|Inconsistent White Sox welcome Jays for 4-game set|
Three White Sox pitchers limited the Cleveland Indians to two runs and two hits in a Chicago victory on Monday night.
The following afternoon, the Indians torched White Sox hurlers for nine runs behind a five-homer barrage.
Pitching has remained inconsistent as Chicago keeps pushing to reach the .500 mark. The quest to erase those issues continues Thursday when the White Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays to open a four-game series.
"The starters are going to back up the bullpen guys, and then there are times where the relievers have to pick up the starters," White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer told reporters. "It all kind of balances out in the end. But you have faith in the guys in front of you and behind you to get the job done, so at this time, you just go out there and do your job until someone takes you out of the game."
White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (0-2, 5.91 ERA) hopes to avoid a second successive poor outing against the Blue Jays. Pitching at Toronto on Friday, Covey allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings, walking five and yielding two home runs.
Chicago's relief corps held Toronto scoreless the rest of the way, but the White Sox were unable to complete the rally in a 4-3 defeat. Covey called the start "one of those days where it wasn't really there for me."
Manager Rick Renteria, meanwhile, reiterated his confidence in the right-hander.
"He's going to continue to get better, I believe," Renteria said. "And we'll continue to trust as time goes on that he'll be able to eat up more innings."
Toronto's Marcus Stroman (1-6, 3.12 ERA) also is looking to rebound from a recent losing effort against familiar opposition. Stroman scattered eight hits and four runs (three earned) in 6 1/3 innings against the White Sox on Saturday, striking out four and allowing a home run in a 7-2 defeat.
Toronto enters the series with a case of road weariness. The Blue Jays began their current six-game road trip with two games at San Francisco, marking their third visit to the state of California in less than four weeks.
Then after losing the Wednesday matinee 4-3 to the Giants, they took a lengthy flight from the Bay Area to Chicago.
The White Sox captured two of three games from the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre last weekend as Toronto concluded a 1-5 homestand in which it was outscored 35-8.
Before a 7-3 Tuesday victory over the Giants -- punctuated by the first two major league home runs by phenom third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. -- Toronto had been limited to two runs or fewer in six of its previous seven games.
The Blue Jays hope they can get Teoscar Hernandez going. The left fielder is hitting .127 (8-for-63) with one homer and three RBIs in his past 20 games. On Wednesday, he went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
"He hasn't looked good lately," Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said, according to Sportsnet. "I was hoping he'd come out of it. ...
"For sure his confidence is down. Everybody can tell by looking at him. Guillermo (Martinez, the hitting coach) has been working hard with him and we're hoping he gets out of it, but he just can't get it going."
--Field Level Media