|Tigers, White Sox begin flurry of matchups|
Yoan Moncada is completing the season in style as one of the hottest hitters in the majors.
The 24-year-old Cuban third baseman will look to record a multi-hit game for the 12th time in the past 15 contests when the Chicago White Sox visit the Detroit Tigers on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.
Moncada is a scorching 29-for-62 (.468) with 13 runs scored during the streak to raise his season mark to .312.
"It is very satisfying to see all the work that I put in and have been doing in the offseason and spring training is paying off," Moncada told reporters through an interpreter. "It feels good. It makes me feel very good. My plan in the offseason is to do the same and keep working hard for next season."
The White Sox have won just two of their past eight games -- they defeated the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Wednesday -- and are starting the final road series of their seventh straight losing campaign.
But nobody is complaining about Moncada, who was one of the pieces obtained from the Boston Red Sox in the Chris Sale deal following the 2016 season.
In addition to his career-high average -- the switch-hitter is 77 points above his previous best -- he has established career highs of 23 homers and 73 RBIs. He also has matched his high of 32 doubles.
The progress, and jump in production, is encouraging to Chicago manager Rick Renteria.
"His approach in general has been a little bit more aggressive, and certainly he has bat speed, the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark and hit the ball very hard," Renteria told reporters. "And he can do it from both sides of the plate."
Chicago leads the series 8-4 entering this stretch where the teams meet seven times over their final 10 games of the season.
The Tigers have dropped nine of their past 12 overall games. They were blanked 7-0 by Cleveland on Thursday, marking their 17th consecutive loss to the Indians and 18th in 19 contests this season.
"It's frustrating," Detroit left-hander Daniel Norris said after the latest loss to Cleveland. "We're grinding and doing all we can, and it's just not working out."
The shutout loss was the 14th of the season for the Tigers (45-107), who own the worst record in the majors.
"We're going to have some of these rough days," Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said after the setback. "We've had a bunch already. You just hope we get better as we go along and gain experience."
On Friday, Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (1-11, 6.32 ERA) is making his 22nd start in a tough season.
Zimmermann was winless over his first 13 starts (0-8) before beating the Los Angeles Angels on July 29. He is 0-3 in seven ensuing starts despite allowing two runs or fewer in four consecutive turns during the stretch.
The 33-year-old lost to the Baltimore Orioles in his past outing when he gave up four runs and eight hits over five innings.
Zimmermann lost to the White Sox on April 19 when he gave up five runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings. He is 6-5 with a 5.92 ERA in 14 career turns versus the club.
Chicago's Jose Abreu is 11-for-26 with two homers and eight RBIs against Zimmermann. Yolmer Sanchez is 7-for-17 versus Zimmermann, while Moncada has struggled, going 2-for-15 with a homer and seven strikeouts.
White Sox rookie right-hander Dylan Cease (3-7, 6.18) has beaten the Tigers in both starts this season.
Cease defeated Detroit in his big-league debut on July 3 when he allowed three runs and four hits over five innings in Chicago.
He prevailed against the host Tigers on Aug. 6 when he gave up two runs and seven hits over five innings.
The 23-year-old is winless over his last four turns. He received a no-decision against the Seattle Mariners in his last start when he gave up one run and three hits over five innings.
--Field Level Media