(Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox are aiming for their first three-game winning streak of the season when they resume a four-game series versus the Tampa Bay Rays Friday at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox ended a four-game losing streak by splitting a shortened set with Cleveland, then took Thursday's series opener with Tampa Bay by a 5-2 score behind a solid performance from Chris Sale. The left-hander was reached for two runs and four hits in seven innings to even his mark at 2-2.
"I think the last couple starts he's been in and out of consistency. Tonight, he worked his way through it, and in the end you're look at what you would expect from him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
White Sox closer Addison Reed stranded a runner in the ninth inning to pick up his seventh save of the season.
Adam Dunn clubbed a two-run homer and Jeff Keppinger had two hits and an RBI, while Paul Konerko and Conor Gillaspie each drove in one run for Chicago.
Chicago is 2-3 on the homestand and hopes to even the mark when Jake Peavy takes the mound Friday night. Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner, has thrown seven innings of one-run ball in each of his previous two outings, but did not receive a decision in Saturday's 2-1 loss in 10 innings to Minnesota.
"Ball was moving a little bit, but the command was not what you'd expect it to be or want it to be. But we battled," Peavy said afterward. "We had a chance to win but just couldn't quite finish it there."
Peavy struck out nine Twins and allowed a season-high four walks. He has fanned 20 batters in the previous two trips to the hill and is 2-1 with a 3.20 earned run average in four starts.
The right-hander has made four career starts against Tampa Bay and is 2-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 24 innings.
Tampa Bay didn't get its 10-game road swing off to a good start with Thursday's loss and had won six of eight games.
Jose Lobaton hit a solo homer and Evan Longoria added an RBI single for the Rays, who saw starter Jeremy Hellickson get touched for all five runs, including three in the first inning, on five hits over six innings. He struck out eight and walked four.
"It's kind of frustrating to fall behind early, but I feel good. I just have to make better pitches," Hellickson said.
The Rays still have Kansas City and Colorado to visit on the sojourn and will hand the ball to Roberto Hernandez on Friday. Hernandez had his best outing the last time out in an 8-1 win over Oakland on Sunday, when he struck out seven and yielded one run in six innings.
Hernandez had lost his first three starts. He has struck out at least seven batters three times this season and the right-hander formerly known as Fausto Carmona is 9-5 with a 5.48 ERA in 18 games (16) against the White Sox from his days with the Cleveland Indians.
The Rays lost four of seven matchups with the White Sox a year ago, dropping three of four at U.S. Cellular Field.