The Chicago White Sox are in last place in the American League Central but are still working to change that in the last month of the season, led by slugger Jose Abreu. The White Sox will try to ride Abreu’s hot bat to a series win when they host the San Francisco Giants in the rubber match of a three-game interleague series on Sunday.
Abreu hit for the cycle on Saturday - the franchise’s first since 2000 - to snap Chicago out of a five-game slide with a 13-1 triumph, finishing with a triple after fouling a ball off his shin. “I hit the ball to the alley and I was just thinking of the triple,” Abreu told reporters. “(White Sox manager Rick Renteria) believed in me when I hit the foul ball (off my shin). He said, ‘Hey, are you OK?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He believed in me in that moment and allowed me to get my at-bat and I was able to get that triple.” The Giants take up the bottom spot of the National League West and are losers of 11 of their last 15 games. San Francisco will try to snap out of the funk on Sunday behind ace Madison Bumgarner, while the White Sox turn to rookie right-hander Carson Fulmer.
TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, NBCSN Bay Area-San Francisco, CSN Chicago
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (3-7, 3.15 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Carson Fulmer (1-1, 10.50)
Bumgarner has lost each of his last two starts and was knocked around for five runs and five hits in six innings against St. Louis last Sunday. Nevertheless, the North Carolina native has logged at least six innings in each of his last seven starts. Bumgarner is seeing Chicago for the first time in his career and is 9-8 with a 3.42 ERA in 22 career interleague starts.
Fulmer is making his fourth major-league appearance and second start after throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen against Cleveland on Tuesday. The 23-year-old Vanderbilt product was ripped for six runs on four hits and three walks in 1 1/3 innings in his first major-league start on Aug. 21 against Minnesota. Fulmer was just 7-9 with a 5.79 ERA in 25 starts at Triple-A Charlotte this season.
1. Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval snapped a 0-for-39 drought with a homer on Friday but went 0-for-3 on Saturday to drop his batting average to .185 since joining the team.
2. Chicago SS Tim Anderson has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games.
3. San Francisco is moving LHP Ty Blach to the bullpen.
PREDICTION: Giants 5, White Sox 2