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Gamethread: White Sox at Red Sox

Sox face off with an old frienemy to kick off series with other Sox

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox begin to wrap up their final road trip of the season tonight, when they’ll take on the Red Sox in Boston for the first of a three-game set at Fenway Park. The White Sox are 2-1 this year against their crimson counterparts, having take two of three in their series at Guaranteed Rate Field in late June. The White Sox have added a total of three series wins to their ledger in the nearly three months since that time. Boston hasn’t been a world-beater in that team either, with a record under .500, but we’ll take their last place record over our second-to-last-place record any day of the week.

Boston is sending Chris Sale to the hill, making the 19th start of what’s been a difficult campaign. He’s already thrown twice as many innings this year as he did from 2020-22 combined, and while his trademark gaudy strikeout totals are still there, his ERA sits at a career-worst 4.66 because he fastball, which once touched the upper-nineties with regularity, just doesn’t have a ton of juice anymore. This will be the fifth time the Sox have faced Sale since sending him to Boston, and the first time since the 2019 season. The previous four starts were a mixed bag, sandwiching a pair of five-inning, five-run outings around 14 innings of one-run mastery. Given that it’s been four years, it’ll be almost like they’re seeing him for the first time, as Elvis Andrus is still the only member of the Sox with more than a handful of plate appearances against him.

The Sox are countering with Touki Toussaint, who makes his 15th start of the season for the Pale Hose after a very solid five innings his last time out, striking out eight Twins and walking just one. At this point, we know what we’re getting out Touki: A nice curveball that’s going to get a few share of whiffs, a splitter that does a pretty good job with left handers, and a fastball/sinker combo that opposing hitters have a field day with. Trevor Story is the only member of the Red Sox who’s seen him before, so perhaps that will work to his advantage this evening.

In other news, the team officially shut down Michael Kopech’s season today, placing him on the 15-day IL and announcing that he’d undergone a procedure to remove a cyst from his knee. Recovery time is expected to be 6-8 weeks, and righthander Yohan Ramírez was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to take his spot on the roster. The team also officially announced the spate of front office hires that others reported this week, introducing Josh Barfield as assistant GM, Brian Bannister as senior pitching advisor, and Gene Watson as director of player personnel.

First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. CT, and as per usual, the game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago and ESPN AM 1000. See you in the comments!