Melky Cabrera and the White Sox head to Boston after a four-game sweep of the Indians in Cleveland. (David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Red Sox-White Sox series preview

July 27, 2015 - 5:17 am
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With their first series win of the second half taken care of in an 11-1 victory over the Tigers on Sunday night, the Red Sox will move on to the White Sox for a four-game set beginning Monday evening. The second act in a three-series homestand, Chicago comes into Fenway Park on a four-game winning streak. But like the Red Sox, the White Sox started the second half on a bit of a skid, though Chicago lost five of its first six compared to Boston's seven straight. The Red Sox managed to right their stumbling with a 2-1 walkoff win on Friday in their first game with Detroit off a single from Xander Bogaerts. "Much needed, that's for sure," Bogaerts said after the game. "We had a tough road trip. We have a long homestand right now -- just try and win as many games as possible and you never know what can happen." Not including Sunday's rout, the Red Sox have struggled to score runs over the past 10 games, averaging 1.78 per contest in their first nine tilts back. Their 27 runs in those games puts them at the fourth fewest in the majors during that span. The White Sox, on the other hand, have scored 44 runs since the break -- eighth most in the league -- 4.4 per contest. During their winning streak, they've averaged 6.5 runs per game. "We have to win ballgames," pitcher John Danks said Wednesday after Chicago's most recent loss. "There's not really any time left. We have to go. I feel like we have played better than our record shows this first week, but at the end of the day it's all about wins and losses." Still four games under .500 and 12 1/2 games behind the first-place Royals, the White Sox have a ways to go. They're five games back of the wild card spot and are situated fourth in the division, trailing the third-place Tigers by one game. And though Chicago swept the Indians in Cleveland, the White Sox' 22-28 road record doesn't necessarily bode well for their slate with the Red Sox. But even so, with a season team batting average in the lower third of the league at .244, the White Sox are hitting .258 in the month of July and .267 since coming back from the break (eighth best). They have 13 home runs in that time, fourth best in the big leagues, while their 28 walks rank 11th. In 2015 as a whole, Chicago has the second-fewest walks in the majors and the third-fewest home runs. No regular batters are hitting over .300, as Tyler Saladino's .294 is highest among those with at least 50 at-bats. The White Sox have struck out 96 times in the past 10 games, the most in the American League and fourth most overall. That's not quite in line with their season total, as they are 17th in that regard on the year. As a pitching staff, Chicago has a middle-of-the-pack 3.79 ERA. The team's 2.87 ERA since returning though is eighth best in the league and third in the American League, while its 1.15 WHIP is seventh overall and sixth in the AL. White Sox pitchers are tied with the Red Sox for the second-most hit batters since the break at six and have since granted opponents a .241/.301/.371 slash line while giving up the 12th-fewest earned runs in that time. Here are the pitching matchups for the series: Monday: Joe Kelly (2-6, 5.74 ERA) vs. John Danks (5-8, 4.66 ERA) Tuesday: Wade Miley (8-8, 4.33 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (7-5, 3.91 ERA) Wednesday: Rick Porcello (5-10, 5.51 ERA) vs. Jose Quintana (5-9, 3.56 ERA) Thursday: Chris Sale (9-5, 2.85 ERA) vs. Steven Wright (3-4, 4.78 ERA) WHO'S HOT: RED SOX -- In his last eight games Xander Bogaerts has a slash line of .455/.441/.485 with a double and four RBIs. His 4-for-5 night on Sunday marked his seventh multi-hit effort in his last 11 games, and he has hits in 18 of 20 games so far in July. -- Since returning from the break Mike Napoli is 10-for-28 with four doubles, a home run, five RBIs, three walks and seven strikeouts. He had a five-game hitting streak span from July 20 to Friday before going 0-for-2 on Saturday. In Sunday's 11-1 victory, the first baseman was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a walk. -- David Ortiz was a huge part of the Red Sox' win Sunday night, going 4-for-5 with a pair of three-run home runs and a career-high seven RBIs. In his last seven games the DH has a .357/.400/.857 slash line with two doubles, four homers, 11 RBIs, two walks and five strikeouts. WHO'S HOT: WHITE SOX -- His season batting average is just .221, but Carlos Sanchez has a .455/.478/.773 slash line in his last six games, nabbing 10 hits in 22 at-bats with a double, two home runs and two RBIs. The 23-year-old is riding a nine-game hitting streak as he comes into Fenway, going 3-for-4 with an RBI in Chicago's 2-1 win over the Indians on Sunday. -- Melky Cabrera also has 10 hits in his past six games, though he's done so in 24 at-bats. Cabrera was responsible for driving in Chicago's winning run Sunday and has three doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs total in his last six contests. -- John Danks has posted consecutive starts in which he has gone at least six innings without allowing a run. Batters are hitting .196 against him in those 12 2/3 innings, and he's struck out nine in that time, giving up as many hits and walking four for a WHIP of 1.03. WHO'S NOT: RED SOX -- Pablo Sandoval has four hits in his last 26 at-bats, good for an average of .154, though two of those hits came Sunday night. He's got a .241 on-base percentage in that time as well, walking three times in the last week, though he has struck out six times and has no extra-base hits. -- With a slash line of .167/.242/.233, Mookie Betts has struggled of late. The center fielder was 1-for-6 Sunday night and has just five hits in his last 30 at-bats. He has a pair of doubles, three walks and three RBIs in that time. -- Alejandro De Aza has four hits in his last 22 at-bats with eight strikeouts to boot. The outfielder hasn't had an extra-base hit since July 2. WHO'S NOT: WHITE SOX -- Veteran DH Adam LaRoche has a slash line of .146/.146/.171 since the start of the second half. He has struck out 18 times in 41 at-bats while recording six hits, one double and one RBI. -- Avisail Garcia is five for his last 24 in his most recent six games with one RBI, one walk and 12 strikeouts, good for a slash line of .208/.240/.208. He has hits in four of his last five games, though. -- Tyler Flowers has seen time in seven of the White Sox' 10 games since the All-Star break and has just two hits in those 27 at-bats. Without any walks, the catcher is slashing .074/.074/.074 in the second half with three RBIs and 13 strikeouts.

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