The Chicago White Sox have had a miserable season - particularly offensively - but their lineup seemed to find a groove while winning a road series this week.
Chicago will try to continue its hot hitting against a rookie pitcher who's been on a run of his own lately, as Jonathan Pettibone looks to win his third straight start when the Philadelphia Phillies host the White Sox on Friday night.
Chicago is second-to-last in baseball with 336 runs, and its .301 on-base percentage and .384 slugging percentage are also near the bottom.
The last-place White Sox (36-53), though, scored 22 runs while taking two of three from AL Central-leading Detroit, winning 6-3 on Thursday behind Josh Phegley 's grand slam. The homer was Phegley's third in five games since making his big league debut.
The 22 runs were the most Chicago has scored in a series this year.
"You just keep going. It's a good feeling," manager Robin Ventura told the team's official website. "As low as it has been, you can have a series like this and beat a really good team."
Pettibone (5-3, 3.84 ERA) has posted a 2.35 ERA in his last four starts and won the past two, matching a season high with six strikeouts in each. He limited the Braves to one run over 5 1-3 innings of a 7-3 win Sunday.
The right-hander has had mixed results in two interleague starts, posting a 1-1 record and 4.63 ERA.
John Danks (0-2, 4.15) has gone 1-2 in his last three starts despite a 2.53 ERA in that span. Danks, who gave up three runs in seven innings of a 3-1 road loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, has received six runs of support in the three games.
Danks has gone 7-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 19 career interleague starts, but 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in three such outings this season.
The left-hander takes on a Phillies team that just took three of four at home from Washington, capped by a 3-1 win Thursday. Philadelphia (46-47) is on the verge of being .500 for the first time since it was 31-31 on June 7.
"It's a big win for us," said Kyle Kendrick , who gave up one run in seven innings.
Left-handed hitting Ben Revere , who went 2 for 4 on Thursday and is batting .436 during a nine-game hit streak, has a .455 average against lefties in his last 11 games. He's batting .362 against those pitchers this season.
Delmon Young , 0 for 3 for a second straight game, is batting .372 with two homers and four doubles off Danks.
The status of the White Sox's Alexei Ramirez is uncertain after he left Thursday's game with a cramp in his right leg. Ramirez, who has started all 89 games this season, is 7 for 18 over his last four contests.
"I'm going to wait until tomorrow, but I always come to the park to play," he told the team's official website. "I feel good after I got treatment and stuff like that."
|Chicago White Sox|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
|June 30, 2013||Jesse Crain||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|June 15, 2013||Alejandro De Aza||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 05, 2013||Jake Peavy||15-Day DL||Fractured rib - out 4-6 weeks|
|June 04, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Left game - Rib pain|
|July 06, 2013||Ryan Howard||15-Day DL||Left knee inflammation|
|June 24, 2013||Ryan Howard||Day-to-Day||Knee|
|June 23, 2013||Michael Stutes||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|June 22, 2013||Jonathan Pettibone||Day-to-Day||Back|
|June 20, 2013||Mike Adams||60-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|June 16, 2013||Jeremy Horst||15-Day DL||Strained left elbow|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox are going in different directions as they head into their final series before the All-Star break.
The Phillies, recently thought to be trade-deadline sellers like the White Sox, have played perhaps their best baseball of the season the past last two weeks. Philadelphia has won seven of 10 and now might be a buyer before the deadline.
Chicago (36-53) is in the cellar of the A.L. Central and will likely be a target for contending teams looking to add players for a late-season stretch drive.
The Phillies and White Sox got an unexpected Friday night off when rain postponed the opener of their weekend series. The game will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Saturday with games starting at 3:05 and 8:15 p.m.
The weather is the only thing that has slowed the Phillies lately.
"Our batting average has been going up," manager Charlie Manuel said Friday. "We've been improving as far as our offense, getting runners on base, things like that."
Philadelphia, which won five straight NL East titles from 2007-2011, has won four of its last five series, including taking two of three against division leaders Atlanta and Pittsburgh. The Phillies entered Friday 7 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East and need one win to get back to .500 for the first time since June 7.
White Sox left-hander John Danks (2-6, 4.31) will face right-hander Jonathan Pettibone (5-3, 3.84) in the doubleheader opener on Saturday. Chicago lefty Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.49) will take on Philadelphia's John Lannan (2-3, 4.23) in the nightcap.
Manuel hopes the Phillies can carry their hot play into the All-Star break.
"It would be real good if we could win a series before we go into the break," Manuel said. "It's what we need to do, start winning series. If you do that every day, you're right there, you're sitting in good position."
The White Sox began Friday with the third-worst record in baseball, and they trailed Detroit by 13 games in the AL Central. They will likely take a look at young players in the second half.
If that happens, manager Robin Ventura said winning won't be sacrificed for development.
"You try to teach them the right way to do things," Ventura said Friday. "Ultimately, it's to win the game. They have to learn how to win and get better at the same time. That's part of the process."
One young player who has shown promise for the White Sox is Josh Phegley , who was called up last week and homered in three of his first five games. He hit the go-ahead grand slam in Thursday's 6-3 victory over Detroit.
The Phillies also have been getting production from young players to climb within reach of playoff contention. Twenty-five year-old Ben Revere , who struggled at the start of the season, has batted .441 while hitting safely in 13 of his last 14 games. He raised his average from .200 on May 1 to .304.
Domonic Brown , who was selected to his first All-Star team, has been producing all season. He is hitting .281 with 23 homers and 64 RBIs after securing a job during spring training.
"I'm very proud of him," Manuel said. "He's come a long way. He made a big change. That's what gave him a chance to play, but he's the guy that did it. He's learned a whole lot in the time he's been here.
"He's very deserving. He was determined. He was going to win a job (in spring training)."
The Phillies hope Brown continues to produce. Manuel knows he will need it and more from the rest of the roster.
"It takes a very good team to compete, to win a division, to go to the World Series," Manuel said. "It takes a very solid baseball team."
NOTES: The White Sox placed right-hander Brian Omogrosso on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 29, with a right triceps strain. . Chicago has lost 29 of 41 and is 17-32 on the road this season. . The Phillies are 5-4 in the all-time series against the White Sox and have won all three meetings at Citizens Bank Park.