CHICAGO – Major League Baseball wasn’t willing to take any risks with Mother Nature on Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox’s crucial series finale against the Detroit Tigers was postponed after about a one-hour delay because of rain, which was not expected to stop until at least 12:30 a.m. The game will be made up at 1:10 p.m. Monday. Although the Sox lose the opportunity to start ace Chris Sale against Detroit, they keep a one-game division lead over the Tigers. Sale will pitch today at Minnesota.
“Obviously, I wanted to get back out there and face these guys one last time,” Sale said. “Time before that didn’t go too well, so I wanted to get back out there and get us where we needed to go. There’s not much you can do in this situation. I’ll get ready and head out to Minnesota.”
Manager Robin Ventura said Gavin Floyd is expected to start the rescheduled game against Detroit, and the Tigers will counter with right-hander Doug Fister, who picked up the win Tuesday when he gave up two runs in seven innings.
“Major League Baseball is in charge of [calling the game],” Ventura said. “We give them the information. Both sides were in there talking, so it wasn’t us deciding. Everybody was involved.”
Dunn sits again: For what would have been the seventh consecutive game, Ventura was forced to create a lineup without designated hitter Adam Dunn.
Dunn still is hampered by a strained right oblique. He declined to talk before the game because there was nothing new to report. Dunn remains day to day, but clearly the Sox are holding firm on not rushing him back.
“It’s one of those you never know,” Ventura said. “[Trainer Herm Schneider] was just saying it’s more of when he feels it. I think when you play and you have to react, it becomes different. It’s one thing to go in the cage and take some swings. It’s another thing to swing and miss and check swing and things like that. When Herm gives him the clean bill, then he can play.”
Rotation carousel: A limited Floyd, in his first start off the disabled list, meant a heavy workload for the bullpen Wednesday.
Hector Santiago, who was scheduled to pitch today in Minnesota, was used in relief, which forced Ventura to find a new starter for the Sox’s series opener against the Twins. With Dylan Axelrod also unavailable, having pitched Wednesday, that left Francisco Liriano as the Sox’s best option. However, after Thursday’s rainout, the Sox opted to stick with the original rotation, leaving the left-hander the odd man out.
Liriano wanted an opportunity to prove he is better than his relief appearance against Detroit when he allowed two runs and didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced. In eight starts with the Sox, Liriano is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA.