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White Sox Vs. Indians Preview: Sox's 2012 Season Continues On The Road

After an encouraging yet frustrating opening series in Texas, the Indians head north to Cleveland to take on a division rival.

March 24, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale (49) throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at the Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE
March 24, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale (49) throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at the Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE

For a team that most experts picked to finish last in the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox's opening series against the Texas Rangers was far from a disaster. The White Sox won one of three in Arlington and were a run away from taking the series; the only game in which they weren't competitive was on Sunday night when the offense was shut down by Rangers starter Matt Harrison.

On Monday night they'll continue their season vs. a division foe in the Cleveland Indians. On the mound will be Chris Sale, the one-time White Sox first round pick who will begin a hopefully successful transition from reliever to starter in earnest tonight. Sale showed promise as a starter in Spring Training, striking out a batter an inning while only walking four over the course of 28 innings pitched. But he also allowed a hit an inning and four home runs, finishing with a 4.18 ERA.

If Sale can stick in the White Sox rotation, he could be a major stabilizing force for a team that entered the season in flux. For his career, Sale has thrown 13.2 innings across 10 innings vs. the Indians, striking out 24 batters while walking four and allowing only three earned runs. Tonight, he'll face Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin, who hasn't faced the White Sox in 38 career starts.

Game date/time: Monday, April 9, 7:05 p.m. CT

Location: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

TV: CSN Chicago

For more on this series, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the White Sox, visit South Side Sox and for more on the Indians visit Let's Go Indians. For more news, notes and analysis around the league, check out Baseball Nation.