Where: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez likely won’t need additional motivation heading into the opener of a three-game series versus the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Friday. After spending his first four seasons with the Orioles, the 32-year-old Gonzalez was released by the club in late March after posting a 1-4 mark with a bloated 9.78 ERA in spring training.
The White Sox received a jolt of momentum by snapping Detroit’s eight-game winning streak on Thursday, with Avisail Garcia belting a solo homer in the 6-3 victory over the Tigers for his third blast in as many outings. The 25-year-old Venezuelan has 14 hits in 15 career contests with Baltimore, but is 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Friday starter Yovani Gallardo. The Orioles, who dropped a 5-3 setback to Texas on Thursday for their sixth loss in nine outings, begin a 10-game road trip looking for better success as they have lost seven of their last nine away from home. Mark Trumbo launched his majors-best 31st homer on Thursday and has a pair of solo shots for his lone two career hits versus Gonzalez.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Yovani Gallardo (3-3, 5.70 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Miguel Gonzalez (2-5, 4.06)
Gallardo fell to 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA in his last six outings on Saturday after allowing five runs on as many hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 9-1 setback at Toronto. Control issues have plagued the 30-year-old this season, as Gallardo issued five walks versus the Blue Jays while permitting as many as four on five occasions in his last nine outings. Gallardo has yet to surrender an earned run in both career outings (11 innings) versus the White Sox, but has encountered trouble when facing Todd Frazier (11-for-32).
Gonzalez settled for his third straight no-decision and saw his winless streak extend to four contests on Saturday despite yielding one earned run in seven innings at Minnesota. The 32-year-old was in line to pick up the victory versus the Twins before the bullpen let him down. Gonzalez has been consistent throughout July, pitching at least six innings in all six outings.
1. Baltimore DH Pedro Alvarez is 11-for-23 with four homers and five RBIs in his last six games.
2. The White Sox have posted a 34-48 mark since splitting a four-game series with the Orioles in April.
3. Baltimore 3B Manny Machado is 3-for-20 in his last five contests.
PREDICTION: Orioles 4, White Sox 2