White Sox hope to avert sweep

White Sox hope to avert sweep

The White Sox looked at the pitching matchups coming into this series, and quietly, they had to have a singular thought of a three-game sweep collectively on their minds.

Actually, simply glancing at the Red Sox trio of Julian Tavarez, Kason Gabbard and Kyle Snyder had to give the South Siders a boost of confidence, considering the Red Sox could throw out to the mound veteran presences such as Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling and Matt Clement. But Snyder, the most polished of the three this year for Boston, takes the mound Wednesday in search of the sweep and not in need of preventing a three-game Chicago whitewash.

If Ozzie Guillen's crew falls in the series finale, not only is it in danger of dropping 2 1/2 games behind the Twins in the American League Wild Card race, but the Red Sox would only be 3 1/2 games behind the White Sox. The problem for the White Sox is their fading offense, a definite strong suit all season.

In the last three games, though, the White Sox have scored a total of five runs.

"We faced a couple of starters who really, really stopped us," Guillen said. "You can't do much when you score one run, no runs, two runs in the game. It's hard to win like that. Offensively, hopefully we get better."

Guillen also hopes to get a better start from Jose Contreras on Wednesday, both in the scheme of his career numbers at Fenway Park and his effort over his last four starts. Contreras is 1-3 with a 13.50 ERA lifetime at Fenway, primarily coming with the Yankees, and is 0-3 with a 9.78 ERA in his last four trips to the mound.

Rookie outfielder Ryan Sweeney will be starting again Wednesday, according to Guillen. Depending on the status of Jermaine Dye's back spasms, Sweeney could play center in place of Brian Anderson or could stay in right and give Dye another day of rest.

Even with the White Sox having reason to be disappointed during the first five games of this six-game road trip, posting a 1-4 record, this is not a group prone to hanging its head in despair.

"These guys, they won it last year and they know what to expect," said White Sox starter Javier Vazquez, the tough-luck loser Tuesday night. "That's not going to happen. Ozzie is not going to let that happen anyway."

Pitching matchup
CWS: RHP Jose Contreras (11-7, 4.23 ERA)
The big right-hander suffered his third straight loss and fourth in five decisions, but Contreras deserved a better fate Friday night at Kauffman Stadium. He allowed seven runs on seven hits over five innings but only two of those runs were earned. Contreras has a no-decision in his one start against Boston in 2006, but his struggles at Fenway Park have been well-documented -- albeit primarily as part of the Yankees' staff. Contreras is 2-4 lifetime against Boston with a 10.36 ERA, but has a 1-3 record at Fenway with a 13.50 ERA.

BOS: RHP Kyle Snyder (4-3, 5.94 ERA)
The right-hander is coming off one of the best outings of his career, as he fired seven innings of shutout baseball in a win over the Blue Jays on Friday. Snyder has made 13 appearances for the Red Sox, seven of which have been starts. He's 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA in nine outings at Fenway.

Player to watch
Coco Crisp has the best career numbers against Contreras amongst the Red Sox, aside from reserve Carlos Pena's two home runs. Crisp is 5-for-15 when facing Contreras, with two RBIs.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WSCR 670-AM

Up next
• Thursday: Indians (LHP Cliff Lee, 11-10, 4.63) at White Sox (LHP Mark Buehrle, 12-11, 4.71), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Friday: Indians (RHP Paul Byrd, 9-7, 4.78) at White Sox (RHP Freddy Garcia, 13-9, 5.10), 7:35 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Indians (RHP Fausto Carmona, 1-8, 5.76) at White Sox (RHP Jon Garland, 16-4, 4.37), 6:05 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.