American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, June 5th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Blue Jays (28-26) at Chicago White Sox (31-23), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Toronto - Ricky Romero (6-1, 4.04)
Chicago - Philip Humber (2-2, 5.37)
(Sports Network) - Chris Sale just pitched the Chicago White Sox back into the
win column with the first complete game of his career. Philip Humber knows a
thing or two about going the distance and will take his turn tonight in the
opener of a three-game series versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Humber has the luxury of following Sale's gem in Sunday's 4-2 win over the
Seattle Mariners in the finale of a three-game set. The Mariners ended
Chicago's season-high nine-game winning streak with a 12-inning victory on
Saturday, but couldn't find a way to stop Sale in the series' rubber match.
Sale struck out eight, walked two and allowed two runs and five hits to push
his record to 7-2 this season. Eighty-one of his 119 pitches went for strikes.
"He was great," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Sale. "He was jumping
ahead and making guys swing and miss. He just keeps getting better, if there's
any way to do that after 15 strikeouts."
Sale was named the AL's Pitcher of the Month for May and went 4-1 with a
league-best 1.71 ERA over six games in the month. He has won his last four
starts and allowed just four runs over that stretch.
Alex Rios knocked in a pair of runs, while Brent Lillibridge and Gordon
Beckham had an RBI apiece for the American League Central-leading White Sox,
who have won their last five series and are 14-2 in the last 16 games. Chicago
is 2 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland for division bragging rights and will also
host Houston on this homestand.
Meanwhile, Humber tossed a no-hitter back on April 21 at Seattle, but went on
to lose two of his next six starts. He finally ended a string of three
straight no-decisions with seven innings of two-run ball in a 7-2 victory at
Tampa Bay last Tuesday. The effort lifted his record to 2-2 in nine starts and
lowered his earned run average to 5.37.
Humber, a right-hander, is 0-1 in five home starts in 2012 and will face
Toronto for the fifth time in his career. He has no record and a 3.24 ERA over
the first four appearances, two of which have been starts.
Toronto will begin a six-game road trip against the White Sox and Braves, and
hopes to put the brakes on a five-game road losing streak.
The Blue Jays just went 4-2 on a six-game homestand versus Baltimore and
Boston, and salvaged the finale of a three-game series with Sunday's 5-1 win
over the Red Sox at Rogers Centre. Jays slugger Jose Bautista cracked a three-
run homer in the first inning and Toronto added two more runs in the second to
further cement the victory.
Bautista homered for the second straight game and finished with four RBI for
the Blue Jays, who are tied with Boston at three games off the lead in the
American League East. Bautista owns 14 homers and 37 RBI this season. Jays
starter Drew Hutchison improved to 5-2 this season by holding Boston to a run
and five hits over seven innings.
"Hutch continues to mature right in front of our eyes," remarked Blue Jays
manager John Farrell about Hutchinson. "He kept going out, putting up zeros to
keep the momentum on our side."
Blue Jays other slugger Edwin Encarnacion is day-to-day after he was hit on
the right hand during Sunday's game. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the
fifth inning and he is batting .279 with a club-best 17 home runs and 43 RBI.
Ricky Romero draws the start for Toronto tonight and he is 6-1 with a 4.04
earned run average in 11 starts this season. He has received 26 runs of
support over his last three starts, going 2-0 in that stretch, and just got by
Baltimore in an 8-6 win last Tuesday. Romero allowed four runs in six innings
for a second straight start and has fanned seven batters in back-to-back
outings. Romero has eight walks in that period as well.
The left-hander is 1-1 in five road assignments this season and will make his
fourth career start against Chicago tonight. Romero is 2-0 with a 3.54 ERA in
the first three performances in this matchup.
Toronto and Chicago are meeting for the first time since the Blue Jays won
four of seven encounters a season ago.
06/05 10:43:56 ET