Two teams heading in opposite directions will clash heads yet again on Saturday afternoon when the Chicago White Sox and the Oakland Athletics continue a three-game series at O.co Coliseum.
Bartolo Colon was spectacular in the series' first game on Friday night, as he blanked the White Sox with a complete-game shutout. Colon allowed just five hits and struck out five without walking a batter to help the Athletics win for the seventh time in the last eight games.
It looked like Colon's efforts might go to waste until the eighth inning when Josh Reddick broke a scoreless tie with an RBI double. Coco Crisp then had a two- run single to further extend Oakland's lead.
Dylan Axelrod went seven innings and allowed just two runs on four hits while striking out seven but still took the loss for Chicago. The White Sox have now dropped four-straight contests.
The consistent Jose Quintana will be on the mound for the White Sox when he makes his 11th start of the campaign.
At 3-2 with an ERA of 3.75 Quintana isn't exactly lighting it up, but his ability to give the White Sox solid innings has made him an important part of the rotation.
In six of his 10 starts Quintana has gone at least six innings including in four-straight contests. His most recent appearance wasn't his best, as the right-hander allowed four runs on four hits and three walks over six innings of work. The White Sox lost that contest, 7-0, to the cross-town rival Cubs.
This is just the second season of Quintana's brief career and in that time the 24-year-old has yet to pitch against Oakland. In eight appearances against American League West teams Quintana is 1-2 with a bloated ERA of 11.20.
Another 24-year-old will be on the mound opposite Quintana as rookie Dan Straily gets the start for the Athletics on Saturday afternoon.
In his first season as a full-time starter for Oakland, Straily still seems to be trying to find his footing. Straily does have a winning record (3-2) but his ERA of 5.08 certainly leaves much to be desired. Assuming he is able to record at least two outs, Straily will eclipse his total for innings pitched from a season ago.
Straily has begun to get into a rhythm during his last two starts when he has allowed just a single run over 13 innings of work. Each of those starts has ended in victories for the Athletics. Straily has not had to strain himself during those starts, tossing less than 90 pitches in each outing.
This will be the first start for Straily against the White Sox and the just the second against a team from the American League Central. His first outing against a team from that division went well as he threw 6 1/3 innings of shutout baseball in a win over Kansas City last season.
Last season these teams met six times with each team collecting three wins.These clubs split six meetings last season.