Vazquez not intimidated by Cubs' bats

Vazquez not intimidated by Cubs' bats

CHICAGO -- Javier Vazquez has been around the block. An 11-year veteran of both leagues, he has pitched against some great offenses.

Seeing the Cubs put up 15 runs in two games, including nine in the fourth inning Saturday, shouldn't worry the White Sox righty.

"You should go to the American League and you'll see more potent lineups," Vazquez said. "[The Cubs have] a good lineup. The American League, one through nine, they have some good lineups, too. So we're used to that."

Vazquez (7-5) will take the mound for the White Sox hoping to avoid a Cubs sweep and end a five-game North Siders winning streak in the crosstown series. He'll be opposed by Ryan Dempster, who is 8-0 at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs have the best team batting average in the Majors. The White Sox boast more home runs than any team in the AL. If the wind is blowing out again, another scoring barrage could result.

Still, it'll be a shock if Vazquez doesn't fare better than Jose Contreras did on Saturday (eight runs allowed in 3 1/3 innings). Given his recent outings, Vazquez could use a strong performance, not only to quiet Cubs fans, but also to get himself back on track.

Vazquez has allowed five runs in consecutive starts for the first time since May of last year. He gave up five runs on 10 hits in a loss to Detroit on June 11. Vazquez then turned in a five-run, five-hit line Tuesday while the Sox demolished the Pirates, 16-5.

"I've not been ahead in the count, as I should," he said. "I just need to be more aggressive, get after hitters a little bit more. It's part of pitching. It's all about getting ahead in the count and not being behind."

Pitching matchup
CWS: RHP Javier Vazquez (7-5, 4.13 ERA)
Vazquez struggled in his third consecutive outing Tuesday night, but the performance was good enough to pick up the win, and manager Ozzie Guillen was pleased to see his ace get through six innings on a bad night. Vazquez has allowed 14 runs in his last three starts but is 2-1 in that stretch, having gotten plenty of help from his offense. Vazquez has started three games against the Cubs but has never factored in the decision. He owns a 4.95 ERA against the crosstown rivals but has struck out 23 against just two walks.

CHC: RHP Ryan Dempster (8-2, 2.76 ERA)
Dempster will be happy to be home. He did not get a decision in his last start against Tampa Bay and remains winless on the road. However, he's 8-0 with a 3.13 ERA at Wrigley Field. Against the Rays, he gave up one run on six hits over five innings and had to be pulled when his pitch count got high. He fanned six, but threw 107 pitches in the five innings.

Tidbits
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski extended his Major League-leading hitting streak to 15 games with a fifth-inning single Saturday. He is one game shy of the personal career high he set from May 16-June 14, 2002. ... Orlando Cabrera is .321 (9-for-28) lifetime against Dempster. ... White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he would rather face Jim Edmonds than Alfonso Soriano, and that Edmonds is "not gonna scare me" after Edmonds' two-homer game Saturday. Well, Edmonds likely won't be afraid to face Vazquez. He is 8-for-17 with two dingers in his career off him. ... Brad Eldred hit his league-leading 25th home run of the season in Triple-A Charlotte's 8-2 win over Lehigh Valley on Friday night.

Interleague record: 111-93 overall, 7-4 in 2008

2008 Interleague Schedule
• May 16 at Giants: Won, 2-0
• May 17 at Giants: Won, 3-1
• May 18 at Giants: Won, 13-9
• June 13 vs. Rockies: Won, 5-4
• June 14 vs. Rockies: Lost, 2-0
• June 15 vs. Rockies: Lost, 5-3
• June 17 vs. Pirates: Won, 16-5
• June 18 vs. Pirates: Won, 8-2
• June 19 vs. Pirates: Won, 13-8
• June 20 at Cubs: Lost, 4-3
• June 21 at Cubs: Lost, 11-7
• June 22 at Cubs
• June 24 at Dodgers
• June 25 at Dodgers
• June 26 at Dodgers
• June 27 vs. Cubs
• June 28 vs. Cubs
• June 29 vs. Cubs

All-time record vs. Cubs: 30-32

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• ESPN

On radio
• WSCR 670

Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: White Sox (Mark Buehrle, 4-6, 4.28) at Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 5-6, 3.90), 9:10 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: White Sox (Gavin Floyd, 8-3, 3.19) at Dodgers (Eric Stults, 1-0, 1.50), 9:10 p.m. CT

Nick Zaccardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.