Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

White Sox Vs. Indians: Chicago falls a game behind Detroit

The Chicago White Sox were defeated by the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

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16 Total Updates since September 24, 2012
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Viciedo back in Sox' lineup for huge series

The Chicago White Sox head into Thursday's matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays a game and a half back of the Detroit Tigers, who won earlier on Thursday. The Sox will get a bit of a power boost in the form of Dayan Viciedo, who returns to the lineup after sitting out of Wednesday's game.

Here are the full lineups:

Rays

1. Desmond Jennings LF
2. B.J. Upton CF
3. Ben Zobrist SS
4. Evan Longoria B
5. Carlos Pena 1B
6. Jeff Keppinger 2B
7. Luke Scott DH
8. Matt Joyce RF
9. Jose Lobaton C

White Sox

1. Alejandro De Aza CF
2. Kevin Youkilis 3B
3. Adam Dunn DH
4. Paul Konerko 1B
5. Alex Rios RF
6. A.J. Pierzynski C
7. Dayan Viciedo LF
8. Alexei Ramirez SS
9. Gordon Beckham 2B

The Sox will send Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.40 ERA) to the hill to kickstart this massive series, while the Rays will counter with James Shields (15-9, 3.65 ERA). First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. CT.

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White Sox doomed by control problems

The Chicago White Sox lost control of the AL Central when they lost to the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Tuesday night. The biggest reason for the White Sox loss, according to Jim Margalus of South Side Sox, were the 12 walks from the Chicago pitching staff. The control problems started early and continued through the night:

The strategy of starting Hector Santiago against a lefty-vulnerable Cleveland lineup backfired to the tune of five walks over 3⅓ innings, and the rest of the pitching staff followed suit. Seven White Sox pitchers combined to walk 12 batters.

The White Sox also struggled when it mattered at the plate, but still Chicago had a chance to make something happen in the bottom of the ninth. They couldn't capitalize and according to Margalus:

They saved the worst for last. The Indians twice opened the door for the Sox, and they couldn't do anything with it.

The White Sox now stand one game behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central; Chicago hosts Tampa Bay at 7:10 p.m. CT on Thursday.

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White Sox, Indians starting lineups

The Chicago White Sox look to rebound from Tuesday night's loss against the Cleveland Indians, as the stretch run for the AL Central crown continues.

Robin Ventura's White Sox have dropped six of their last seven contests, and now find themselves tied for first with the Detroit Tigers, with just eight games left to play in the regular season.

Both Robin Ventura and Indians manager Manny Acta have announced Wednesday night's starting lineups, and they are as follows:

Cleveland Indians

RF Shin-Soo Choo
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
1B Carlos Santana
LF Russ Canzler
DH Travis Hafner
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
C Lou Marson
CF Ezequiel Carrera

SP Justin Masterson

Chicago White Sox

LF Alejandro De Aza
3B Kevin Youkilis
DH Adam Dunn
1B Paul Konerko
RF Alex Rios
C A.J. Pierzynski
SS Alexei Ramirez
CF DeWayne Wise
2B Gordon Beckham

SP Hector Santiago

Masterson has been poor in September, pitching to the tune of a 5.40 ERA in 23 and 1/3 innings of work, so Chicago's lineup should be able to put up plenty of runs against the Indians.

Adam Dunn in particular has feasted off of Masterson, hitting .421/.500/.684 with a home run in 19 at bats.

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In praise of Hawk Harrelson

White Sox play-by-play man Hawk Harrelson was recently named baseball's most biased announcer. SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell thinks this is also what makes him of a civic treasure.

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An A.L. Central standings update

The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers enter Wednesday tied for first in the American League Central for the first time since July 25. It has been a slow climb for Detroit, but the Tigers have been able to make up ground in the last week as the White Sox have dropped six of their last seven games.

The A.L. Central pennant race has been one of the most hotly contested division races in baseball, especially considering that the second-place finisher has little chance of claiming either of the league's two wild cards.

Detroit and Chicago won't face each other over the course of the season's final week, with the White Sox finishing with four games against the Cleveland Indians and four games against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tigers wrapping up with five games against the Kansas City Royals and three games vs. the Minnesota Twins.

Here are the A.L. Central standings as of Tuesday night:

  • Chicago White Sox, 82-72
  • Detroit Tigers, 82-72
  • Kansas City Royals, 70-84
  • Minnesota Twins, 64-90
  • Cleveland Indians, 64-91
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Chicago's rotation will change this week

With eight games to play and a half game lead in the AL Central race, Chicago manager Robin Ventura and his staff are optimizing the White Sox rotation to give the team its best shot at making the playoffs. Reliever Hector Santiago will start against Cleveland on Wednesday to give the starters a break.

Since a play-in game for the division title is very possible, Santiago's start will give Chris Sale an extra day of rest. With Jake Peavy slotted in for Thursday, Gavin Floyd on Friday and Sale on Saturday, any play-in game will require Ventura to decide if he starts Floyd on four days' rest or Sale, his ace, with only three days between starts.

Southpaw Jose Quintana faced two batters in Chicago's 4-3 loss on Tuesday. Quintana, the team's fifth starter, is expected to be the long man in relief should any starters be forced to leave early in this last week of the season.

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Adam Dunn was clutch on Monday night

Adam Dunn's game-winning home run on Monday night may have been the most important one of his career. With the win, Chicago remained one game ahead of Detroit for the AL Central lead.

Said Dunn,

"It's a spot you want to be in as a hitter. People look at it as pressure or this and that, but to me, I love being in that situation. Obviously they're a lot tougher than other situations, but sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't.

"I've watched (Pestano) enough to know he's got good stuff. When you fall behind 0-2 against a guy like that you're in trouble. But I had a plan against him. I had one pitch to hit, and I fouled it off. I didn't know if I was going to get another one, but I did."

Before Monday's win, the White Sox had lost five in a row and were struggling to score runs.

On the season, Dunn now has 41 home runs and 94 RBI.

For more on the Chicago White Sox, visit South Side Sox.

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Chicago looks to stay atop the AL Central Tuesday

The White Sox and Indians will meet on Tuesday in the second game of their three game series, with Chicago looking to maintain their place atop the AL Central. After Monday night's victory over the Indians, the White Sox remain a game in front of the Detroit Tigers as the fight for the division crown approaches the final week.

Francisco Liriano will take the hill for Chicago, and he's been up and down since joining the Sox in July. For the season, the left-hander is 6-11 with a 5.24 ERA. He's been slightly better than that in his 53 innings of work with the White Sox, compiling a 5.09 ERA.

Cleveland will be sending Corey Kluber to the mound to face Liriano. Kluber is 1-4 for the Indians this season with a 5.36 ERA in just over 50 innings of work.

Tuesday's game is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT from U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

For more on the Chicago White Sox, visit South Side Sox and be sure to visit Let's Go Tribe for all your Cleveland Indians news. Stay tuned to Baseball Nation for all your up-to-date MLB news and analysis.

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