The Cleveland Indians will try to bounce back from their sixth shutout loss of the season when they meet the Chicago White Sox for the second game of a three-game series Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
Cleveland (64-51) has experienced a wild stretch in the past few days. The Indians enjoyed back-to-back walk-off wins on Wednesday and Thursday to cap their series against the Minnesota Twins, but then they experienced the opposite feeling in Friday's series opener with a walk-off 1-0 loss.
White Sox outfielder Daniel Palka slammed his 18th home run on a 1-2 count to secure the win in the bottom of the ninth. The 26-year-old rookie will look to stay hot for Chicago (42-73) after hitting his first career game-ending homer.
"You guys have seen it as I've seen it," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said to reporters. "He's had big moments throughout the time he's been here with us (whether it is) pinch hitting or in this instance, his last at-bat of the game. But he continues to go out there. He has fun. He wants to do damage."
Meanwhile, the Indians could be without one of their top sluggers. Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion exited the opener with a left biceps injury, and his status is uncertain for Saturday's game.
"He's been overcompensating because of the bruise on his hand, and we just didn't want to have him take one swing and then you can't undo something," Indians manager Terry Francona said to reporters when asked to elaborate upon the injury. "We'll get him checked out and know more tomorrow."
Regardless of whether Encarnacion plays, Francona will have the benefit of having one of his best starters on the mound Saturday.
Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer (11-6, 2.25 ERA) will make his 25th start of the season. He has a whopping 206 strikeouts in 159 2/3 innings this season, which already marks a single-season high for the 27-year-old out of UCLA.
Bauer pitched six scoreless innings and struck out 11 batters his last time out against the Twins on Monday. He has 10 starts this year with at least 10 strikeouts, and he has four starts with at least a dozen whiffs.
In 16 career appearances (14 starts) against the White Sox, Bauer is 7-3 with a 3.28 ERA. He has walked 31 and struck out 109 in 90 2/3 innings during that span. The only team he has more victories against in his career is the Detroit Tigers (eight).
He has started two games against the White Sox this season and is 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA in those games.
The White Sox will counter with right-hander James Shields (4-13, 4.50 ERA), who will make his 25th start. The 36-year-old needs two more strikeouts to reach 2,200 for his career.
In his most recent outing, Shields allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. He is winless in his past four starts and is seeking his first victory since July 13.
This will be Shields' 22nd career start against Cleveland. In his previous 21 outings versus the Indians, he has a 5-7 record with a 3.86 ERA. He has walked 35 and struck out 131 in 128 1/3 innings.
In his only start against the Indians this season, Shields allowed just one run in seven innings and picked up the win in Chicago's 5-1 victory on June 12.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has hit safely in 16 of his past 18 games. He is hitting .366 (26-for-71) in that stretch.