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Blue Jays, White Sox commence series in Chicago

Journeyman lefty Aaron Laffey makes his third start since 2010 tonight when the Toronto Blue Jays visit U.S. Cellular Field for the first of three games with the host Chicago White Sox.

A 27-year-old from Maryland, Laffey debuted in 2007 with the Cleveland Indians and won 18 times in 79 appearances through 2010, before he was sent to the Seattle Mariners prior to the start of the 2011 season.

He was 1-1 with a blown save in 36 relief appearances with the Mariners before being placed on waivers and claimed by the New York Yankees, for whom he went 2-1 with a 3.38 earned run average in 10 2/3 innings over 11 games.

Laffey was ultimately signed by the Blue Jays as a free agent in December 2011 and began the 2012 season with 11 starts at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he was 3-5 with a 4.52 ERA across 63 2/3 innings.

He was called up to the majors in June and began with four relief outings, then made his initial start on June 26 at Boston, where he gave up three hits in six scoreless innings of a no-decision in Toronto's 5-1 loss.

He allowed two earned runs in four hits in six innings in start No. 2 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but against got a no-decision in the Blue Jays' 10-6 loss.

Toronto is 1-5 in the six games he's pitched.

On Thursday in Toronto, Eric Hosmer went 2-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored, helping the Kansas City Royals beat the Blue Jays, 9-6, in the finale of a four-game series.

J.P. Arencibia hit a pair of homers and knocked in three runs for the Blue Jays, who went 4-4 on an eight-game homestand. Ben Francisco had two RBI.

Henderson Alvarez (5-7) allowed five runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings to take the loss.

In Chicago, Jose Quintana struck out a career-high eight batters over eight strong innings to lead the White Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers and complete a three-game sweep.

Quintana (4-1) surrendered just one run on two hits and a walk.

"He's not really throwing the ball by you, but it's just tough to really see it and square it up," Rangers first baseman Brandon Snyder said. "You have got to give him props. They guy went out there, battled and threw a good ballgame."

Kevin Youkilis homered and scored twice while Addison Reed tossed a scoreless ninth to record his 12th save of the year for Chicago, which won for the seventh time in nine games.

The White Sox, who lead the American League Central Division by two games over Cleveland, will try to keep the momentum going with slumping righty Jake Peavy.

The 31-year-old was 6-1 on the season after a 14-7 defeat of Cleveland on May 26 and tossed six innings while getting a no-decision in Chicago's 4-3 defeat of the Blue Jays on June 7, but has subsequently dropped four straight starts.

The Alabama native has pitched well in the skid, which has actually lowered his ERA from 3.05 after the aforementioned Toronto game to 2.96 after a 4-1 loss at Yankee Stadium on June 30.

In those four games, he's pitched at least seven innings three times and allowed three earned runs or less three times as well.

Peavy is 1-0 with a 5.03 ERA in three career meetings with the Blue Jays.

Toronto won two of three games in a June series at Chicago and has won the season series against the White Sox every year since 2006, when it lost five of nine games.