Phegley, Beckham give Sox fans something to watch
The White Sox will attempt to avoid history tonight at the U.S. Cellular Field.
The Sox and Cubs are making up a May 28 rainout against the Cubs and, as you might imagine, interest in the game isn't running particularly high on either side of town.
The White Sox (34-51) were swept in a three-game series at Tampa over the weekend and they've lost 9 of 11 and 27 of 37.
The Cubs did win 2 of 3 against the first-place Pirates at Wrigley over the weekend, but they come in with a 38-48 record.
Getting back to history, neither the Sox nor the Cubs have ever swept a home-and-home interleague series, which started in 1999. The White Sox did go 0-3 vs. the Cubs in '98.
This year, the Sox lost to the Cubs at the Cell on May 27 and lost both games at Wrigley on May 29-30. While going 0-3 against their North Side rivals, the White Sox have been outscored 24-6.
So there you have it.
-If you are going to the game tonight or tuning in on TV, check out catcher Josh Phegley, who is making his first home start for the Sox.
Called up from Class AAA Charlotte on Friday, Phegley went 2-for-7 in two games at Tampa Bay and hit a homer while driving in 3 runs.
Look for him to get the bulk of the playing time over former No. 1 catcher Tyler Flowers (.205) the rest of the season.
"I am," Phegley said when asked if he's excited about his first home game. "Just getting the call down in Tampa, it was a really quick hit and it all hit me really fast. I played down there and I think coming back here it will be a little more nervous feeling again playing in the first game at home again. It will probably be a pretty good crowd with the crosstown rivalry and I'm just excited to get it going."
-Gordon Beckham is back hitting in the No. 2 hole for the second straight game.
One of the White Sox' few offensive bright spots this season with a .341 average, look for Beckham to stay where he's at for an extended period. Former No. 2 hitter Alexei Ramirez is hitting seventh.
"The way he's swinging it, you put him in there and let him go," manager Robin Ventura said of Beckham. "He's been having good at-bats and a good approach and it's a good spot for him. Alexei can go down there as RBI stuff. That's probably something that's been missing for him. Being in that No. 2 spot doesn't give him many RBI opportunities."
While he's hitting .277, Ramirez has just 1 home run and 17 RBI in 336 at-bats.
Here are tonight's lineups:
1. Starlin Castro - SS
2. Cody Ransom - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano - LF
5. Dioner Navarro - C
6. Welington Castillo - DH
7. Darwin Barney - 2B
8. Dave Sappelt - RF
9. Julio Borbon - CF
SP: Matt Garza - RHP
1. Alejandro De Aza - LF
2. Gordon Beckham - 2B
3. Alex Rios - RF
4. Adam Dunn - 1B
5. Jeff Keppinger - DH
6. Conor Gillaspie - 3B
7. Alexei Ramirez - SS
8. Josh Phegley - C
9. Blake Tekotte - CF
SP: Hector Santiago - LHP