A terrific pitcher's duel is on tap Thursday when Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox close out a four-game series against R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Sale had the worst start of his career his last time out on Saturday in Cleveland, as he was pounded for a career-high eight runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings to fall to 1-1 on the year to go along with a 5.21 ERA. He had surrendered just three runs in 14 2/3 frames of his first two starts.
"Just leaving bad pitches to good hitters," said Sale, who will be starting against Toronto for the first time on Thursday. "Nothing more to really say than that was just a terrible, terrible day. Our team needed a better effort and deserved a better effort and I just didn't give it to them tonight."
Dickey, meanwhile, picked up his first win as a member of the Blue Jays on Saturday, as he held the Kansas City Royals to a a run and five hits over 6 1/3 innings to improve to 1-2, while lowering his ERA to 5.82.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner had given up 10 earned runs over his first two starts spanning 109 2/3 innings.
"My posture was a little better for my mechanics tonight, and that's something I feel I can build on," Dickey said. "I still wasn't as sharp as I can be. I'm not all the way there, but I'm pretty close."
Dickey is 1-2 lifetime versus the White Sox with a 9.61 ERA in six games (2 starts).
Chicago won its second straight game on Wednesday, as Jose Quintana tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings and the bullpen took care of the rest in the White Sox' 7-0 triumph.
Quintana (1-0) turned in another solid performance, striking out seven and scattering just five hits. Since getting lit up in his first start, Quintana has thrown 13 2/3 scoreless innings.
"He's been doing his homework," Flowers said of his batterymate. "He pretty much executed everything he wanted to."
Paul Konerko had a sacrifice fly and extended his hitting streak to nine games, while Jeff Keppinger and Alexei Ramirez added an RBI apiece in the victory.
J.A. Happ (2-1) struggled over 5 2/3 innings in his first career outing against the White Sox, allowing five runs on six hits. Rajai Davis and Edwin Encarnacion each had two hits in the setback, Toronto's third in four games.
Chicago was 6-4 against the Blue Jays last season.