White Sox ready for home cooking

White Sox ready for home cooking vs. Jays

Jon Garland should have been the Majors' first 16-game winner, if not for a late-inning Kansas City rally against the White Sox last Wednesday afternoon. But the right-hander has been nothing short of spectacular since the start of the second half, even more on the mark than he was during the best first half of his young career.

Garland has a 2-0 record with a 1.37 ERA since his first All-Star appearance, allowing three earned runs over 19 2/3 innings. Garland is one of the main reasons why the White Sox hold the best record in all of baseball and have posted a 12-6 record since beginning the second half with four straight victories in Cleveland.

The White Sox swept Toronto at the Rogers Centre earlier this season, winning games by 5-3, 10-7 and 5-4 margins. Garland was the winner in the second game of the series, picking up his sixth straight victory to start 2005, although he allowed six runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings.

Despite losing his chance to win No. 16 against the Royals, after giving up one earned run on five hits over seven innings, Garland remains tied with St. Louis' Chris Carpenter for the most wins in baseball at 15. Josh Towers opposes Garland for Toronto, making his first start against the White Sox this season.

Look for Geoff Blum to get a start at possibly shortstop or third base on Tuesday, after his late arrival on Monday prevented the new acquisition from facing Baltimore.

Pitching matchup
TOR: RHP Josh Towers
• 7-8, 4.60 ERA in 2005
• Did not face CWS in 2004 or '05

CWS: RHP Jon Garland
• 15-4, 3.09 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 9.53 ERA vs. TOR in 2005

Player to watch
Corey Koskie has 15 hits in 35 career at-bats against Garland, with one home run and three RBIs. For the White Sox, Jermaine Dye has three hits in 11 at-bats against Towers, including one home run and two RBIs.

"A lot of people said early on that they're going to fall short halfway through the season, stuff like that. But this team has been lucky enough to stay healthy and keep competing. There is no reason that they shouldn't go on, or we shouldn't go on now. From what I've heard and what I've seen, they have a good group of guys here." -- Blum, on an outsider's view, and now insider's view, of the White Sox's incredible season

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
Official game notes

On television

On radio
• TOR: FAN 590
• CWS: ESPN Radio WMVP-AM 1000

Quick hits
Jermaine Dye has hit in seven straight games, tying his season high. ... Dustin Hermanson now has recorded 25 saves in 26 opportunities. ... A.J. Pierzynski is 0-for-7, with six strikeouts, in his career against Baltimore closer B.J. Ryan. ... The White Sox have been in first place all 118 days this season, 24 more than their combined total of 94 from 2001 to 2004. ... The White Sox are 22-9-3 in series this season. ... The White Sox are 61-2 when ahead after eight innings. ... The White Sox are 15-6 against the American League East and finished 6-2 against the Orioles. ... They are 36-16 on the road, 50-25 vs. right-handed starters, 1-0 in August and finished 5-2 on this seven-game road trip. ... The White Sox were 54-50 after 104 games last year.

On deck
• Wednesday: vs. Toronto, 7:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: vs. Toronto, 1:05 p.m. CT
• Friday: vs. Seattle, 7:05 p.m. CT

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.