MLB Game Preview - White Sox v Indians

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Chi White Sox5 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 10150
Cleveland1 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 4120
  W: A. Swarzak (1-0)   L: J. Tomlin (0-2)
3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, April 13, 2017
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio  Attendance: 15,060

Chicago hopes to keep Cleveland bats quiet

CLEVELAND -- After splitting the first two games of their three-game series, the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox will play their series finale on Thursday with two big questions hanging in the air.

The first: Can the White Sox continue to pitch this well?

The second: When are the Indians going to start hitting?

In the first two games of the series, each team winning by the score of 2-1, White Sox pitchers held the Indians to a total of three runs and eight hits.

The Indians were second in the American League in runs scored last year, but in their last five games they have scored just 10 runs.

"That will change," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the team's struggle to score runs. "Everyone wants it to change yesterday, myself included. But that will change."

The pitching matchup Thursday will pit Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin (0-1, 11.57 ERA) against White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (1-0, 3.00).

Tomlin was roughed up in his first start of the season, a 7-3 loss at Arizona on April 7. In 4 2/3 innings, he gave up six runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Even when Tomlin has a bad game, he's usually around the plate with his pitches. Last year, he led the majors with an average of one walk per nine innings.

The White Sox have historically been an opponent Tomlin has pitched well against. Last year, he was 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in three starts against Chicago. In his career against the White Sox, Tomlin is 4-3 with a 2.88 ERA, which is his lowest ERA against any American League opponent.

Gonzalez will be making his seventh career appearance against Cleveland. In his six appearances against the Indians, Gonzalez is 4-1 with a 3.89 ERA. He made two starts against Cleveland last year and was 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA. In his one start this season, a 6-2 win over Minnesota on April 8, Gonzalez pitched six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria is hoping Gonzalez can continue the excellent pitching the White Sox have gotten in the series in Cleveland.

"Our rotation guys are trying to give us quality innings and pitching deep into games, and our relievers have been great," Renteria said.

The Indians are expected to add another bat on Thursday, when outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall is activated off the disabled list. Chisenhall has been on the DL since the start of the season due to a sprained right shoulder. Francona said the plan is to activate Chisenhall in time for Thursday's game.

Chisenhall was a solid contributor last year, hitting .286 and playing well defensively in right field. He hit particularly well at home, batting .309 at Progressive Field. The Indians will have to make a roster move to make room for Chisenhall. Outfielder Abraham Almonte would appear to be a leading candidate to be optioned to Triple-A Columbus.

The White Sox may have to address their catching situation prior to Thursday's game. Geovany Soto was a late scratch from the lineup Wednesday due to a sore right elbow. Renteria said following the game that Soto was still being examined and no determination had been made yet on the seriousness of his condition.

Updated April 13, 2017

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