The Lineup: Slugging South Siders, slumping North Siders

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
White Sox

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Derek Jeter passed George Brett on the all-time hits list. Carlos Gonzalez had a two-homer day. Kendrys Morales was a triple shy of the cycle. Miguel Cabrera hit a clutch bomb. Yadier Molina hit a grand slam off Roy Halladay. But they're not part of The Lineup …

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White Sox's offense: In the course of a 12-6 thrashing of the Indians, Paul Konerko hit his 400th home run in White Sox uniform, Gordon Beckham went 4-for-4, and the team as a whole tallied 15 hits. Over the three-game sweep, Chicago scored a whopping 35 runs.

Jerry Hairston, Dodgers: On Sunday, Hairston went 5-for-5 with a double in the Dodgers' 5-1 win over Houston. The last Dodger to enjoy a 5-for-5 performance? Matt Kemp on August 2, 2010. On the season, Hairston is now hitting .381/.458/.524.

Sean Rodriguez, Rays: Rodriguez certainly isn't known for his bat, but on Sunday in Boston he went 2-for-4 with a clutch ninth-inning blast that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 Rays lead. It would hold up, and Tampa Bay was able to take two of three from their hated rivals.


Cubs' bullpen: By "Cubs' bullpen," we really mean "Rafael Dolis and Michael Bowden," who, against the Pirates and their otherwise punchless lineup, managed to give up four runs in only 1.0 inning of work. A 12-game losing streak has many culprits, but on Sunday it was the bullpen. The Cubs are now on pace for 110 losses this season.

Padres' offense: On Sunday, the Pads were blanked for a second-straight day by the Mets. Add it all up, and the Padres have scored only one run over their last 27 innings. Over the last two games, the Padres have had a total of just five runners in scoring position.

Shin-Soo Choo, Indians: In Sunday's loss to Chicago, Choo was the only starter on either team not to reach base. Choo went 0-for-5 on the day with two whiffs and six runners left on base. "Six" also happened to be Cleveland's margin of defeat.

On Deck

Beasts of the East: The Nationals and Marlins enter this key series occupying the top two spots in the rough-as-burlap NL East. Jordan Zimmermann opposes the revived Carlos Zambrano in the opener. After this three-game set, these two contenders won't meet again until after the All-Star break. 1:10 pm ET

The disappointments: While the Angels have received most of the attention for being a 2012 disappointment, let's not forget about the Tigers and Red Sox. Despite a slow opening two months, Detroit and Boston still have legitimate designs on contention. At some point, though, they'll need to go on a run. So here's a chance for one of these teams to begin a reversal of fortunes. Will the Tigers finally score some runs for Doug Fister? 1:35 pm ET

The contenders: The surging White Sox, winners of nine of their last 10, run into a test to start the week when they visit Tampa Bay, which finds itself tied for the lead in baseball's toughest division. The series opener also features to gifted young hurlers, as Chris Sale opposes Matt Moore. 3:10 pm ET

Memorial Day probables for all games

What's Hot

"Thank you, gentlemen": That's Marty Noble's closing line to this piece recalling the ultimate sacrifices of Elmer John Gedeon and Harry Mink O'Neill, the two major leaguers who died in combat during World War II.

Let's play two: Over at the Atlantic, Harry D. Fetter examines the death of what was once a steady baseball tradition: the Memorial-Day doubleheader. According to Fetter, the main culprit is MLB's westward expansion.

Baseball, we have a problem: Over at SBN, Wendy Thurm wonders when MLB will get around to addressing its DUI problem. Thurm notes that the new collective-bargaining agreement provides a very weak framework for disciplining players who drink and drive. It's way past time for MLB to get serious about what's certainly a greater social ill than PED use.

Look under your sofa cushions: While buying, say, the Yankees or Dodgers is out of reach for most rank-and-file fans, what about a minor-league franchise in the California League? Best estimates tab the cost at a much more reasonable $10 million. So empty your change jar and make it happen. (Visalia Times-Delta)

Florida's team: File this under "merely somewhat surprising" … The most popular major-league team in Florida, according to a Quinnipiac University poll, is the Yankees. The Rays and Marlins finished second and third, respectively. [AP]

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