(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Diego Padres pay a visit to U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since 2003 as they are set to begin a three-game interleague series with the Chicago White Sox.
Ian Kennedy gets the start for San Diego. The right-hander has a solid 3.59 ERA on the season but only a 3-6 record to show for it, thanks to spotty run support. However, one of those victories came his last time out against the Chicago Cubs as Kennedy worked six innings of one-run ball while allowing only two hits and striking out six.
For Chicago, John Danks will try to build off his last start against the New York Yankees, during which he yielded only three hits over eight shutout innings. The White Sox, however, went on to lose that one by a 4-3 final in 10 innings.
"I'm feeling really good about where I was. From a personal standpoint, I needed it," Danks said of his last outing. "I had a couple of rough ones, but if you take a couple of starts out of my year, I've had a pretty darn good year. I'm not looking at overall numbers. I never have in my career. Just worried about beating the Padres Friday."
Chicago begins the final series of a 10-game homestand and is looking to stay hot after completing a three-game sweep over the Cleveland Indians with Wednesday's dramatic, 3-2 victory.
After Cleveland rallied to tie the score at 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Chicago won it in the bottom of the frame on Moises Sierra's walk-off single to polish off the sweep. Starter Hector Noesi gave up only one earned run in 7 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking nobody.
"To win games, you like to talk about different people every night because it takes the whole roster to be able to do it," manager Robin Ventura said.
The White Sox have managed to scrape by without Jose Abreu, who has been on the disabled list since May 18 with inflammation in his left ankle. At the time of his injury, Abreu was leading the majors with 15 home runs and an AL- best 42 RBI. He will miss this series but is expected to be activated from the DL when he becomes eligible on Monday.
"Nobody is going to cry for us that he's out of the lineup," hitting coach Todd Steverson said. "We are still here to do a job."
Meanwhile, San Diego has split its last six games and is coming off Wednesday's 12-6 setback in Arizona.
Starter Tim Stauffer failed to make it out of the first inning that saw Arizona plate eight runs. The Diamondbacks went on to rack up 17 hits for the game. Tommy Medica headlined San Diego's offense as he doubled, tripled and homered to raise his batting average to .302.
This is the first meeting between these two teams in Chicago since the White Sox won a three-game set in 2003.