The Chicago White Sox are in desperate need of reversing a recent trend and avoiding a four-game series sweep by the Baltimore Orioles.
They might be sending the right guy to the mound to get things right Sunday in Chicago.
It's right-hander Dylan Cease's turn in the White Sox's rotation for ateam trying to shed a four-game losing streak. The last three defeats have come to the Orioles, who won 6-2 on Saturday.
"Whenever we've pitched well, they've pitched better," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "Whenever we hit, they hit better. You get outplayed, you lose games."
The Orioles have a season-high four-game winning streak. Completing the series sweep would be another bonus.
"I'm seeing guys that are playing with a ton of energy, playing to win, playing with some confidence right now," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
During the four-game streak, the Orioles have yielded a total of three runs. Hyde said the strong pitching has allowed many things to fall into place.
"When your starting pitchers keep you in the game, and then your bullpen has been doing what they've been doing all year, it's a great mentality," Hyde said. "You feel like you can finish games off."
During Baltimore's winning streak, outfielder Austin Hays has hit for the cycle and racked up a four-game hitting streak while driving in seven runs.
"We come to the park every day and expect to win," Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini said. "That's not a feeling we've had here in a long time."
Cease (5-3, 2.68 ERA) hasn't permitted an earned run in his last five starts, a stretch spanning 27 1/3 innings. Yet he's just 1-1 during that period, which includes allowing 10 total runs as shoddy defense has let him down.
Cease is coming off six innings of one-hit pitching with 11 strikeouts against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. He has made two career starts against Baltimore, going 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA.
The Orioles will counter on Sunday with right-hander Jordan Lyles (4-6, 4.92). During the same stretch of Cease's plummeting ERA, Lyles has surrendered 20 runs, with 19 of those earned.
Lyles is 1-2 with a 5.74 ERA in five career outings against the White Sox.
The Orioles will check during Sunday's pregame on Mancini after he was hit on the left hand by a pitch in the seventh inning on Saturday. He stayed in the game. Hyde said at least it wasn't the right hand that had been ailing last weekend after he was hit by a pitch.
The White Sox are hurting in numerous ways. La Russa said several position players are under instructions from the team medical staff to tread carefully on the base paths as they deal with various ailments.
"You can't sit them (out of the lineup because) they're key offensive guys," La Russa said. "So as long as the fans understand it, they're not lazy."
Until this series with the last-place Orioles, the White Sox had been 13-12 against American League East opponents.
--Field Level Media