Chicago White Sox designated hitter Jake Burger has split the season between the major leagues and minor leagues, but he aims to maintain the same approach throughout.
"For me, it's just about playing baseball," said Burger, the White Sox's hero on Wednesday with a three-run homer that beat the Boston Red Sox 3-1. "I'm going to compete every day, no matter where I'm at."
The White Sox and Red Sox will play the rubber match of their three-game series on Thursday night in Chicago.
Recalled when Luis Robert landed on the COVID-19 injured list on Tuesday, Burger hit his third major league homer of the season in the fifth inning on Wednesday against Boston left-hander Rich Hill.
The Red Sox, after scoring 54 runs during a season-high, six-game winning streak, stranded 12 runners on Wednesday while going 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.
"It's one of those that, yeah, of course we've been hitting the ball hard in situations like that. (Tuesday's 16-3 win) was unreal," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "But OK, today, we only scored one, but the line was moving. We did a good job, and we gave more opportunities to the big boys. ...
"We're very pleased where we're at offensively. We're controlling the zone. I'd rather control the strike zone than expand it."
Michael Wacha (3-0, 1.76 ERA) is set to start Thursday for the Red Sox. The right-hander is coming off a no-decision against the Seattle Mariners on Friday. He allowed two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
Boston reinstated Wacha from the 15-day injured list before that game, as he had been out with soreness in his left side. As with many in attendance, Wacha beamed about the highlight of the game for Boston -- a Trevor Story grand slam that proved the difference in a 7-3 win and was caught by former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was seated atop Fenway Park's storied Green Monster.
"You feel like you show up to the ballpark every day and see something that you've never seen before," Wacha said. "That was that today, for sure."
Wacha is 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox, with 20 strikeouts and three home runs allowed in 15 innings.
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (2-4, 6.60) will aim to avoid his second straight loss as he gets the call for Chicago. Keuchel allowed six runs on six hits in four innings against the New York Yankees on Saturday while walking three. Keuchel failed to strike out a batter for the second time in seven starts this season.
In six career regular-season appearances against the Red Sox, including five starts, Keuchel is 2-1 with a 7.04 ERA. He also has made two starts against Boston in the postseason, going 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA.
The White Sox hope to learn more about the status of reliever Joe Kelly on Thursday. Kelly exited in the eighth inning of Wednesday's game because of left-hamstring tightness after striking out the only two batters he faced.
--Field Level Media