Chris Sale is healthy and riding an extended scoreless streak, but the Chicago White Sox were the ones unable to get on the scoreboard in the Crosstown Cup opener.
Sale (5-2, 2.53 ERA) missed Wednesday's scheduled start due to mild tendinitis in his throwing shoulder and the White Sox (24-25) lost 6-2 to Boston. He threw a bullpen session Sunday without incident and seemed fully recovered.
The left-hander, 4-0 with a 1.18 ERA in his last five starts, hasn't allowed a run in 23 straight innings, and his six-start streak of lasting at least seven while allowing fewer than three earned runs is the longest by a White Sox starter since Mark Buehrle 's seven-start run in 2007.
Sale has never started against the Cubs and hasn't faced them since 2011, when he pitched two scoreless innings of relief over two appearances.
The Cubs (20-30), though, have put together back-to-back solid offensive performances. They beat Cincinnati 5-4 in 10 innings Sunday to end their six-game losing streak, then cruised past the White Sox 7-0 on Monday.
Jeff Samardzija threw a two-hitter Monday for the Cubs' first shutout of the season, and the offense gave him plenty of support after averaging 2.5 runs during the skid.
"Pitch deep into games and give your offense a chance to win the game," Samardzija said. "We saw what happened tonight."
Jackson (1-7, 6.11), though, didn't last long in his most recent start and has received two or fewer runs of support six times. He could use the offensive help, especially given his struggles after allowing four runs in a season-low three innings of a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday."I think at times he tries too hard to justify his contract and overthrows," manager Dale Sveum said. "I think he needs to relax and just be Edwin Jackson , the guy we liked enough to sign. "He seems like he doesn't come out with a lot of conviction early in games."
The right-hander spent parts of 2010 and '11 with the White Sox, going 11-9 with a 3.36 ERA in 30 starts. He's 1-1 with a 2.56 ERA in his last five outings at U.S. Cellular Field.
Monday's loss ended a three-game win streak for the White Sox, who have scored an AL-worst 177 runs and also are last in the league hitting .239.
They've finished with five hits or fewer 11 times this season. Adam Dunn went hitless and is 1 for 22 over his last six games."Again, I don't know if it was the pitcher who made us flat, but there was enough of a lack of focus that needs to be there," manager Robin Ventura said.
The Cubs have won three of the last four meetings on the South Side. This series shifts to Wrigley Field on Wednesday for the final two games of the Crosstown Cup, which is awarded the season series' winner each year.
|May 27, 2013||Kyuji Fujikawa||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
|May 26, 2013||Kyuji Fujikawa||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right forearm strain|
|May 22, 2013||Shawn Camp||15-Day DL||Sprained right big toe|
|April 14, 2013||Steve Clevenger||60-Day DL||Left oblique strain|
|April 13, 2013||Steve Clevenger||Day-to-Day||Left oblique injury|
|April 13, 2013||Kyuji Fujikawa||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
|Chicago White Sox|
|May 22, 2013||Chris Sale||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|May 02, 2013||Dewayne Wise||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|May 02, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|April 28, 2013||Gavin Floyd||60-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|April 22, 2013||Hector Gimenez||Day-to-Day||Left shin|
|April 19, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Just when it looked as if Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson had begun to regain his form Tuesday night against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, his outing was washed out by rain.
Jackson was cruising along in the bottom of the third inning, having retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, including three strikeouts, when Game 2 of the four-game crosstown series with the White Sox was postponed because of a downpour.
No make-up date has been announced.
"It's just one of those things, sometimes when you have the kind of season I'm having, that's how it is, you feel good and something happens, and you feel bad and something happens," Jackson said.
Even though Jackson's effort ultimately didn't count, Cubs manager Dale Sveum liked what he saw from his struggling pitcher.
"He came out throwing the ball really well, obviously with a lot of conviction and velocity from the get-go, 92-93 mph cutters as well as his fastball at 96," Sveum said. "That's kind of the guy we want to go out there all the time, the 86-87 mph sliders and velocity from the get-go and see what happens from there."
Jackson's stellar effort wasn't the only one wasted. So too was Wellington Castillo's two-run homer in the top of the second that had staked Jackson to a 2-0 lead.
"At the end of the day, all that matters is to keep playing, to have the opportunity to be here and to be in the lineup tomorrow," Castillo said.
Jackson (1-8) had come into the game with losses in seven of his eight decisions this season. With the way he started Tuesday, he felt he was on his way to finally breaking out of his slump.
"I felt pretty good tonight, pretty loose from the beginning," Jackson said. "I felt like I could come out and attacked the strike zone hard and down."
Perhaps the only player on either team to benefit from the rainout was White Sox starter Chris Sale (5-2). The hard-throwing lefty had a streak of 23 scoreless innings coming in. Castro's homer snapped it but the rainout restored the spurt.
Sale, who missed his last start due to tendonitis in his left posterior shoulder, felt good even with the short work and reported no issues.
"I pretty much look at this as kind of an extended bullpen," Sale said. "I don't think I threw but 40 (37 to be exact) pitches. I should be able to bounce back pretty quick."
Sveum said his team had been looking forward to facing Sale Tuesday.
"You hate to waste any time when you get up 2-0 against a pitcher like Sale and hopefully you hang on. If you score two and hopefully a couple more like that, then you've done your share off a guy like that. It's too bad the game had to be canceled that quick, but we knew that rain was coming."
The series shifts to Wrigley Field for a pair of afternoon games (1:20 p.m.) on Wednesday and Thursday. The scheduled pitchers remain the same for Wednesday's game, right-hander Scott Feldman (4-4, 2.80) for the Cubs vs. lefty John Danks (0-0, 4.50).
NOTES: The White Sox have won eight of the last 12 meetings with the Cubs, and lead the overall series 49-42. . Coming into Tuesday's game, Cubs pitchers were leading the Major Leagues in a unique category: RBIs, with 15. . The game was cancelled so quickly that an official attendance number was never announced.