The slumping Chicago White Sox look to avoid being swept for a third straight series when they try to salvage the finale of a three- game set Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
The White Sox lost all three meetings in a rain-shortened series against the Chicago Cubs, dropped three in a row to the Oakland Athletics over the weekend and are now on the cusp of being swept out of the Emerald City.
After suffering a 4-2 setback in Seattle on Monday, the White Sox fared no better in last night's 7-4 defeat behind a shaky showing from starting pitcher Jake Peavy. Peavy allowed six runs and seven hits, including a two-run homer by Raul Ibanez in the first inning, and left the game after 2 1/3 innings with pain in his left side.
"Early on you could see ... (he) didn't seem to have the zip that you normally see," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Peavy. "I think it got worse for one reason or another just watching him throw."
Peavy underwent X-rays, which were negative, and is expected to have an MRI Wednesday morning in Seattle.
"You never know, I guess," Peavy told the club's website after his abbreviated outing. "We'll know tomorrow, but I can't imagine throwing the ball here in the next few days feeling the way I feel now."
Adam Dunn belted his 13th home run, while Alexei Ramirez and Alejandro De Aza finished with two hits apiece for the White Sox, who have lost a season-high eight in a row since reaching the .500 mark and are winless in nine straight on the road. Chicago is 0-7 on an eight-game road trip and will return home Wednesday night for a seven-game residency versus Oakland and Toronto.
Chicago went 5-2 on its last homestand versus Boston (2-1), Miami (3-0) and the Cubs (0-1).
White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod looks to get back to his recent winning ways when he takes the mound Wednesday after having his personal three-game winning streak come to an end the last time out.
Axelrod pitched extremely well in a 3-0 loss at Oakland on Friday, when he struck out seven and walked none over seven innings of two-run ball. He scattered four hits and dropped to 3-4 in 11 starts to go along with a 4.04 earned run average.
The right-hander, who opened the season 0-3 through seven starts, did not receive a decision in his season debut on April 6 against Seattle and yielded one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings of a 4-3 win. It was Axelrod's first appearance against the Mariners.
Axelrod is just 1-3 with a 4.55 ERA in five road assignments.
Seattle's three-team, 10-day homestand has gotten off to a nice start and the club will have its brooms ready for the White Sox. After Joe Saunders handled the Pale Hose with ease in the series opener, it was ace Felix Hernandez's turn on Tuesday.
King Felix pushed his record to 7-4 by striking out eight batters and allowing four runs in 7 1/3 innings. It wasn't his best stuff, but Hernandez was able to pitch the Mariners to their sixth win in 10 tries.
"Felix had to grind it out a bit today," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He made it difficult on himself working behind sometimes, left a few pitches out over early on. But he did a nice job of reeling it back in. He was a little sloppy with his delivery early on, but he tightened it up and had a great fastball tonight, he really did. He was strong, even late in the ballgame."
Ibanez homered for the second night in a row and has six RBI in that span, while Kendrys Morales and Nick Franklin had two hits and an RBI apiece.
The Mariners, who are 12-6 in their last 18 games at Safeco Field, will begin a four-game series versus the New York Yankees on Thursday, followed by a three-game set with the Houston Astros.
It's been more than a month since Hisashi Iwakuma lost a start and the Japanese right-hander looks to keep his unbeaten streak alive Wednesday versus the White Sox. Iwakuma is 4-0 with a 2.22 earned run average in his last seven starts with Seattle going 6-1 in that time.
Iwakuma is coming off Friday's 3-0 win at Minnesota in which he delivered 7 2/3 scoreless innings, five strikeouts and two walks to improve to 6-1 in 12 trips to the mound with a 2.13 earned run average. Iwakuma, who is 2-0 in five home starts, did not record a decision in a 4-3 loss at Chicago on April 7, when he yielded three runs in eight innings.
In three career meetings (1 start) against the White Sox, Iwakuma, who hasn't tasted defeat since April 23 at Houston, has no record and a 2.77 ERA (13 innings).
Despite losing the first two games of this series, Chicago has dominated the head-to-head series against Seattle of late with a 35-13 mark since 2008. The White Sox, however, saw their eight-game winning streak in the Emerald City come to an end on Monday.