Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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Preview: White Sox At Athletics

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[May 14, 2014]  Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick is drawing raves for switching his walk-up music to the soothing ballad “Careless Whisper” by Wham!, but there’s been nothing mellow about the Athletics’ six-game winning streak. The Athletics have outscored their opponents 39-8 during the streak, and they’ll look to continue their impressive run Wednesday in the series finale against the visiting Chicago White Sox, who have lost four straight and five of their last six. Reddick is 3-for-7 with two RBIs and four runs since changing his walk-up tune, which has quickly become a fan favorite in Oakland.

With Chicago off Thursday before starting a three-game series at Houston, manager Robin Ventura indicated he may sit first baseman Jose Abreu on Wednesday so he can have two consecutive days off. Abreu, who leads the American League in homers (14) and RBIs (38), has served as Chicago’s designated hitter for the past five games while dealing with a sore left ankle. The White Sox are looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s 11-0 loss, their seventh straight against the Athletics in Oakland.

TV: 3:35 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH Andre Rienzo (3-0, 4.56 ERA) vs. Athletics LH Tommy Milone (1-3, 4.54)

Rienzo has been a serviceable replacement for ace Chris Sale, who is expected to return at month's end after landing on the disabled list with a strained flexor muscle. Rienzo, who could move back to the bullpen when Sale returns, earned his third victory last Friday after holding Arizona to three runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. Control continues to be an issue for the 25-year-old, who has a 13-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 23 2/3 innings this season.

After allowing 10 earned runs in his previous two starts covering 10 2/3 innings, Milone tossed eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts against Washington last Friday. “I think you can make the argument that’s the best I’ve seen him throw,” catcher Derek Norris told “I don't think he missed a location all night. He was fantastic.” The 27-year-old Milone, who threw a season-high 108 pitches last Friday, owns an 0.60 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox.

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1. Milone is 13-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 29 home games in three seasons with the Athletics.

2. The White Sox have scored a total of 38 runs in the ninth inning, tops in the majors.

3. Oakland CF Coco Crisp has missed the last six games due to a strained neck, but he’s expected to return Friday at Cleveland.

PREDICTION: Athletics 6, White Sox 2

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