|White Sox go for 2nd straight series win vs. Orioles|
The Chicago White Sox trudged through nearly a month without winning a series.
Now, the suddenly surging White Sox have a chance to win their second series in a row when they host the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of a four-game set on Thursday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Chicago (15-31) has won two of its first three games against Baltimore and five of its last seven overall. The White Sox are coming off their most resounding victory yet after an 11-1 drubbing of the Orioles on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Baltimore (15-34) will try to escape with a series tie as its disappointing season shows no signs of letting up. Unlike the White Sox, who are rebuilding, the Orioles entered the year with high expectations.
Baltimore right-hander Dylan Bundy (2-6, 4.70 ERA) will make his 11th start. The hard-throwing 25-year-old hopes to turn the page on a slew of subpar performances that have led to four losses in his past five outings.
Since April 26, Bundy is 1-4 with a 9.41 ERA in five starts. He has allowed 23 earned runs in 22 innings, including an eye-popping 12 home runs during that span. The Orioles' 2011 first-round pick has surrendered at least three home runs in three of his past four starts.
Bundy is 3-0 with a 4.26 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against the White Sox. He won both of his starts against Chicago last season, including one at home and one on the road.
The White Sox will turn to right-hander Lucas Giolito (3-4, 6.42 ERA), who will be making his 10th start of the season and the 21st of his career. The 23-year-old is coming off his fourth quality start of the year after limiting the Texas Rangers to two runs in six innings Saturday en route to a 5-3 win.
Giolito never has faced the Orioles. He is 4-4 with a 5.22 ERA in nine career starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The toughest test for Giolito almost certainly will come from Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, who has produced Triple Crown-type numbers in the first two months. He is hitting .328 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs in 49 games this season.
Chicago's top threat at the plate is first baseman Jose Abreu, who is hitting .309 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 45 games. The 31-year-old Cuban also has 16 doubles to lead the team.
The Sox might be without outfielder Leury Garcia, who left Wednesday's game in the fifth inning because of a sprained left knee. Garcia is scheduled to be re-evaluated Thursday.
Matt Davidson's status for Thursday's game also is uncertain after he was scratched from the lineup Wednesday because of back stiffness. Davidson has 11 home runs and 28 RBIs.
The Orioles also could be shorthanded depending on Mark Trumbo's availability. Trumbo missed Wednesday's game because of right knee soreness, which might have been caused by a hard slide into second base one day earlier.
Chicago is 8-17 at home this season. Baltimore is 5-21 on the road.