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News » White Sox-Orioles Preview 2009-04-23

White Sox-Orioles Preview 2009-04-23

White Sox-Orioles Preview 2009-04-23
Stretches of poor play on the road were a problem last year for the Chicago White Sox, but their first road trip of 2009 has provided reason for optimism.

The White Sox can earn a series victory and finish with a 6-3 record on its swing Thursday night by beating the reeling Baltimore Orioles, whose struggling starting rotation will rely on Adam Eaton to turn its fortunes.

Chicago was just 3-3 on its opening homestand, but it responded by splitting a rain-shortened series in Detroit before taking three of four from Tampa Bay, the team that eliminated the White Sox in last year's AL division series.

Manager Ozzie Guillen's club lost both playoff games in St. Petersburg going 35-46 on the road in the regular season. The White Sox were 54-28 at home.

A robust offense has helped them start this season differently. Chicago (8-6) has scored at least eight runs in four of its eight road games, getting three hits each from Chris Getz and Josh Fields in Wednesday's 8-2 win over the Orioles (7-8).

Getz and Fields also combined for four runs scored and five RBIs in support of John Danks, who gave up one run in seven innings. The White Sox are now hitting .296 with 14 home runs on the trip.

"We don't have to rely on just the big boys. Everyone contributed," Guillen said. "Getz had a big game and I am excited about Fields."

It's hardly a surprise against Baltimore's floundering pitchers, who actually lowered the team ERA to 6.25 on Wednesday. That number is significantly better than those Eaton (0-2, 11.25 ERA) has compiled in his first two starts with the Orioles.

He arrived in Baltimore after spending part of last season with Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate, and the right-hander has allowed 10 runs in eight innings, with opponents hitting .425. Thursday's start could be for his spot in the rotation.

When asked if Eaton would make another start after giving up six runs in four innings of a loss to Boston on Saturday, Orioles manager Dave Trembley would only say "until we come up with something else or someone else," according to his team's official Web site.

"I need to obviously step up and throw the way I'm capable of throwing," Eaton said. "We'll see what we do next outing."

Eaton will be opposed by Bartolo Colon, another veteran right-hander looking to succeed in his second stint with the White Sox.

Colon (1-0, 3.86), who pitched for Chicago in 2003, tossed six shutout innings against Minnesota on April 11 for a win in his return to the club, but had a tougher time Friday against the Rays, getting charged with five runs in 5 2-3 innings in the eventual 6-5 loss.

He's 10-6 with a 3.31 ERA in his career against Baltimore, including victories in both of his starts last year while with Boston.

Orioles losses have become a theme in the last week, as the team has now dropped six of seven on the heels of a 6-2 start. Their previously reliable offense has scored two or fewer runs in three of the last four games, the lone exception being a 10-3 win over the White Sox in the series opener on Tuesday.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 23, 2009

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