Braves-White Sox preview
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox will look to stay hot in their final game before the All-Star break on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves.
After Saturday's 5-4 win against the Braves, the White Sox (45-42) have won five of their last seven games and eight of their last 12. They are 9-5 in their last 14 contests at U.S. Cellular Field.
Atlanta (30-58) will try to salvage the series after an 11-8 win over the White Sox in Friday's opener. The Braves are 2-4 on their trip and 17-24 away from home this season.
Third baseman Todd Frazier has been a big reason for Chicago's recent success. Frazier has homered in back-to-back games and leads the team with 25 home runs before the break.
The last two White Sox players with 25 home runs before the All-Star Game were Adam Dunn in 2012 and Jermaine Dye in 2006.
"I feel stronger, I feel more relaxed, a little quicker swing," Frazier said. "For me, it's hitting good pitches. I say this all the time, if I'm swinging outside the zone, I'm going to have some trouble. I feel really good at the plate right now."
Right-hander James Shields (4-9, 5.67 ERA) will make his 18th start of the season and his seventh start with the White Sox. The 34-year-old is 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his last three starts after a miserable stint in which he went 0-3 with a 24.62 ERA in his previous four outings.
Shields has not faced Atlanta this season. In his career against the Braves, he is 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA in four starts. He has allowed 24 hits, issued seven walks and struck out 24 batters in 23 1/3 innings.
For the Braves, right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (2-3, 4.29 ERA) will make his ninth and final start before the All-Star break. The 24-year-old Foltynewicz never has faced the White Sox.
Foltynewicz has been susceptible to the long ball. He allowed four home runs in five innings in his most recent start July 5 against Philadelphia, and he has given up 11 home runs in 42 innings this season.
Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said Foltynewicz possessed terrific natural ability.
"Crazy arm, God given arm," said Flowers, who strained his left hand Saturday and is unlikely to play in the series finale. "He's got some of the best stuff I've ever seen.
"He's a guy where it's a work in progress, working with his mentality, trying to get him to grow in that area to allow his talent to come out and work for him. The only time he gets in trouble is when he gets frustrated, he starts over throwing and gets flat in spots or falling behind guys."
White Sox closer David Robertson probably will not be available for Sunday's game because of a strained muscle in his upper left leg. Robertson sat out Saturday as fellow reliever Nate Jones recorded four outs to pick up his third save of the season.
"Doctors are saying a couple of days, so I'm thinking right after the All-Star break, I'll be ready to roll," Robertson said.