Boston Red Sox (6-9) at Chicago White Sox (8-7)
Thursday, April 17 - 8:10 PM EST
U.S Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois
A pair of ace left-handers square off Thursday in Chicago when Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox matches up against the White Sox's Chris Sale. Lester won his last start but remains desperate for run support after the Boston bats produced five total runs in his first three outings. However, it's not likely that the Red Sox offense will break through against Sale, who has won all three of his starts and has held current Boston players to three hits in 25 career at-bats.
Both teams could use a long outing from their starters, as Wednesday night's contest lasted more than five hours before Jackie Bradley Jr.'s two-run double in the 14th provided the decisive runs. The squads combined to use 16 pitchers, including Chicago infielder Leury Garcia, who took the loss after allowing two walks and Bradley's double in the 14th. The White Sox need much better control from their pitchers, as nine hurlers combined to issue 15 walks in Wednesday's contest.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), CSN-Plus (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Jon Lester (1-2, 2.57 ERA) vs. White Sox LH Chris Sale (3-0, 2.66)
Lester has allowed two earned runs in all three of his starts in 2014, including Friday's outing at Yankee Stadium in which he threw a season-high 113 pitches over 6 2/3 innings. Lester is 4-5 lifetime against Chicago with a 5.43 ERA - his highest against any opponent he has faced at least 10 times. A pair of White Sox righties with terrific career numbers against Lester are Paul Konerko (10-for-25, three homers) and Dayan Viciedo (5-for-11, home run).
Somewhat surprisingly, Sale has never started a game against the Red Sox. The 25-year-old southpaw has faced Boston in relief five times, but not since 2011, and has not allowed a run in 5 2/3 career innings against the Red Sox. Sale is coming off the least effective of his three starts this season, as he yielded three runs and six hits in five innings of Friday's 9-6 triumph versus Cleveland.
1. Left-handed batters are hitting .200 against Lester this season while Sale has not given up a hit in 17 plate appearances (15 at-bats) by lefties.
2. Chicago SS Alexei Ramirez has hit safely in all 15 games this season.
3. Dustin Pedroia had two of Boston's six hits on Wednesday.
PREDICTION: White Sox 4, Red Sox 2