The Chicago White Sox hope to bring home the hot hitting they found during the second half of their West Coast trip.
The majors' lowest-scoring team at home faces one of the worst-hitting road clubs in Monday night's series opener against the Boston Red Sox.
After totaling four runs in three losses to start their trip through Anaheim and Seattle, the White Sox scored 31 in the final four games to grab three wins. Jeff Samardzija could use that type of run support as he tries to avoid a career-high fifth consecutive losing start.
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The right-hander threw seven innings of one-run ball but suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Angels on Wednesday, matching his four-start skids from 2012 and '13 while with the Cubs. He's received no runs of support twice and two runs once in the current span, though Samardzija (8-9, 4.64 ERA) posted a 12.91 ERA in the first three losses.
He rediscovered his splitter Wednesday and struck out seven.
"For me, it's about calming down and working my way through situations instead of pressing and trying to do too much," Samardzija told MLB's official website.
The veteran is 1-1 with a 6.28 ERA in three games - two starts - against Boston after giving up four runs in eight innings of a 9-4 road victory July 28.
The White Sox (58-64) average 3.45 runs at U.S. Cellular Field.
They'll be facing a Red Sox team that's scoring 3.71 runs away from Fenway Park, among the lowest marks in baseball. Boston (56-68) piled up 82 runs on its 10-game homestand, though 37 came in the first two games.
The Red Sox will be trying to avoid a third straight loss after falling 8-6 to Kansas City on Sunday. Pablo Sandoval went 2 for 5 and has a six-game hitting streak, though he's batting just .296 in that span. The third baseman is 4 for 10 with two home runs against Samardzija.
Hanley Ramirez is 10 for 23 against Samardzija, but he's 1 for his last 17.
While Samardzija is on the verge of a career-worst fifth losing start in a row, Joe Kelly (6-6, 5.37) is looking to match a career best with a victory in his fifth consecutive start.
The right-hander has posted a 3.22 ERA in his past four outings and has been well-supported by his teammates, with the Red Sox giving him 33 runs.
"We've been scoring a lot of runs, so that always helps," Kelly told MLB's official website. "I've been throwing some off-speed pitches for strikes, and that's definitely helped, especially with guys on base."
Kelly was roughed up in a 10-8 loss to the White Sox on July 27, allowing five runs - four earned - in 3 1-3 innings. Melky Cabrera is 4 for 8 with three doubles against Kelly.
Samardzija and Kelly have pitched well in four appearances against each other when Samardzija was with the Cubs and Kelly was with St. Louis. Samardzija posted a 2.63 ERA and Kelly a 1.45 mark.