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MLB: Chicago White Sox at Cincinnati Reds
Lance Lynn tries to secure at least a series split tonight.
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

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Gamethread: White Sox at Royals

Three series wins in a row? Is that allowed?

Tonight, we learn whether the laws of physics will bend to allow the Chicago White Sox to win their third consecutive series. Somehow, it’s something they managed to do four times in the 2022 season, which certainly puts into perspective how far the team has fallen.

Lance Lynn goes to the mound for the South Siders to begin the newest chapter in what’s been a confounding season for the righthander. He enters Wednesday with a ghastly 6.86 ERA, the worst qualified mark in the league by more than a half-run. Yet at the same time, it’s hard to say that he’s pitched quite as poorly as that ERA reflects. He’s worked into the seventh inning in both of his last two outings, and while the four earned runs he’s given up in three straight starts aren’t great, it does mean that he’s at the very least keeping the Sox competitive, which was reflected in picking up his first W of the season his last time out against Cincinnati.

Kansas City counters with Brad Keller, who you’ll still remember largely as the jerk who got Tim Anderson suspended in 2019 because he couldn’t handle a little flippy-flip of the bat. It it impressive that he’ll still likely go down in Sox memory from said incident, because the White Sox have seen an awful lot of him in the time since: This will be his 17th start against the Pale Hose since the beginning of 2018, tying Shane Bieber for the second-most in than span and trailing only José Berríos (20). It’s been a mixed bag, running a 3.97 ERA in those 17 starts (plus three relief appearances), although the moribund Sox offense of 2022 got their say in, tagging him for 10 runs over eight innings in two appearances in August and September.

The White Sox lineup remains similar to the squads they’ve put out in recent days, even though they did announce four roster moves this afternoon, including Billy Hamilton to the 10-day IL, Alexander Colomé’s designation for assignment, and the recall of Jake Marisnick and Nicholas Padilla from Triple-A Charlotte to take their roster spots. Marisnick, signed to a minor-league deal this past offseason after spending parts of each of the last 10 years in the majors, is a speedy outfielder who plays excellent defense, but doesn’t have the stick of a consistent big-leaguer any longer. He had a relatively average .798 OPS in Charlotte, with one homer, nine knocked in, and eight steals. Claimed off of waivers from the Cubs last offseason, Padilla is a hard-throwing righthander who had allowed six earned runs in 14 innings with Charlotte (3.86 ERA).

Of note, Andrew Vaughn is a career 6-for-16 against Keller (.375 BA), and Gavin Sheets and Yasmani Grandal have both victimized him for home runs before, albeit without much other success. Kansas City will be going after Lynn with whatever counts as their “A” lineup these days.

First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. CT, as usual the game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago (TV) and WMVP AM 1000 (radio).

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