Salvaging a game from the team with the worst record in the major leagues counts as a salve for the struggling Chicago White Sox
The Toronto Blue Jays have underachieved too, and both teams now hope to build some momentum heading into the All-Star break at the other’s expense
Toronto enters Tuesday’s series opener at Chicago on a three-game skid and with losses in four of its past six games. The White Sox, meanwhile, are coming off a 3-4 West Coast road trip that started with a four-game split against the Los Angeles Angels before the team faltered at lowly Oakland
The Athletics took the first two games of the weekend series. Chicago exhaled with an 8-7 win Sunday afternoon.
A five-run third-inning staked the White Sox to an early lead, and the team stockpiled just enough offense as Oakland rallied for two runs each in the eighth and ninth innings
“Never a dull moment,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “There’s a reason things happen like this. Today we needed every single run, every single at-bat, every single pitch to get this one. Hopefully down the road, they can become a little easier, but I’m not expecting them to.”
It’s been that kind of first half for Chicago, which after the weekend stood 5 1/2 games behind American League Central-leading Minnesota despite being 10 games under .500.
Such a standing likely would torpedo Toronto’s hopes in the far more competitive AL East. As it is, the Blue Jays are just five games over .500 and in fourth place in the division after a weekend sweep at the hands of visiting Boston
The Blue Jays entered the week 11 games out of the division lead but in firm position in what is shaping up to be a tight AL wild-card race
Sunday’s 5-4 loss put Toronto at 7-20 within its division, however, including losses in all seven games against the last-place Red Sox.
“I think we have a target on our back,” Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman said. “It sounds bad to say, but people know how talented our team is, so they know they have to really bring it. If we don’t bring it, they’re going to have a higher intensity than us
“You’ve got to know that going in and try to match that or take over that intensity.”
Toronto will turn to former White Sox right-hander Chris Bassitt (8-5, 4.06 ERA), who is aiming for his second victory against his former club this season
Pitching against visiting Chicago on April 24, Bassitt gave up two runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings, adding three walks and four strikeouts. In six career starts against the White Sox, he is 3-2 with a 3.77 ERA
Right-hander Lucas Giolito (6-5, 3.53) is set to start for the White Sox. As with Bassitt, he will be trying to win his second straight start. Giolito pitched seven innings of four-run, six-hit ball on Wednesday with zero walks and nine strikeouts to defeat the Angels
Giolito is 2-2 with a 5.91 ERA in six career starts against the Blue Jays
–Field Level Media
Original source here
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