Mon, 18 Oct 2021

With eye on AL Central title, White Sox face Rangers again

Field Level Media
18 Sep 2021, 17:55 GMT+10

The Chicago White Sox will try to make it back-to-back wins over the Texas Rangers on Saturday evening in Arlington, Texas.

Chicago (84-63) is coming off a dominant 8-0 win Friday in the series opener, which kicked off an 11-game road trip for the White Sox. Luis Robert had three hits and three RBIs, Jose Abreu drove in two runs and right-hander Dylan Cease struck out 10 batters in five innings.

White Sox manager Tony La Russa was impressed with his club's all-around effort.

"When you look at the defense, it was really strong, especially in the infield, and that's a very tough infield to play because the ball has a lot of life," he said. "And pitching, the at-bats, it was a completely well-played game, a pleasure to watch it."

The White Sox moved closer to clinching the American League Central title. The club's magic number is five over Cleveland.

Veteran right-hander Lance Lynn (10-4, 2.50 ERA) will try to maintain Chicago's momentum. Lynn returned from a stint on the injured list caused by knee inflammation to toss five scoreless innings Sunday against the Boston Red Sox.

Lynn gave up two hits, walked none and fanned nine. He left after 70 pitches as the team looked to ease him back after he missed two weeks.

"We talked before and it was 75-80 (pitches) and going back out at 70 would've probably pushed it past that, and then I would have gotten mad at whoever came and took me out in the middle of an inning," Lynn said. "It was good to do five at where we're at and then the next time we'll build off of that. So we're in a good spot."

Lynn's lone career start against the Rangers came in 2018, when he got a no-decision after allowing one run in five innings.

Texas (54-93) will try to snap a three-game losing streak. The Rangers are focused on the future, with the players knowing that the next few weeks could bolster their resumes for 2022 and beyond.

That is true for veterans as well as those with less experience. Outfielder/designated hitter Willie Calhoun wants to end the season on a high note after missing nearly two months with a broken arm.

"I just feel like my career is in another cycle right now," said Calhoun, who is batting .253 with five homers and 20 RBIs. "I'm just trying to prove something to myself. I haven't been healthy for two years. So when I was finally ... healthy for the first time this year, I got hurt. So (I'm) just trying to find my feet again and just settle in, get settled down and finish this season strong."

Rangers right-hander Spencer Howard (0-4, 7.38 ERA) will make his 13th start and 17th appearance of the season. He is 0-2 with an 11.81 ERA in five starts since joining Texas from the Philadelphia Phillies in a July 30 deal.

This will be Howard's first career appearance against the White Sox.

Texas is 32-41 at home this season. Chicago is 35-36 on the road.

--Field Level Media

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