The Chicago White Sox were hammered in last night's series opener versus the Chicago Cubs and hope Jake Peavy can even the set when he takes the mound Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox kicked off a six-game homestand with a 12-3 loss on Monday, as Zach Stewart was hammered for six runs and nine hits, including four home runs, in 5 2/3 innings of work. Will Ohman and Nate Jones combined to allow six runs in relief for the White Sox, who have dropped five of six games.
"We just got beat. We'll rally and come back [Tuesday]," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko homered in the loss for a Chicago team that saw its lead atop the American League Central dwindle down to just one-half game ahead of Cleveland. The Indians defeated Cincinnati on Monday.
Meanwhile, Peavy will make his 14th start of the season tonight and is 0-1 over his past three starts. He lost at St. Louis in last Wednesday's 1-0 setback and gave up the only run of the game in seven innings. Peavy fell to 6-2 with a 2.91 earned run average and will take on the Cubs for the second time this season.
Peavy delivered 6 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out seven in a 6-0 victory back on May 20 at Wrigley Field. He is 5-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last five starts in this series and 7-2 in 12 starts overall against the Cubs.
The right-hander and 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner with San Diego owns a 3-1 mark in seven home starts this season.
The Cubs are 4-4 in their last eight games and kicked off a six-game road trip in a big way last night. They set season highs in runs, hits and home runs in a 12-3 bashing, as Luis Valbuena hit a three-run homer, Bryan LaHair and Starlin Castro each hit two-run shots, and Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto collected a solo home run apiece.
Castro had three hits and three runs scored for the Cubs. Soto was just activated off the disabled list prior to the game, while Soriano has hit four home runs in eight career games as the Cubs' designated hitter. Soriano has reached base safely in his last 14 road games, dating back to May 25.
"No doubt our best offensive production of the year," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Throughout the lineup everyone had a good day."
Matt Garza was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst and improved to 3-5 on the season. He allowed three runs in six innings and struck out six batters.
The Cubs will also visit Arizona on their road trip and are slated to send Travis Wood to the bump Tuesday. Wood is winless (0-3) in six starts this season and last pitched in Thursday's 5-3 setback versus Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers, as he gave up three runs and eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. He has lasted at least five innings in each of his six outings this season.
Wood, a left-hander, is 0-2 in three road assignments this season and has never faced the White Sox.
The White Sox swept the Cubs in three games a month ago at Wrigley Field from May 18-20 thanks to a 16-6 advantage in runs, and have won seven of nine and 14 of the last 19 matchups between the two clubs. The Pale Hose lead the all- time series, 48-40, including a 25-18 edge as the host.