Rangers-White Sox Preview
Coming off a nomadic 2015 season, Mat Latos seems quite comfortable in his new home.
The rejuvenated right-hander looks to continue a stellar stretch from White Sox starters and pitch surprising Chicago to a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Plagued by knee troubles and banished to the bullpen by the end of last season, Latos (3-0, 0.49 ERA) has been an early revelation during his short time with Chicago. The three-time 14-game winner has yielded one run through 18 1/3 innings in three White Sox victories while helping his new team lead the AL with a 2.35 ERA.
Latos posted a career-worst 4.95 ERA and finished 4-10 with three teams in 2015, causing him to remain on the market until signing with Chicago shortly before spring training.
The move has paid off so far, as Latos has allowed three hits or less while working at least six innings in all three outings. He held the Los Angeles Angels to two hits over 6 1/3 innings to win his U.S. Cellular Field debut 5-0 on Tuesday.
''Fastball command has been there. Slider is really good,'' he said. ''I made pitches when I needed to.''
He's fit in well in a rotation that's combined for a 1.09 ERA over the last five games. Chicago (12-6) posted its second shutout during that run behind Jose Quintana's seven-inning gem in a 5-0 win in Friday's opener.
The White Sox are still struggling somewhat at the plate, though Todd Frazier homered for the third time in five games and Jose Abreu delivered a bases-loaded RBI single in the 11th inning in Saturday's 4-3 victory.
Frazier is 6 for 18 after hitting .154 over the first 13 games and Abreu ended an 0-for-18 slump with his game-winning hit.
''You're always looking for a silver lining that makes you feel good,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ''Josie getting a hit right there, it's something to build off of. ... That's a step in the right direction.''
Texas (10-8), which entered the series with four straight wins, received six innings of one-run ball from Colby Lewis and forced extras with a run off David Robertson in the ninth.
''That's a great character builder for a ballclub that's going to continue to battle and fight through games,'' manager Jeff Banister said of his team. ''If you were a fan and you walk away unsatisfied, you don't like baseball.''
Derek Holland (2-0, 2.70) will attempt to prevent a fifth straight Rangers loss in Chicago and build off his latest effective outing. After working 6 2/3 innings in an 8-0 win at Seattle on April 12, the left-hander held Houston to two runs in a 105-pitch, five-inning stint in Tuesday's 7-5 victory.
Holland faces Chicago for the first time since April 7, 2012, and is 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in three prior starts against the White Sox.
Melky Cabrera, 5 for 8 with a homer and four runs scored for the series, is 4 for 15 against Holland.
Texas' Adrian Beltre is hitting .435 over a six-game hitting streak and Rougned Odor is batting .357 with seven RBIs over his last eight. Odor homered off Latos in the latter's relief outing with the Angels on October 3.
Chicago last swept a three-game set from Texas July 3-5, 2012 at home.