Sox streak into series vs. Cubs

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN, STAFF RE­PORTER dvan­schouwen@sun­times.com | @CST_­sox­van

The White Sox play the Cubs six times this sea­son, in­clud­ing three po­ten­tially in­vig­o­rat­ing high­stakes games on the fi­nal week­end at Guar­an­teed Rate Field, but the first taste of the 2020 crosstown skir­mish is this week­end with three at Wrigley Field.

Fans or no fans, the series is live­lier when the stakes are higher for both teams, which is the case right now with play­off pos­si­bil­i­ties seen as rea­son­able goals for the first time in years.

“Will it be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent with­out hav­ing the fans out there? Yeah, ab­so­lutely,” said Sox man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria, whose team has won five in a row.

Ren­te­ria, who was let go by the Cubs five years ago be­fore land­ing on his feet with the Sox, brings his best team to Wrigley as Sox man­ager.

“I hope to have a lit­tle bit more fun, for sure,” he said.

Ren­te­ria is only one of many in the or­ga­ni­za­tion who take par­tic­u­lar joy in beat­ing the Cubs, from own­er­ship and the front of­fice down to the play­ers.

“As far as tal­ent, I don’t think we’re lack­ing there com­pared to that team any­more,” right-han­der

Lu­cas Gi­olito said. “For us, there is that cer­tain level of pride play­ing that team from the North Side. I’m look­ing for­ward to this series; it’s go­ing to be a lot of fun. It does suck not hav­ing the fans. The Chicago fans re­ally get up for that one, but it is what it is.”

Dal­las Keuchel op­poses Jon Lester on Fri­day, the Cubs’ Kyle

Hendricks will be matched up against an un­named Sox starter Satur­day and Yu Darvish faces

Dylan Cease, whom the Sox ac­quired from the Cubs.

Rey­naldo Lopez, who hasn’t pitched since he left his first start in the first in­ning with a sore shoul­der, is a pos­si­bil­ity for Satur­day.

“He’s get­ting close,” Ren­te­ria said.

Satur­day would be Gio Gon­za­lez’s turn, but Ren­te­ria would not say why the lefty, who dealt with shoul­der is­sues of his own last sea­son and was slow ramp­ing up this spring, is not sched­uled to take it.

But “Gio’s do­ing fine,” Ren­te­ria said. “I spoke to Gio; he is do­ing ex­cel­lent. You will see how we pro­ceed.”

Robert sits out again

Af­ter cen­ter fielder Luis

Robert left Tues­day’s game with a sore thumb, Ren­te­ria didn’t rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of the rookie play­ing the next day. But Robert missed his sec­ond straight start Thurs­day.

“He’s do­ing very, very well,” Ren­te­ria said. “Mov­ing around, squeez­ing, do­ing ev­ery­thing. You’re go­ing to see him soon, I’ll say hope­fully by to­mor­row.”

Dun­ning back to Schaum­burg

Af­ter mak­ing an en­cour­ag­ing de­but in a 5-3 win Wed­nes­day, right-han­der Dane Dun­ning re­turned to Schaum­burg. With days off Mon­day and Thurs­day, Dun­ning might not be needed any­way, and the Sox are be­ing care­ful with his work­load.

Dun­ning, like Michael Kopech, Car­los Rodon and Jimmy Lam­bert, is coming off Tommy John surgery, and pa­tience and cau­tion likely will be ex­er­cised. Kopech opted out of this sea­son, and Rodon and Lam­bert went on the in­jured list af­ter two ap­pear­ances.

Ren­te­ria of­fered no in­di­ca­tion of when Dun­ning, who threw 73 pitches in 4⅓ in­nings of three-run ball with seven strike­outs, will pitch again.

“He’s go­ing to keep work­ing [at Schaum­burg], then we’ll see where we’re at when we get to that point again,” Ren­te­ria said.

Del­monico’s back

Out­fielder Nicky Del­monico was called up to fill the ros­ter spot va­cated by Dun­ning.

JEFF HAYNES/AP

Tim An­der­son (right) re­ceives con­grat­u­la­tions from Jose Abreu af­ter hit­ting a solo home run in the fourth in­ning.

JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IM­AGES

Eloy Jimenez, who hit his eighth homer in the eighth in­ning, smacks a sin­gle in the sixth.

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