White Sox-Giants Preview
Chicago White Sox at San Francisco Giants
- The White Sox lost, 4-2, in Seattle on Sunday, and have now dropped seven of their last nine games overall. Chicago was 33-33 and just 2.5 games out of first place in the AL Central entering play on June 12, but are 23-30 since (fourth worst record in the AL during that span).
- San Francisco was swept by the Royals in Kansas City over the weekend, and has dropped four straight games overall by a combined score of 19-7. The Giants are just 20-35 (.364) in their last 55 games -- third worst in MLB since June 9.
- Including two victories earlier this season at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox have defeated the Giants five straight times -- tied with the Royals for the longest active winning streak against San Francisco. Chicago swept three from San Francisco in these two clubs' only all-time series at AT&T Park in 2008.
- Chris Sale allowed just two runs at home last Wednesday against the Rangers, but was saddled with his second setback of the season when the Sox couldn't muster a single run until he left the game after six innings. Dating to August 17 last season, Sale is 4-0 with a 1.92 ERA in his last nine road starts.
- Ryan Vogelsong is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two August outings, both of which were on the road (at Mets and at Brewers). Vogelsong, who will be facing the White Sox for the first time in his career tonight, is 0-5 with a 4.46 ERA in his last six starts at AT&T Park (2-1, 2.15 ERA in first six home starts of 2014).
- Adam Dunn went 2-for-4 on Sunday, snapping his season-long five-game hitless streak in the process. Dunn is batting .429 (12-for-29) with four home runs and 10 RBI in his last seven games against the Giants.
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By JEFF BARTL
(AP) -- Going from the best record in baseball in June to trailing your archrival in a tight division race could cause some teams to fold, but the San Francisco Giants are remaining positive despite battling through another losing streak.
That skid could reach five if the Giants can't bust out of a scoring slump when they face Chris Sale and the visiting Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
San Francisco was 42-21 and held a 9 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers on June 8, but it's had four losing streaks of at least four games since that point and now sits multiple games back of Los Angeles in the NL West.
The Giants (62-56) have scored seven runs during the four-game skid and ended a 10-game road trip with a three-game sweep at the hands of Kansas City after Sunday's 7-4 loss.
Despite the struggles, San Francisco is keeping in the right frame of mind heading into the stretch run.
"It still feels like we're in a position to make a run and we know (from) the past that if we can get in the playoffs, you never know what can happen," said Buster Posey, who starred for the 2010 and 2012 World Series champions.
The Giants are the only first- or second-place club with a losing home record at 29-30, and they've lost five of six at AT&T Park since the All-Star break. They'll look to get back on track against a White Sox team that swept them in a two-game set in Chicago on June 17 and 18.
Sale (10-2, 2.14 ERA) started the finale, giving up three runs in six innings of a 7-6 victory. He said he struggled to control his fastball in that game, just as he has over his last two starts.
The left-hander gave up five runs in six innings of Chicago's 10-8 win over Minnesota on Aug. 1, then allowed two runs and his first homer in six outings over six innings of a 3-1 loss to Texas on Wednesday.
"Just sporadic through the whole day," Sale said. "It's been the last couple starts."
Sale is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in six road starts as he opposes Ryan Vogelsong, who is seeking a third straight victory.
Vogelsong (7-8, 3.77) gave up two hits in a complete-game, 5-1 win over the Mets on Aug. 1 before allowing one run through six innings to beat Miami 7-4 on Wednesday.
The right-hander, who claimed he didn't have his best stuff against the Marlins, went 0-5 with a 4.01 ERA over his previous six outings.
"Stuff I was doing the last start didn't work," Vogelsong said. "It kind of felt like I was trying something new every inning and I was just fortunate enough to have balls hit right at people. It wasn't really how I wanted to draw it up."
The White Sox are the only team Vogelsong has yet to face, and he seems to be catching them at the right time. Chicago (56-63) has dropped seven of nine after falling 4-2 at Seattle on Sunday and has been outscored 41-9 over the last six.
"We just didn't get anything going," manager Robin Ventura said Sunday. "We had opportunities and we kept rolling a gutter ball."
Jose Abreu has 31 homers but hasn't hit one in a season-worst 12 straight games.
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is batting .356 while reaching base in 11 straight. He went 4 for 8 in the series at Chicago.
Updated August 11, 2014