Brett Lawrie went hard to the finish line of the White Sox’ 19-day stretch without an off day, belting home runs in each of the last three games Friday through Sunday in Baltimore.
The Sox got a much-needed off day Monday before their six-game homestand which begins Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox and continues with a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins. Lawrie has played every inning of every game at second base.
“It’s a long stretch, especially when you only have one off day in the month,’’ Lawrie said. “It calls for a full-group effort, and it’s a good opportunity to boys to come out every single day and give it our all. Going into May, we have to continue forward and keep having fun as a group.’’
Acquired in an offseason trade from the Oakland A’s, Lawrie is hitting .290/.377/.505 with four homers and 10 RBI. After drawing 28 walks in 602 plate appearances with the A’s last season, Lawrie already has 12 walks.
Jose Quintana (3-1, 1.47) makes his sixth start Tuesday night and takes a 5-1 record and 1.49 ERA over his last 10 starts into the game. Quintana is 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in five career starts against the Red Sox, who have 23 hits in 33 2/3 innings against the left-hander
The Sox have several batting practice pitchers and manager Robin Ventura is still one of them, and not just for something to do. Ventura likes getting a look at his hitters from that angle.
“And I’m good at it,’’ Ventura said. “I get requested.’’
“Throwing strikes. Most of the [BP] pitchers, if a guy hits a home run off them, they throw a little sinker or cutter. I don’t care. I have no qualms about them taking me deep.’’
This and that
The Sox’ winning ways are paying off at the box office. A Sox spokesperson said the team has sold about 100,000 tickets over the last week, the highest this season for groups, individual and season tickets.
*Chris Sale was 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in April but that wasn’t good enough for the AL Pitcher of the Month Award. That went to the Detroit Tigers’ Ryan Zimmerman (5-0, 0.55 ERA). Zimmerman had 23 strikeouts in 33 innings. Sale, the only other pitcher to receive votes, had 32 strikeouts and five walks in 38 innings.
*Probables for Red Sox series:
RED SOX AT WHITE SOX
7:10, CSN, 890-AM, 1200-AM
Steven Wright (2-2, 1.37) vs. Jose Quintana (3-1, 1.47)
7:10, Ch. 50/ESPN, 890-AM, 1200-AM
Clay Buchholz (0-3, 6.51) vs. John Danks (0-4, 7.25)
7:10, CSN+, 890-AM, 1200-AM
Henry Owens (0-0, 4.82) vs. Carlos Rodon (1-3, 4.33)