Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011
Posted: 8:50 a.m.
(AP) -- Not long ago, the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians were contenders in the AL Central race. Now, both are playing out the string as a disappointing season draws to a close.
The teams begin a four-game set with a day-night doubleheader Tuesday at Progressive Field, where Chicago has won four of five meetings.
The White Sox and Indians both trailed first-place Detroit by 5 12 games on Sept. 1, only to falter amidst slumps which took them out of contention. Cleveland (75-75) fell below .500 during a 2-8 stretch, while Chicago (74-78) halted a seven-game losing streak Sunday by beating Kansas City 10-5.
"It was nice to have a good day and get a win. It feels like its been a while," said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who had two homers among his four hits. "That gives us a chance to relax a bit. You feel like every day you're grinding, grinding, grinding and now we're going towards the offseason."
Paul Konerko added his 30th homer of the season, giving him at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs for the fifth time in his career.
"It's one of those things that when I came into the season that I kind of felt like that's my job, to drive in runs," Konerko said.
The Indians gave up plenty of runs Monday, falling 12-6 to Seattle to end their three-game winning streak in a game called due to rain after seven innings.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer and is 7 for 9 over his last two games after an 0-for-20 slump.
Cabrera and the rest of the Indians will face Chicago starter Gavin Floyd (12-11, 4.42 ERA) in Game 1.
Floyd suffered his first loss since Aug. 3 when he allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-0 defeat to Detroit on Tuesday. He's winless with a 5.06 ERA over his last three starts, not pitching through the sixth inning in any of them.
The right-hander has pitched well against Cleveland this season, going 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts - all White Sox victories.
He'll be opposed by Fausto Carmona (6-15, 5.26), who has fared much worse against Chicago in 2011.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 9.14 ERA in four starts versus the White Sox this season, including an opening-day outing in which he gave up 10 runs in three innings of a 15-10 loss. Carmona last faced them Sept. 10, when he allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings of Cleveland's 7-3, 10-inning defeat.
Konerko is 8 for 20 with two homers lifetime off Carmona.
On the positive side for Carmona, he did earn his last victory against the White Sox on Aug. 17, when he gave up one run in a season-high 8 1-3 innings. He's 0-3 with a 6.97 ERA in six starts since after allowing six runs - five earned - in six innings of a 7-4 loss to Texas on Thursday.
The Indians will also be looking for a better performance out of Zach McAllister (0-1, 12.27) in the nightcap.
The 23-year-old rookie right-hander begins his third stint with the Indians after making a pair of spot starts which didn't go very well. He allowed three runs - two earned - in four innings before Cleveland rallied for a 5-4 win over Toronto on July 7, then gave up 10 runs - eight earned - in 3 1-3 innings of a 12-7 loss to Seattle on Aug. 23 - also the second game of a doubleheader.
He'll be opposed by Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 2.25), who is looking to stay hot.
The rookie right-hander is coming off a solid first major league start, allowing two runs and striking out eight in six innings of Chicago's 6-5, 10-inning loss to Detroit on Wednesday.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.