Rays-White Sox preview
at White Sox
What's new: The White Sox have been quite offensive thus far, going into play Thursday leading the AL in runs, hits and on-base plus slugging percentage, and ranking second in homers. Cuban import Jose Abreu has been impressive, with seven homers, as has rookie INF Marcus Sieman. OF Dayan Viciedo and SS Alexei Ramirez rank at the top of the AL in batting. The rotation, though, is a bit in question, especially with ace LHP Chris Sale (flexor muscle strain) and LHP Felipe Paulino (rotator cuff inflammation) on the DL. The bullpen, anchored by RHP Matt Lindstrom, has been solid.
Key stat: The Sox already have scored six-plus runs in a game nine times.
Connections: Former Rays INF Jeff Keppinger (right shoulder surgery) is on the DL for the Sox, and LHP Frank De Los Santos in the minors. St. Petersburg resident Bobby Thigpen is the bullpen coach. Rays bench coach Dave Martinez played for the Sox, pitching coach Jim Hickey was in their minor leagues, radio guy Dave Wills was on their broadcast team.
Series history: White Sox lead 69-54, 35-24 in Chicago.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer