With their slide against the crosstown rival Cubs in the past, the Chicago White Sox can focus on recording their longest winning stretch of the season.
After outlasting the North Siders in the first of four straight meetings, the White Sox try for a third consecutive victory Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.The White Sox (16-17) were outscored 32-8 while losing all four games to the Cubs last season, and struggled offensively Monday before pulling out a 3-1, 12-inning win. Marcus Semien had two hits, including a tiebreaking double in the 12th to help the White Sox to their second straight victory after losing four in a row.Jose Quintana didn't allow a hit until the sixth when his mound counterpart Jeff Samardzija doubled then later scored on a sacrifice fly.The teams combined for 10 hits, four by the Cubs (11-19), who have lost two in a row since winning a season-high three straight."For us, every series is important, and every first game of a series is important, and it just so happens we're playing the White Sox, which is a nice crosstown rival," Cubs manager Rick Renteria told the team's official website.Jose Abreu, the AL's player and rookie of the month for April, went 0 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his first game at Wrigley. The slugging first baseman has 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 33 games, but is 1 for 10 with a home run in the last three.Teammate Alexei Ramirez, who got his 1,000th hit Monday, has gone 1 for 13 with five strikeouts in the last three to drop his average to .328. He's 0 for 17 against scheduled Cubs starter and ex-White Sox right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-2, 5.24).The veteran has won two of three despite allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-4 victory at Cincinnati on Wednesday."It's all about executing pitches," Jackson said. "If you execute your pitches, you don't have to worry about the consequences."Jackson will face the White Sox for the first time since he spent part of 2010 and all of 2011 with them. He's 1-4 with a 6.60 ERA in eight starts against the White Sox, but has not faced the South Siders since 2009 while with Detroit.He'll be opposed by Hector Noesi (0-2, 11.12), who allowed all four of his runs in the fourth and never made it out of the inning during Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the Tigers in his first start since the White Sox claimed him off waivers from Texas on April 25."He just kind of fell behind a couple of guys, made some mistakes in that inning and kind of compounded on us," catcher Tyler Flowers told the White Sox's official website after Noesi made his first start since May 16. "But I definitely like his arm. I think he's a very talented pitcher."The right-hander's only previous appearance against the Cubs came in 2011, when he pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the New York Yankees at Wrigley.Anthony Rizzo was 4 for 7 with three homers and six RBIs during the Cubs' three-game winning streak, but is 2 for 8 in the last two and batting .227 (5 for 22) in five against the White Sox.