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Jun 6, 2024 7:36 am

White Sox look to avoid making history vs. Red Sox

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The Chicago White Sox will attempt to end a 13-game losing streak Thursday when they open a four-game series against the visiting Boston Red Sox.

The latest loss came when Mike Tauchman’s home run in the ninth inning gave the Chicago Cubs a 7-6 victory Wednesday night. With the defeat, the White Sox tied a century-old mark, joining the 1924 team with a single-season franchise record for consecutive losses at 13.

The White Sox led 5-3 until the Cubs scored three runs in the seventh. The White Sox were up 5-0 on the Cubs Tuesday before losing 7-6, and in the past five games, the White Sox have squandered leads of at least two runs.

Before the latest loss, White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said he was not worried about his job security despite speculation that he could be fired.

“That’s part of the job, right?” he said. “I don’t focus on that stuff. It’s a part of the job. We’re not winning. So when you’re not winning, speculation gets higher and higher. It’s a part of what we do. We get signed up to win baseball games. And when you don’t, there’s always a possibility of a change being made.”

The White Sox rank last among MLB teams in many offensive categories, including team batting average (.217) and OPS (.615). Chicago’s pitching staff also owns the American League’s highest ERA (4.94) and given up 295 earned runs, far outpacing the 184 put on the board by the offense.

Right-hander Tanner Houck (5-5, 1.85 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for Boston. Houck has pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than one earned run in eight of his 12 starts this season. He allowed one run on three hits, walked two and struck out six over seven innings in his most recent start, a 7-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

“He’s one of the best pitchers in the big leagues,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Every outing, he’s giving us a chance to win. Changing speeds, throwing strikes with his split. Lefties, righties, it really doesn’t matter right now.”

Houck has struggled against the White Sox during his career, however. He’s 0-3 with a 5.93 ERA in four games (three starts) against Chicago.

Righty Jake Woodford (0-1, 6.23 ERA) is listed as Chicago’s probable starter. Woodford has never faced the Red Sox.

Boston’s Rafael Devers homered twice during Wednesday’s 9-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves. He has 13 home runs this season, including a home run in six straight games from May 15-20. Cora insists Devers wasn’t “locked in” at the plate then but has been lately.

“He’s using the whole field, not chasing pitches, hitting the ball the other way – that’s locked in,” Cora said. “He went on a hot streak, hitting six home runs in six days, which is awesome and we celebrated that, but now he’s very dangerous.

“He’s playing a good third base, too. He made a play today to the backhand side that was nice to see. It’s been fun to watch.”

Despite Wednesday’s win, Boston has a 5-7 record in its last 12 games.

“We gotta go,” Cora said. “We gotta play. We have four in Chicago. Just put good at-bats and pitch well. Hopefully win the series. We got Monday off, then we got the Phillies and Yankees. We just gotta play better baseball. That’s the bottom line.”

–Field Level Media

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