White Sox go for season-high 3 straight wins (May 20, 2018)
Chicago (13-30) has won back-to-back games and is coming off its first series win since April after taking three of four games from the Texas Rangers. The White Sox posted their second shutout of the season with a 3-0 victory on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Baltimore (14-32) has lost two in a row and four of its past five. The Orioles stranded 14 runners in a 5-0 loss on Sunday to the Boston Red Sox, which was Baltimores fourth goose egg of the season.
The ugly start has intensified rumors that Baltimore could trade star shortstop Manny Machado, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The 25-year-old is hitting .343 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs in 46 games.
Machado offers a rare bright spot in a struggling lineup. Orioles skipper Buck Showalter held first baseman Chris Davis out of the lineup Sunday after the slugger struck out in each of his previous six plate appearances. Davis is hitting .166 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 41 games, and his on-base percentage is a paltry .241.
It is unclear whether Davis will return to the lineup in the series opener against Chicago.
“I know it bothers Chris and hes trying, but its just not happening,” Showalter said to the Baltimore Sun. “I think hes got a pretty firm grip on what hes not doing (and) hes trying to get there.”
White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago (0-1, 5.29 ERA) will make his fourth start of the season. A good performance could keep him in the starting rotation in place of right-hander Carson Fulmer, who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte during the weekend.
Santiago, 30, is 40-47 with a 4.05 ERA in 201 career appearances (133 starts). But he has not fared well as a starter this season, posting an 0-1 record with an 8.31 ERA in three outings. By comparison, he is 0-0 with a 3.26 ERA in nine relief appearances.
In seven career appearances (four starts) against Baltimore, Santiago is 1-0 with a 3.80 ERA. He has walked 13 and struck out 23 in 23 2/3 innings. The long ball has been his nemesis as he has given up seven home runs in that brief workload.
The Orioles will counter with veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner (1-5, 4.83), who will make his 10th start of the year. Cashner started his career as a prized prospect about eight miles north of the White Sox stadium with the Chicago Cubs, but injuries and inconsistency have limited him to a 43-69 record with a 3.85 ERA in 239 career games (146 starts).
The 31-year-old Texan is looking for his first win since April 5 against the New York Yankees. He has given up at least one home run in each of his last six appearances, and for the season he has surrendered 11 homers in 50 1/3 innings.
In four career appearances (two starts) against the White Sox, Cashner is 0-2 with a 4.61 ERA. He allowed two earned runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings against Chicago last season as a member of the Texas Rangers. He walked four and struck out two.
This is the first series between the teams this season. Baltimore won the season series, 4-3 in 2017.