Having The Sox Number

A strong start has helped the Chicago White Sox overcome some of their struggles from last season, but beating the Oakland Athletics remains a problem.

The White Sox will try to beat the A's for the first time in six tries when the teams conclude their two-game series Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Chicago -112 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 60% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago –112 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.

Chicago (7-5) has lost five straight against Oakland (9-5), including a 2-1 loss on Monday. The White Sox are 18-43 versus the Athletics since the start of the 2001 season.

In his second career start, Greg Smith earned his first major league victory and Kurt Suzuki went 4-for-4 for the Athletics, who have won six of their last seven games and own the best record in the AL.

The A's scored their first run in the fourth inning, ending Chicago's streak of 22 straight scoreless innings. That stretch included back-to-back shutouts of Detroit on Saturday and Sunday, when the White Sox totaled 18 runs and 16 hits.

"Smith went out and pitched a great game. Somebody we'd never seen before," said right fielder Nick Swisher, who was acquired from Oakland in the offseason trade that sent left fielder Ryan Sweeney to the Athletics. "He had great command of his changeup.

"We had a couple of good chances to tie the game or maybe move ahead. It just didn't happen. We've been playing good baseball. ... Our sticks didn't come around."

Swisher went 2-for-3 against his former team, while A.J. Pierzynski added two hits, raising his average to .421 (16-for-38) this season for the White Sox, who have split the first six games on their rain-shortened seven-game homestand.

Chicago now hopes to avoid matching the six-game losing streak it had against Oakland from March 5, 2002-April 30, 2003.

The club will turn to the starter that most recently beat the Athletics, handing the ball to John Danks (0-1, 8.00 ERA).

In his lone appearance against the A's, the left-hander allowed three runs - one earned - and seven hits in six innings of a 10-4 victory on May 22 at U.S. Cellular Field, where he is 3-7 with a 6.58 ERA in 13 lifetime starts.

Danks, who turns 23 on Tuesday, is coming off a dismal outing in which he gave up seven runs and seven hits in 2 1-3 innings of Wednesday's 12-5 home loss to Minnesota.

It was a stark contrast to his debut, when he gave up one run and two hits in 6 2-3 innings, but did not receive a decision in a 2-1 victory at Cleveland on April 3.

Oakland, which begins an eight-game homestand following Tuesday's outing, will try for a third straight victory at Chicago behind Dana Eveland (1-0, 0.68).

The left-hander has been outstanding in his two starts this season, yielding one run and nine hits while striking out 13 in 13 1-3 innings.

He scattered three hits and struck out six in 6 1-3 scoreless innings of his team's 3-2, 12-inning victory at Toronto on Thursday.

Eveland, acquired in the eight-player offseason deal that sent right-hander Dan Haren to Arizona, has never faced the White Sox.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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