Friday, May 30, 2014
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Preview: Padres At White Sox

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[May 30, 2014]  The Chicago White Sox, coming off a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians, continue their 10-contest homestand Friday when they meet the San Diego Padres. Chicago improved to 7-3 in its last 10 games - 5-2 at home - after defeating Cleveland 3-2 on Wednesday, moving above .500 at 28-27 for the first time since May 9. The White Sox average 4.7 runs - fifth in the majors - while the Padres are last at 3.2, but first baseman Tommy Medica has provided a jolt lately.

Medica is 8-for-12 with two homers and five RBIs in four games since being recalled from Triple-A El Paso on Sunday and missed hitting for the cycle by a single in Wednesday's 12-6 loss at Arizona. The Padres will also have the opportunity to use Carlos Quentin - still feeling the effects of a groin injury - as the designated hitter when he takes on the team with which he hit 107 home runs from 2008-11. San Diego's Ian Kennedy faces a Chicago team for the second straight start after defeating the Cubs and opposes John Danks, whose work to fix flaws in his mechanics between his last two turns paid off with a strong outing against the New York Yankees.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN San Diego, CSN Chicago

PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres RH Ian Kennedy (3-6, 3.59 ERA) vs. White Sox LH John Danks (3-4, 4.90)
 


A change in mechanics - most notably a higher leg kick - has helped Kennedy increase his fastball velocity to 91.6 miles per hour, 1.5 faster than 2013 according to FanGraphs. The 29-year-old California native allowed one run and two hits while striking out six in six innings of a 4-3 victory over the Cubs on Sunday. Kennedy, who is 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four road starts, yielded nine runs and 17 hits over 12 2/3 innings in his previous two turns - losses at Cincinnati and to Minnesota.

Danks allowed three hits and struck out four in eight shutout innings of Chicago's 4-3 setback against the Yankees on Saturday. "I'm feeling really good about where I was. From a personal standpoint, I needed it," the 29-year-old Texas native told reporters. "... Just worried about beating the Padres Friday." Danks, who is 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in five home starts, yielded eight runs and 10 hits for the second start this season in an 8-2 loss at Houston on May 18.

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WALK-OFFS

1. San Diego is 1-2 on its six-game road trip and is 1-6-1 in its eight series away from home in 2014.

2. White Sox rookie 1B Jose Abreu (15 home runs, 42 RBIs), who has been on the disabled list with an ankle injury since May 18, is expected to miss the series and rejoin the lineup when Chicago begins a six-game road trip Monday at Dodger Stadium.

3. The Padres and White Sox are meeting in Chicago for the first time since 2003. ... San Diego is 4-7 in interleague play in 2014; Chicago is 5-5.

PREDICTION: White Sox 3, Padres 2

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