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When surging Texas goes for a three-game sweep of the visiting Chicago White Sox on Sunday at Globe Life Park in Arlington http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-antonio-callaway-jersey , Texas, Cole Hamels, the pitcher the Rangers expected to be their bell cow in this season of rebuilding, will be on the mound.
It remains to be seen how much longer Hamels (4-6, with a 3.61 ERA) stays in that position. He could, instead, be a huge piece to the puzzle in a trade that would net more prospects for a team in dire need of them.
The White Sox will send right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (3-5, 3.73 ERA) to the mound in the series finale.
The Rangers beat Chicago 13-4 on Saturday behind five solid innings from the ageless Bartolo Colon, a three-run double from Robinson Chirinos, a home run from Joey Gallo and a seven-run eighth inning.
Texas was without designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo on Saturday as he battles right quad soreness and was given the night off.
Choo said his upper quad has been bothering him over the past 10 days, but he’s played through it well enough to extend his streak of reaching base to 41 straight games, tops in the Major Leagues this season. It’s also tied with Toby Harrah (1985) for the third-longest single-season streak in club history.
“I felt like it was an opportunity to get him off his legs, give him a day http://www.chiefsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-armani-watts-jersey ,” manager Jeff Banister told mlb.com about Choo’s absence from the starting lineup. “He’s played through it for a while.”
Choo underwent an MRI at his own request on Saturday and said afterward he does not believe the injury is serious.
“I know I have the streak going on, but my body and staying healthy is more important,” Choo said. “And winning games is more important than records. I don’t want to make it worse. I don’t think it’s serious.”
Chicago is another team building from the ground up but already has its second baseman of the future, Yoan Moncada, on the field as an everyday player. Moncada, who was acquired from Boston as part of the trade that sent Chris Sale to the Red Sox, has struggled through the first half of the season, hitting just .225 after batting .231 in 54 games last season.
He also has a team-high 13 errors at second base.
“I did not expect to have as many tough, difficult moments as I’ve been having,” Moncada told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’ve learned that this is a process, it’s something young guys have to get used to. You can’t get frustrated at any point. If you keep your faith in what you do, you’re going to be good.”
Lopez will make his 17th start of the season, 10th on the road and second against the Rangers this season when he takes the hill on Sunday. He is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA over his past three road starts. His last time out Adam Boqvist Blackhawks Jersey , on June 26, Lopez earned the win versus Minnesota, allowing four runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings in an 8-4 Chi-Sox victory.
Lopez is receiving a 3.45 run support average this season, the ninth-lowest in the AL. He will be making his third career start against the Rangers and second at Globe Life Park.
Lopez garnered the win in his last start against Texas on May 20 in Chicago, pitching eight scoreless innings.
Hamels will also make his 17th start of the season and leads all Texas starters in ERA (3.61), starts (16), innings (97 1/3), and strikeouts (97). He has gone 3-2 with a 3.28 ERA in his nine starts since May 5 to lower his ERA from 4.08 to 3.61.
Hamels will be working on five days’ rest and last worked and took a no-decision in the Rangers’ 7-4 win on Monday at home against San Diego. He allowed a season-high nine hits in that game, exiting after trailing 4-1 in the sixth, ending a streak of eight straight starts six-plus or more innings pitched.
Hamels has gone 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox, recording quality starts in three of those four outings.
J.R. Smith reached out, placed his hands on Al Horford’s back and shoved Boston’s big man out of bounds.
It was the only time Smith was on target.
Smith’s shoddy performance in Game 2 – he missed all seven shots and committed a flagrant 1 foul in 27 forgettable minutes – underscored a startling disparity between Cleveland’s and Boston’s starting backcourts that allowed the fearless Celtics to withstand a brilliant, 42-point effort by LeBron James and take a 2-0 series lead.
Smith and point guard George Hill were outscored 41-3 by Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier Hernan Perez Milwaukee Brewers Jersey , who were faster, hungrier and maybe tougher.
”I don’t think tougher,” Smith said afterward, showing better defensive instincts than during the game. ”They made shots, we missed shots at the end of the day. We had some good looks, they didn’t fall. For them playing on their home court, they fell. It’s a matter for us to bounce back, go home, try and get (win) two, even the series up and come back here.”
Smith will not be further punished by the NBA for his aggressive foul on Horford, who was in the air when he got pushed and could have been seriously hurt.
Thanks to the league’s odd scheduling, Game 3 is not until Saturday, giving Cavs coach Tyronn Lue plenty of time to consider tweaks to his starting lineup and rotations. After a 25-point lambasting in the opener Malik Jefferson Color Rush Jersey , Lue altered his frontcourt by putting Tristan Thompson with the first five and bringing Kyle Korver off the bench.
The moves worked as Thompson provided needed energy and Korver knocked down four 3-pointers and had Boston’s defense focused on more than James.
Now, Lue has to ponder another shake-up.
One option is to re-insert Korver at small forward, sit Hill and slide James to the point, where he typically plays anyway but where he’ll be more susceptible to double teams and will have to work harder than he is already.
Another possibility is to drop Smith, who is 2 of 16 from the field and missed all seven 3-pointers, from the starting lineup, but that would be risky because of his mercurial nature. Sit him and risk never getting him back.
Lue is willing to live with Smith’s streakiness – he went 6 for 6 in Game 4 against the Raptors – but what he can’t afford are the defensive lapses that led to slow rotations and gave Rozier and others wide-open looks in Game 2. Smith has been locked in defensively throughout the postseason, so Lue is assuming he’ll get it together.
Lue’s decision not to play guard Jordan Clarkson for a single minute in Game 2 was curious, mostly because Clarkson is quick enough to handle Rozier and he scored 10 points in Game 1.
Veteran Jose Calderon appears to be out of consideration despite his steadiness and experience. Lue may fear the 36-year-old will be targeted and exposed defensively.
Of course, there’s irony in Cleveland having backcourt issues in this series.
A year ago, Kyrie Irving averaged 25.8 points in the Cavs’ five-game rampage over the Celtics in the conference finals. Now an injured Irving sits on Boston’s bench in street clothes unable to help his new teammates while his presence teases the Cavaliers, who have not adequately replaced the All-Star since trading him.
They are finding life in the playoffs is more difficult without Irving, who at times carried Cleveland’s offense Youth Sam Darnold Jersey , giving James a break and Lue a dependable second scoring option.
It’s easy to second-guess the decisions now, but it feels as if the Cavs’ trades of Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade at the deadline were hasty. Cleveland lacks enough playmakers capable of creating their own shot or opportunities for others.
Hill has been unusually passive in the first two games, and the Cavs need to get him going.
And they certainly need more from Smith, whose frustration surfaced at the worst possible time when his hard foul on Horford riled up the Celtics and their rowdy crowd.
As the referees reviewed the play, Boston fans chanted profanely at Smith, who smirked and later said the taunts didn’t bother him.
”I love it,” he said. ”I don’t want the opposing fans to like me. That’s not why I’m here. They can chant and scream all they want. It actually makes me feel better about myself. They know me.”
The Cavs know him better, and they need Smith to be himself.