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Chicago at Toronto

Venue: Rogers Centre

Chris Sale has been as hittable as he ever has in his last two starts. It still hasn't resulted in a loss.

The Chicago White Sox ace will try to return to his typically dominant form Saturday against the host Toronto Blue Jays.

Sale (6-1, 2.27 ERA) has surrendered 19 hits in 12 innings over his last two starts after entering that stretch with a .152 opponents' batting average. Still, it's only resulted in five earned runs and a 1-0 record.

He allowed a career-high 11 hits but only two runs while matching a career low with three strikeouts in six innings of Monday's 6-4 loss in Baltimore.

"You don't see somebody get out of that many messes," manager Robin Ventura told MLB's official website. "But he was in quite a bit of a mess the entire game."

Sale is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA in one start and three relief appearances against Toronto (45-37).

The Chicago bullpen could also use some improvement. After nearly blowing Friday's 5-4 win in Toronto, Chicago relievers have a 5.27 ERA over the last 15 games.

Sale and the bullpen likely won't have to contend with Jose Bautista, who is scheduled to test his ailing left hamstring before Saturday's contest with Sunday as a more plausible return date.

"I wouldn't expect (him to play Saturday)," manager John Gibbons said. "Let him run around, get his treatment and hopefully the next day. That'd be my guess. He'll heat it up, and then you cool off waiting to play the game. You never know how that affects you. You don't want a setback."

Without Bautista, the Blue Jays are 3-2 while scoring 5.8 runs per game. Melky Cabrera collected two hits Friday and is batting .400 over his last 10 while Edwin Encarnacion has gone 10 for 22 over six games.

The offense didn't hold up Friday because of a power surge from the White Sox's Cuban contingency. Jose Abreu hit two home runs while Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo also went deep, marking the first time in MLB history that a Cuban-born trio of teammates has homered in a game.

Abreu has six home runs and 12 RBIs while batting .366 in his last 10 games, and after Encarnacion also homered, the two players are tied with the Orioles' Nelson Cruz for the major league lead with 25 home runs.

The White Sox are 7-1 when Ramirez homers, 6-1 when Viciedo homers and 4-0 when Abreu hits two. Abreu is just the second player to have four multihomer efforts in his first 67 career games.

"Today was a very important win, especially the way we've been playing," Abreu said through a translator. "It was important to regain rhythm as a team."

The White Sox (37-44) won for the fourth time in 15 games and are last in the AL Central while Toronto remains atop the AL East. The Blue Jays will try to retain their 1 1/2-game lead over Baltimore with Marcus Stroman taking the mound.

Stroman (4-2, 4.25 ERA), who has never faced the White Sox, is looking for a follow-up effort to his best start of the year. The rookie yielded a run and three hits while striking out a career-high seven in eight innings of Monday's 8-3 victory over the New York Yankees.

Since entering the rotation at the end of May, he's gone 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA in five starts.

Chicago center fielder Adam Eaton was held out of the lineup Friday after leaving Thursday's game in the first inning with left leg cramps.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

C. Sale
Chi. White Sox 2014 stats Toronto
2-0 Wins-Losses 1-1
19.0 Innings Pitched 18.1
3.32 Earned Run Average 2.45
7 Walks 6
16 Strikeouts 15
1.58 WHIP 0.82

M. Stroman
Probable Pitchers
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Chi White Sox4th AL Central7884.48116 ½ 6-4 L 2
Toronto2nd AL East8973.54946-4 W 2

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