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Reply To: MLB Previews, Articles, Info, etc, Tuesday 9/15/15

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Preview: Athletics (61-83) at White Sox (68-74)

Game: 2
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field
Date: September 15, 2015 8:10 PM EDT

Jeff Samardzija might have a better home record if he could only keep the ball in Chicago’s South Side park.

Plagued by the long ball, the right-hander tries to avoid becoming the first White Sox pitcher in 46 years to lose seven straight home starts Tuesday night against the Oakland Athletics.

Samardzija (9-12, 4.89 ERA) allowed three home runs while going 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in his first eight starts at U.S. Cellular Field. Since then, he’s served up 11 to go 0-6 with an 8.33 ERA. No White Sox pitcher has dropped seven consecutive starts at home since Tommy John in 1969.

‘If you’re going to miss location, it’s hard to keep it in the yard,’ Chicago manager Robin Ventura said about Samardzija, who has allowed a career-high 26 home runs this year. ‘That’s been tough for him in the last couple (starts), being able to keep that in the yard and limit things.’

Since the beginning of August, Samardzija is 1-7 with a 7.91 ERA overall. He gave up two solo homers and two other runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-4 home loss to Cleveland on Wednesday.

Samardzija allowed a two-run homer – the first of Max Muncy’s career – plus one other run in eight innings of a 7-3 victory May 17 in his first appearance against an Oakland team he went 5-6 with a 3.14 ERA in 16 starts for last season.

He’ll try to help Chicago (68-74) win two straight at home for the first time since a four-game run Aug. 5-12 after Monday’s 8-7 victory over the A’s in 14 innings. Melky Cabrera’s fourth hit of the night was a game-winning single that came five innings after the White Sox blew a four-run lead in the ninth.

‘Bullpen-wise, they did great. They were able to keep it going until we finally scored,’ Ventura said. ‘But you’re more than disappointed with how the ninth went.’

Cabrera is 6 for 12 in his last two games after going 0 for 15 in his previous four. He’s batting .409 with three RBIs in four games against Oakland (61-83) this season.

Chicago hopes to add to the recent misery of Aaron Brooks (1-3, 7.44), who has allowed 11 runs and 14 hits in 6 1-3 innings to lose his last two starts.

‘I have to keep trying to get better every day,” the rookie right-hander said after lasting four-plus innings in an 11-5 loss to Houston on Wednesday. “Getting the ball down would be big.’

While Brooks makes his first appearance against the White Sox, his teammates hope for more production after they recorded six hits all night while falling to 3-9 in September. Brett Lawrie had two of those hits and one of Oakland’s three home runs.

“That was a very hard-fought game,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

Marcus Semien went 0 for 6 with two strikeouts and left three of his teammates on base. Part of the December deal that brought Samardzija to Chicago, Semien is 3 for 7 against him.