(Photo credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Teams trending in all the wrong directions will meet Friday night when the visiting Chicago White Sox open a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox (75-78) have lost six of their last seven games and 12 of their last 15. They're in last place in the American League East and three games below .500 for the first time since the second week of the season.
The White Sox (58-95) have lost nine of their last 12 games and are 37 games below the .500 mark for the first time since 2018.
Both teams are coming off lopsided losses Wednesday. Boston allowed a season-high run total in a 15-5 setback against Texas, while Washington beat Chicago 13-3.
Boston's Brayan Bello allowed eight runs in three innings during Wednesday's loss. It was the most runs a Red Sox starting pitcher has given up in a game this season.
"Not a good one," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "They put some good swings on pitches in the zone, the command was off, and it's one of those that we have to turn the page and be ready for the next one.
"That's a team that, similar to Toronto, Houston, the Dodgers, it's a fast-break offense, and when they get going it's hard to stop. And we weren't able to do that (Wednesday)."
Boston committed its 100th error of the season Wednesday when Rafael Devers made a fielding miscue in the fifth inning. Red Sox second baseman Luis Urias left the game with calf tightness after beating out an infield single in the seventh inning.
The White Sox surrendered 14 hits in Wednesday's loss, which dropped the team's road record to 28-50. The Nationals scored in six of the eight innings they came to the plate.
"We didn't pitch very well, and we didn't hit," White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. "Nine free passes (seven walks and two hit batters), a couple errors. There's not much to really talk about in this game."
Left-hander Chris Sale (6-4, 4.66 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for Boston on Friday against his former club. Righthander Touki Toussaint (4-7, 5.40) is Chicago's probable starter.
Toussaint is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in his career against the Red Sox. His only start against Boston came in 2018 when he was a member of the Atlanta Braves.
Toussaint struck out eight in five innings during Saturday's 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Sale spent six seasons with the White Sox before he was traded to the Red Sox in 2016 for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz. He's 2-1 with a 3.96 ERA in four career starts against his former team. He recorded 39 strikeouts in 25 innings during those four starts.
Sale had a no-decision in his last start, that ended in the Red Sox's 4-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday. He allowed a run on two hits and walked two in six-plus innings, with 10 strikeouts. Sale has given up two runs or fewer in seven of his last 11 starts.
"Obviously, we're in a tough situation," Sale said. "At least we can go out there and play for pride, and I'm not going to give up. We're not going to cash it in."
--Field Level Media