Exceptional pitching has keyed a strong start by the Chicago White Sox.
Miguel Gonzalez looks to continue that trend in his White Sox debut Monday night against the host Toronto Blue Jays, who flaunted their offensive potency over the weekend.
The surprise early leader of the AL Central, Chicago tops the AL in ERA (2.28), WHIP (1.02), opponents' batting average (.204) and fewest home runs allowed (nine). That staff yielded seven earned runs over 56 innings while winning five of six.
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Mat Latos continued his revival by allowing a run in six innings to help the White Sox (13-6) complete a three-game sweep of Texas with Sunday's 4-1 victory.
"Our guys are pitching at a high level right now," manager Robin Ventura said.
Trying for their best 20-game start since going 14-6 in 2006, the White Sox shuffled things to open this three-game set. Ace Chris Sale was pushed back to Tuesday and John Danks, 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA, won't pitch until the weekend at Baltimore.
That opened the door for Gonzalez to be called up from Triple-A Charlotte for his first major league appearance since Chicago signed him April 3 after the Orioles released him. The right-hander, 39-34 with a 3.80 ERA in 97 regular-season and playoff starts in four seasons with Baltimore, endured his first losing campaign at 9-12 with a 4.91 ERA in 2015.
Gonzalez, 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts for Charlotte, is 7-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 12 starts against Toronto (10-10).
The White Sox won seven of their first eight road games before dropping two in a row. The Blue Jays have scored 31 runs and recorded 25 extra-base hits while batting .303 to win four of five at home.
Toronto totaled 15 runs and 24 hits, including five homers, to win the last two of a three-game set with Oakland at Rogers Centre over the weekend.
''The middle of that order is probably the best in baseball,'' Athletics left-hander Eric Surkamp said.
Part of that offensive wrecking crew, Jose Bautista is 1 for 13 in four games but that hit was a two-run homer off Surkamp in Sunday's 6-3 victory. Bautista's hit all but one of his four homers and recorded 12 of 16 RBIs in nine games at Rogers Centre this season.
He's gone deep once in 14 games there against Chicago, but is batting .364 with 12 RBIs in those contests.
Teammate Josh Donaldson went 12 for 25 with six homers and 11 RBIs against Chicago last season.
Looking to win a third straight start, Toronto's Marcus Stroman (3-0, 4.13 ERA) is 7-0 with a 2.93 ERA in eight regular-season starts since returning from a knee injury in September. The right-hander gave up three runs on two homers in seven innings of Tuesday's 4-3 win at Baltimore.
The only time Stroman faced the White Sox was in 2014, when he went 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in two starts.
Jose Abreu went 2 for 4 against Stroman that season. Abreu is batting .183 this season, but .362 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 14 games against Toronto.
Chicago announced catcher Alex Avila was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Toronto catcher Russell Martin, meanwhile, is day to day with neck spasms that forced him to sit Sunday.