dayan Viciedo misplayed his deep fly ball. DeJesus advanced to third on a base hit to right by Starlin Castro. With runners on the corners, Anthony Rizzo was safe on a fielder’s choice that forced Castro at second. DeJesus scored on the play.
The Sox tied the game 1-1 in the top of the second. Conor Gillaspie and Jeff Kepinger each delivered one-out singles to put runners on the corners. Then Tyler Flowers lined sharply to right to tally Gillaspie.
A leadoff homer by Dioner Navarro in the third inning put the Cubs ahead again 2-1. Navarro’s fourth homer of the season came on an 0-2 pitch.
Navarro connected on his second homer of the day in the fourth inning. This towering drive just inside the leftfield foul pole came after Scott Haiston had reached on a one-out single. Navarro’s fifth homer of the season came on a 1-1 pitch and made the score 4-1.
The Sox pulled to within 4-2 in the top of the fifth after Flowers doubled and pinch-hitter Casper Wells singled to put runners on first and third. Alejandro De Aza hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Flowers.
Danks was relieved by lefthander Hector Santiago to start the bottom of the fifth. Danks went four innings, allowing four runs (3 earned) on five hits. He walked one and struck out two.
The Cubs moved out to a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Hairston singled before Navarro walked. Luis Valbuena sacrificed the runners to second and third. Matt Linsdstrom took over for Santiago and uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Hairston to score. Pinch-hitter Ryan Sweeney, batting for Feldman, then lined a base hit to score Navarro.
Feldman allowed two runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out seven. Villanueva took over for Feldman to start the seventh.
Navarro cranked his third home run of the day in the seventh inning. The three-run shot made it 9-2.
The big lead figured to take the pressure off a Cubs bullpen taxed by the news Wednesday that reliever Kyuji Fujikawa is done for the rest of the season.
“The bullpen was solidified there. It’s going to be a little different,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “(Rafael) Dolis has been throwing the ball (well) like he has been. (Hector) Rondon has been fine. Obviously, Carlos Marmol has been doing a good job in the other (set-up) role. We will just make do and see how it all stacks up.”
James Russell, Carlos Villanueva and recently acquired Alex Burnett also will be needed to bolster the Cubs bullpen.
“Somebody has got to step up. So the guys are up for the challenge to fill in,” veteran closer Kevin Gregg said before the Cubs and Sox prepared to meet at Wrigley Field. “Carlos (Marmol) has been throwing the ball well. So he is going to be able to step up and help out.”
Fujikawa is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery on his right arm and will miss the rest of the season, according to Cubs GM Jed Hoyer.
“All of the teams that get deep into the playoffs and win the World Series have a solid bullpen,” Gregg said. “Starters are important; they align a bullpen and help by that means. But you need someone to carry those last six or more outs.”
* Yesterday’s game between these two clubs was rained out. The Cubs beat the White Sox, 7-0, on Monday, posting their largest shutout win over the White Sox all-time.
* The White Sox have won three straight series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, posting a 7-2 record against the North Siders in the process. The Cubs haven’t won a home series against the Sox since 2008.
* John Danks went 6.0 innings and allowed three runs in his first start of the 2013 campaign last Friday, recording a no-decision vs. the Marlins. Danks is 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in three career starts at Wrigley Field.
* Scott Feldman lasted just 5.1 innings and allowed a season-high five earned runs in taking the loss in his last start against the Reds last Friday. Feldman is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA in four home starts this season.
* Julio Borbon went 2-for-5 on Monday, recording his first multi-hit game and knocking in his first two runs of the season in the process. Borbon also hit his first home run since 2010 on Monday – his last homer also came against the White Sox on July 4, 2010.
* Including a 1-for-4 performance Monday, Alexei Ramirez is now 6-for-15 (.400) during his current four-game hitting streak against the Cubs. Ramirez is hitting .344 since May 12 overall (.246 BA in first 34 games of 2013). * Thanks to yesterday’s rainout, the Cubs now have a chance to do something they haven’t done since 1975 – win three straight games in three different ballparks.
*Scott Feldman has only allowed 7 hits in 43 at-bats with runners in scoring position (.163 average).