Chris Sale eyes his 18th win and tries to help the Chicago White Sox snap a five-game losing streak on Monday when they open a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago was swept this weekend by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but was able to maintain sole possession of first place in the American League Central thanks to Detroit losing two of three to hapless Minnesota.
"You always learn more through the adversity than the good times," said manager Robin Ventura. "That's the point where you just keep playing. I think we've had points of the season where we've been through things like this and we've responded and bounced back. That's what you'd expect. It seems like we go on a roll after we've gone through the rough patch."
With 10 games to go, the White Sox hold a one-game lead on the Tigers and will now turn to Sale, who is in the AL Cy Young Award mix with a 17-7 mark and 2.82 ERA.
Sale, though, has lost three of his last five starts and fell to Kansas City on Wednesday, as he allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. He also walked two.
The 23-year-old lefty, who is 2-0 in three starts against the Indians this season, is 9-2 in 12 home starts with a 1.72 ERA.
Cleveland will counter with righty Zach McAllister, who is 5-8 with a 4.31 ERA. McAllister lost his fourth straight decision on Wednesday to Minnesota, as he surrendered four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. He hasn't won since beating Boston on Aug. 11
McAllister has faced the White Sox twice and is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA.
Cleveland salvaged the finale of its three-game series with Kansas City on Sunday, as it exploded for its highest run total of the season in a 15-4 win. Carlos Santana homered twice and had five RBI in the rout.
Although Cleveland owns the worst mark in the AL at 63-90, manager Manny Acta said his team would not lay down for Chicago.
"When you're playing a team that's in the middle of it or fighting for a spot, they deserve to have your best team on the field out of respect for the other club," Acta told the team's official website. "I don't want to be sitting here a year from now or two years from now and not feeling that somebody else on the other side is giving their best effort."
Chicago is 8-4 versus the Indians this season.
The Sports Network