AL contenders A’s, White Sox to meet for first time this season

National Sports

The Oakland Athletics and host Chicago White Sox each will try to bounce back from a loss in their most recent game when they meet Monday night to open a four-game series.

Chicago is coming off a 5-3 loss against the New York Yankees on Sunday. The White Sox dropped two of three games against New York and have dropped two series in a row, but they remain comfortably atop the American League Central standings.

Meanwhile, Oakland wants to move past a 7-4 loss to the Texas Rangers on Sunday. The A’s have won eight of their past 10 games to climb within 2 1/2 games of the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West.

In the series opener, White Sox left-hander Dallas Keuchel (7-6, 4.51 ERA) is scheduled to make his 24th appearance and 23rd start of the season. He has gone five straight starts without a victory, and in his last outing, he allowed four runs on four hits in six innings in a loss to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.

“Three walks in the first inning, right? That’s where he struggled,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “After that, he pitched outstanding, was getting guys out. Then he made a mistake. After the first inning, he was in control and gave us a chance to win.”

Keuchel, 33, is 6-6 with a 3.06 ERA in 22 games (20 starts) against Oakland during his career. He has not faced the A’s since 2018, when he went 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA over a span of four starts.

The A’s will counter with right-hander Frankie Montas (9-8, 3.98 ERA), who is looking for his career-high 10th win. Montas’ nine victories match his 2019 total with Oakland.

Montas, 28, has turned in six quality starts in a row. He is coming off a strong performance against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, when he allowed one run on two hits in six innings but came away with a no-decision as the White Sox won 6-3.

“Frankie was fantastic,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after the performance. “He started out pretty much like (fellow starter Sean Manaea) did (Tuesday). Second inning, he got through it. After that, he was fantastic.

“He’s coming into his own where, maybe in the past, it would snowball on him a little bit and maybe he doesn’t have an answer for it. He has an answer for it now.”

Although Montas has appeared in 93 games (63 starts) during his career, this will be his first regular-season matchup against the White Sox. He did log two innings of relief work against Chicago during the American League wild-card matchup in 2020. He gave up one run on two hits, walked none and struck out two.

This will be the first series of the regular season between the A’s and White Sox. They are scheduled to meet for three more games in Oakland from Sept. 7-9.

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories