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White Sox shoot for quick sweep of Mets

New York right-hander Shaun Marcum will try to avoid the ignominy of an 0-10 start on Wednesday night when the Mets visit the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field for the finale of a two-game series.

A seven-game winner with the Milwaukee Brewers last season and a 13-game winner in 2011, Marcum is winless in his initial 11 outings since coming to the Mets as a free agent in the offseason.

He's allowed a .281 opposition batting average and posted a bloated 5.76 earned run average across 59 1/3 innings, though the latter number has dropped nearly a run since a May loss in St. Louis.

The 31-year-old was a 5-3 loser at Atlanta in his most recent outing on June 19 after allowing five runs in 4 2/3 innings with six strikeouts.

The Mets have won just twice in the 11 games he's pitched, though Marcum is 3-0 in five career meetings with the White Sox.

For the White Sox, veteran lefty John Danks makes his initial career start against the Mets in his 166th big-league outing.

He made 27 starts and won eight games in 2011, then was limited by injury to just nine outings in 2012 and didn't make his debut in 2013 until a matchup with Miami on May 24.

He got a no-decision in that game after allowing three runs in six innings, and has since dropped four decisions in five starts while allowing 33 hits and 19 runs in 29 innings.

Danks was nicked for six runs on 12 hits in five innings in his last start on June 20 in Minnesota, where he dropped an 8-4 decision.

The White Sox are 2-0 when Danks starts at home and 0-4 when he's on the road. Ironically, his career mark at home (27-33) is a few games under his career pace on the road (31-31).

On Tuesday, Alexei Ramirez delivered the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning as the White Sox made up for an embarrassing late-inning error to defeat the Mets, 5-4.

LaTroy Hawkins (2-1) took the loss for the Mets. Jeff Keppinger opened the final frame with a single, then advance to second on the reliever's fielding error on Gordon Beckham's sacrifice bunt. Tyler Flowers' fielder's choice ground out moved Keppinger to third and after the next batter fouled out, Ramirez ripped a liner off the chalk down the left-field line for the difference-maker.

Chicago starter Chris Sale, seeking to snap a career-worst four-start losing streak, quietly struck out 13 batters and allowed three runs on four hits over eight strong frames.

Wright finished with two stolen bases and two runs scored, while Andrew Brown hit a solo homer in the setback, New York's second in three outings.

Zack Wheeler, making his second career start, lasted 5 1/3 frames, yielding four runs on four hits and three walks, but the costly fifth came back to bit the Mets as the White Sox took advantage of the young hurler's inconsistency.

"His fastball's got a life too it, I mean his curveball today, I mean, so much better than his last start," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Now if he finds the slider to go along with it and finds three pitches, he's going to get a lot of outs."

The White Sox have won four of six games the teams have played since initially meeting in 2002. Chicago split a brief two-game set at Citi Field in New York on May 7 and 8.