(Sports Network) – The Chicago White Sox shoot for their fifth straight win Saturday afternoon in the continuation of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals in DC.
The White Sox were able get by Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg and recorded a 2-1 victory in last night’s series opener. Strasburg hurled seven innings of one-run ball and struck out 10 batters in the no-decision, while Alex Rios’ infield single off of Drew Storen in the 11th inning was the game-winner.
“Every time you do something like that to win a game it’s unbelievable,” Rios said. “We played a good game. We just battled.”
Rios ended with a game-high two RBI and Gavin Floyd held Washington’s bats in check by allowing just one run on four hits over eight innings. Floyd fanned five in the no-decision and J.J. Putz collected the win with a perfect 10th inning. Bobby Jenks got his 14th save in the bottom of the 11th.
Chicago has won eight of nine games overall and sits 5 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the AL Central lead. It is also 6-1 on a nine-game road trip.
Jake Peavy has won two of his last three trips to the mound and will make his 14th start of the season for the Pale Hose this afternoon. Peavy has tossed seven innings of two-run ball in back-to-back starts and defeated the Chicago Cubs on the road his last time out on June 11.
Peavy allowed six hits, struck out five Cubs batters and issued one walk to improve to 5-5 with a 5.62 ERA this season. The right-hander and 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner with San Diego has faced Washington nine times in his career — all starts — and is 2-4 with a 4.18 ERA.
In other Chicago news, third base prospect and young Cuban Dayan Viciedo is expected to make his major league debut Saturday. Viciedo inked a four-year, $10 million deal before the 2009 season and hit .290 with 14 home runs and 39 RBI in 62 games at the Triple-A level. He also had a .525 slugging percentage for the Charlotte Knights.
Adam Dunn drove in the lone run for the Nationals last night and Strasburg continued to amaze at the major league level. Strasburg has struck out at least eight batters in each of his three appearances and has given up only one run in both of his previous two starts.
Strasburg set the mark for most strikeouts through his first three games with 32. J.R. Richard held the old mark with 29 for Houston in 1971.
“It wasn’t a goal of mine, it’s never going to be a goal of mine,” Strasburg said. “My goal is to go out there and help the team win. It’s all about wins and losses at this level. You can go out there and strike everybody out, but at the end of the day if you don’t keep your team in striking distance then what does that all mean?”
Washington has lost four in a row and six of its last seven games, and will send winless starter J.D. Martin to the mound this afternoon. Martin is 0-2 with a 4.19 ERA in only three starts this season.
In last Saturday’s 7-1 loss at Cleveland, Martin had an outing to forget and allowed seven runs — six earned — on nine hits in a career-high 7 2/3 innings on the mound. The right-hander hopes to bounce back today in his first appearance against the White Sox.
Martin is still trying to earn a permanent spot in the rotation or as a long reliever out of the bullpen.
These two teams have not met since 2004 when the Washington franchise was still located in Montreal. The Expos took two of three in that set and also claimed two of three the previous time they met in 2002.