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Crosstown rivals Cubs, White Sox seek to improve sub-.500 records

Sportsnaut
Apr 30, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Chicago Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom (16) is unable to retire Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Hunter Renfroe (not pictured) who reaches on an infield hit in the fifth inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not surprising that the Chicago Cubs have a losing record while nearing the one-month point of the season.

It was certainly less predicted than the crosstown foe Chicago White Sox owning the same mark.

With each club sitting 9-13 and trying to win back-to-back games for the first time in more than two weeks, the visiting White Sox will look to continue their recent success over the Cubs on Tuesday night.

Coming off a 91-loss season and with few notable offseason acquisitions to strengthen their roster, the Cubs have lost nine of 12 following a 6-4 start. They’ve also managed five runs combined in the last four games and dropped five of six at home. The Cubs last won consecutive games April 17-18.

However, the Cubs have positives to build upon after Sunday’s 2-0 victory at Milwaukee. Marcus Stroman, their biggest offseason pickup, allowed two hits over seven innings while Patrick Wisdom — 4-for-12 in the last three games — clubbed his fourth home run.

“We’ve got a group that I believe can win a lot of baseball games,” Cubs manager David Ross told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“We try to win every game, but you can assess where you’re at, what kind of month you had, and try to improve.”

And although the White Sox lead this all-time city series 70-64, swept all three games at Wrigley Field last season and won seven of the last nine there, the rivalry is special for both clubs and their fan bases.

“I love that series,” Ross added. “It’s fun for the environment at Wrigley and on the South Side.”

The White Sox were favored to repeat as AL Central champions and started 6-2. However, they’ve averaged 2.6 runs, batted .206 and homered 10 times while going 3-11 since.

But, like the Cubs, the White Sox have some momentum after Dylan Cease allowed one hit and struck out 11 over seven innings in their 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. They last won two in a row April 15-16.

“Keep building off this win, keep competing with the crosstown coming up,” White Sox star Tim Anderson, who is 8-for-17 in the last four games.

“It’s always fun to compete with the guys from across town.”

Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.42 ERA) will take the mound for the White Sox on Tuesday. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs and struck out 18 with nine walks over 19 innings of his four starts.

However, Kopech has not lasted past the fifth inning in any start and received eight runs of support while physically on the mound in 2022.

Kopech will make his first start against the Cubs, who counter with Drew Smyly (1-2, 2.79 ERA). The left-hander threw 9 2/3 scoreless innings in his first two starts of the season, but he has allowed six runs, with four homers, through the same amount of innings to lose two since.

White Sox slugger Jose Abreu is 6-for-11 with two doubles and a homer versus Smyly. Abreu has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games. He is batting .423 (11-for-26) with seven home runs and 10 RBIs during a six-game hitting streak at Wrigley Field.

Meanwhile, Cubs rookie Seiya Suzuki gets his first taste of this series. The NL Rookie of the Month for April, Suzuki batted .429 in his first 10 games, but .182 in the last 12.

–Field Level Media