Cubs-White Sox Preview
Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox
- This starts the second part of the home-and-home series between the two Chicago teams. The White swept the two games at Wrigley Field earlier this week, holding the Cubs to just one run in both games. But the Cubs won both games between the teams at U.S. Cellular Field in 2013, outscoring the White Sox 15-2.
- The Cubs are batting just .188 so far this month, which is second lowest in the majors (A's - .174). Entering 2014, only two teams since 1914 have ever hit below .200 for the entire month of May -- the 1967 Yankees (.197) and the 1914 Yankees (.198).
- The White Sox and Cubs are both 4-4 against left-handed starters (today's scheduled starters -- Travis Wood and John Danks -- are both lefties).
- Travis Wood has dominated opponents' No. 4 and No. 5 hitters this season, holding them to a combined .171 (6/35) average with no home runs and just one RBI.
- John Danks was 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA through his first four starts of the season. But he has struggled in his last two outings, going 0-2 with a 10.13 (12/10.2) ERA and .347 (17/49) opponent average.
- Gordon Beckham had been batting .167 on the season before going 4-for-5 in Tuesday's win over the Cubs. It was the fifth time in his career he had four hits in a game (which is his career high). Beckham is a .356 career batter against the Cubs and has had at least one hit in 15 of his last 16 games against them.
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By JEFF MEZYDLO
(AP) -- After being swept by the Chicago Cubs in last season's crosstown series, the White Sox are halfway to returning the favor.
Coming off two victories at Wrigley Field, the White Sox face the Cubs on the South Side on Wednesday night looking to extend their season-high winning streak to four games.
The White Sox (17-17) were outscored 32-8 while losing all four to the Cubs last season, but have totaled the same amount to win the first two this year. Gordon Beckham hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning for one of his four hits in Tuesday's 5-1 victory.
Moises Sierra also had four hits after recording two in his previous 15 contests to help the White Sox win their third in a row following four straight defeats.
"It's good. I mean we need to keep, no matter who it is, keep grinding out and getting some wins," Beckham said. "We've found a way to win in some tight games and obviously pulled (away) a bit (Tuesday), but it's good team-building stuff."
Beckham is batting .234 in 12 games since opening the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique, but raised his average to .356 in 25 contests against the Cubs.
White Sox pitchers held the North Siders to a run and four hits in each game at Wrigley and struck out 18 overall.
"Not very good (the past two nights)," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
Though the Cubs (11-20) have averaged 5.8 runs while winning four of five at U.S. Cellular Field, they've dropped three in a row overall and totaled nine runs with 19 hits while fanning 35 times in the last four.
White Sox starter John Danks (2-2, 5.00 ERA) looks to avoid a third straight losing start after he yielded eight runs and 10 hits in five innings of a 12-5 loss at Cleveland on Friday.
"There wasn't a whole lot to take from it," Danks said. "I felt fine. I just had the ball up. I've got to throw more strikes. It's not rocket science."
Danks is 3-2 with a 3.06 ERA in six starts against the Cubs, but gave up four runs in four innings of a 9-3 loss at Wrigley last season. The left-hander has not faced them at U.S. Cellular Field since 2010, when he yielded six runs in five innings of an 8-6 defeat.
He'll be opposed by Travis Wood (2-3, 3.35), who is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA against the White Sox.
The left-hander gave up five runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-3 loss at Milwaukee on April 26, then yielded three over seven in a 6-5 home victory over St. Louis on Friday.
Paul Konerko is 3 for 6 with a double versus Wood. Though he's batting .224 (11 for 49) in his last 14 games against the Cubs at home, five of those hits left the park.
It's uncertain if White Sox slugger Adam Dunn will return to the starting lineup after he was relegated to a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday because of a bruised right calf. He's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Wood and 6 for 50 (.120) with 25 strikeouts in this series since joining the White Sox.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is 2 for 7 versus Danks, but 1 for 13 in three games after batting .387 (12 for 31) in the previous eight.
Updated May 7, 2014