White Sox-Blue Jays Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 12, 2012
The Chicago White Sox have lost 15 of their last 18 games at Rogers Centre. The AL Central leaders hope to start reversing those woes Monday night in the opener of a four-game set against the injury-plagued Toronto Blue Jays. Chicago (62-51) has struggled in recent years in Toronto, where it has not captured a series since 2006. Dating to that season, the White Sox's .199 batting average at Rogers Centre is easily their worst at any ballpark. They enter this visit leading Detroit by two games in the Central. "We go out and play the game right and do things right, and it comes down to if you get beat, you get beat," reliever Matt Thornton told the White Sox's official website. "Looking forward to it, four-game set, big series." These teams have split six games in Chicago this year, but Toronto (54-60) had a much healthier roster for those series in June and July. Injured regulars Jose Bautista (wrist), Brett Lawrie (oblique), J.P. Arencibia (hand) and Adam Lind (back) are all out. Outfielder Colby Rasmus and second baseman Kelly Johnson have groin injuries, and shortstop Yunel Escobar sat out Sunday's 10-7 win over the Yankees after being struck on his left elbow by a pitch the previous day. With youngsters like Adeiny Hechavarria, Moises Sierra and Anthony Gose in the Blue Jays lineup, Jake Peavy (9-8, 3.08 ERA) could be relishing his third start against them this year. The veteran right-hander went 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA in the first two. He allowed three runs over 6 2-3 innings Tuesday in a 5-2 loss to Kansas City. He's 3-7 over his last 10 starts despite a 3.13 ERA. Peavy has limited Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion to three hits in 14 at-bats. Encarnacion was the only Toronto hitter from its opening day lineup who started Sunday. He went 3 for 4 with his 30th homer and drove in two runs to boost his career-high RBI total to 79. The Blue Jays ended a five-game slide. Rajai Davis, second in the majors with 33 stolen bases, matched a career high with five RBIs. "We've been in a tough stretch," manager John Farrell said after his team's third win in 14 games. "A win always lets people take a deep breath." Encarnacion is tied for third in the majors in homers, with Chicago's Adam Dunn second with 31 behind Texas' Josh Hamilton (32). Dunn, however, has failed to homer in a season-high 13 straight games. He went 1 for 11 with two walks and four strikeouts over the weekend as Chicago took two of three from Oakland. Paul Konerko is out for Chicago due to a concussion. Third baseman Kevin Youkilis is day to day after sitting out Sunday's 7-3 victory due to issues with his left arm and right knee. A.J. Pierzynski added to his career-high total with his 23rd homer Sunday. Pierzynski is hitting .383 with seven homers and 17 RBIs over his last 13 games. Toronto's Carlos Villanueva (6-2, 3.30) has posted a 5.63 ERA and no record in three career appearances against the White Sox, including one start. Villanueva is 4-2 with a 3.35 ERA in six starts since moving into the rotation June 29. The right-hander has dropped his last two outings, yielding three runs over six innings Wednesday in a 3-2 defeat at Tampa Bay.
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