White Sox aiming to salvage road trip

White Sox aiming to salvage road trip
April 16, 2013, 8:15 pm
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Gametime: 6:07 p.m., Comcast SportsNet-Plus (find the CSN-Plus channel in your area here; coverage starts at 5:30 p.m. with White Sox Pregame Live on CSN-Plus)

On the mound: Jose Quintana (4.09 ERA, 9 H, 10 K, 2 BB, 1 HR) vs. J.A. Happ (3.48 ERA, 6 H, 10 K, 6 BB, 0 HR)

Quintana's first start of the year wasn't good -- 4 IP, 8 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HR -- but he was excellent in his second outing against Cleveland, throwing seven shutout innings of one-hit ball with no walks, a hit batter and seven strikeouts. The lack of run support wasn't anything new for Quintana, as the White Sox scored two or fewer runs in nine of the left-hander's 24 starts in 2012. While the Sox pulled out a 4-3 win over Toronto last night, the offense has scuffled as of late, putting the onus on Quintana to throw as well as he did in Cleveland tonight in Toronto.

[More: Viciedo's clutch double pushes Sox past Jays]

Happ hasn't gone deep into either game he's started this year -- 5 1/3 IP April 6, and 5 IP April 12 -- and has walked three batters in each of his starts. He shut out Boston his first time out but gave up four in his second start against Kansas City, and if his walk totals are any indication, he's more likely to pitch like he did against the Royals than he did against the Red Sox going forward.

What to watch for: Sox aiming to salvage road trip

Prior to the season, a 10-game mid-April road trip certainly looked daunting, with stops in Washington and Cleveland for three games each and a four-game series in Toronto to close it out. The White Sox haven't fared well on their first voyage away from U.S. Cellular Field this year, losing the first five games on the trip and six of eight overall.

But if the White Sox can win the next two games, it'll result in a 4-6 road trip -- hardly anything that'll bury the team going forward. The White Sox offense has had to claw for runs on this trip, and at some point they'll break out. If that's tonight and it carries over into Thursday, then 4-6 is attainable.

The last word

Monday night's game may have represented a rarity in White Sox history. Both Paul Konerko and Mark Buehrle could see their numbers retired at U.S. Cellular Field after their playing careers end, and if that's the case, their meeting Monday night would be something that's not too common in team history.

In 1964, Nellie Fox -- whose No. 2 is retired by the White Sox -- and Billy Pierce -- who has his No. 19 retired by the Sox, too -- met three times. Fox played for Houston, while Pierce pitched for San Francisco. On May 13, 1964, Pierce got Fox to ground out to short; on May 14, Fox popped out on a bunt to the catcher; and on July 17, Fox grounded out to second.

[More: Buehrle settling in with Toronto, still misses Chicago]

More notably, Minnie Minoso (No. 9) faced off against Pierce 43 times in his career. Those all came in 1958 and 1959, after Minoso was dealt to Cleveland after the 1957 season. Minoso's career line against Pierce: .350/.395/.625 with 14 hits, three homers, two doubles and six RBIs.

Konerko went 1-for-3 with an RBI against Buehrle on Monday. Only time will tell if that'll join these other retired-number matchups.