Chris Sale originally was in line for a classic battle of aces Monday night at Dodger Stadium, with Clayton Kershaw getting the start for the Dodgers. But on Friday afternoon, the White Sox announced they were moving up Sale to Sunday's series finale against the Padres, and he'll instead face another southpaw in San Diego's Eric Stults.
So no hitting against Kershaw and no start at all against the Dodgers for Sale, who will still be getting a regular four days' rest since the team had an off-day on Thursday.
"I was expecting to throw on Monday with an extra day," Sale said. "But it's not like they are moving me up a day or anything like that. So, it just kind of makes sense with throwing three innings and being fresh and going back out there on Sunday."
After throwing three hitless innings and 40 pitches before a nearly two-hour rain delay Tuesday against the Indians, Sale (4-0, 1.73 ERA) gets another start at home. He'll get five days' rest before his next start on Saturday, June 7, with Thursday standing as another scheduled off-day sandwiched between two three-game road series against the Dodgers and the Angels.
Even without the move to Sunday, Sale would have pitched against the Angels in Anaheim. But he would have gone Sunday, June 8, and been the one starter of the White Sox five to miss the ensuing four-game home set against the Tigers. Sale has a career 2-0 record with a 0.60 ERA over four games at Angel Stadium, and a 4-4 mark and 3.00 ERA lifetime against the Tigers.
Stults (2-5, 4.92 ERA) allowed three runs in six innings in his last start against Arizona, and has won just once since April 20, going 1-3 with two no-decisions. His season, to date, has been a little uneven, as the left-hander has allowed three or more earned runs in a start six times. But he's also pitched very well at times, allowing two earned runs or fewer in five starts.
The southpaw has proven to be a good strike-thrower, having issued two or fewer walks in 18 of his last 19 starts dating back to Aug. 18 of last season.
San Diego will try to capture just its second road series win (or first road sweep) of the season. The Padres have won just one of their previous nine road series this year, having lost seven and tied one.
Padres: Street continues to shine
Padres closer Huston Street notched his 17th save of the season Saturday, needing just 13 pitches to shut down the White Sox in the ninth inning. He's tied for the most saves in baseball with Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers and Sergio Romo of the Giants.
Street has converted each of his 17 save opportunities this season, the longest active streak in the Major Leagues. Going back to May 14 of last season, he has converted 42 of his last 43 save opportunities (97.7 percent), the best mark in baseball during that stretch.
White Sox: Abreu's return imminent after simulated game
First baseman Jose Abreu appears ready to come off the disabled list on Monday, the first day he'll be eligible to do so. The rookie faced a pair of Minor League relievers Saturday morning in a simulated game at U.S. Cellular Field.
Abreu led the Majors in home runs (15) when he went on the disabled list on May 18 with left ankle inflammation, and is hoping to return in the opener of the White Sox three-game set against the Dodgers.
The 27-year-old first baseman looked a bit rusty, as it took him several at-bats before he put the ball in play for the first time. But he eventually settled into a groove, lining a single to left, sneaking a ground-ball single down the left-field line, lining a ball to straightaway center and hitting a ground-rule double off the warning track in left-center. All in all, Abreu put six balls in play over about 10 at-bats.
"It's hard to simulate Major League pitching, but this is about as close as you can get as far as a guy coming out there live, and it's not just coming in straight," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "So he'll have to take pitches and I think that's going to be the biggest thing is just reaction-wise and him seeing pitches and not having to send him out on a rehab assignment."
Abreu was also hit by a pitch just above his left elbow by reliever Brad Salgado, but it didn't appear to affect him.
• Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin left Saturday's game due to right calf tightness. His status for Sunday is unknown. The injury comes just one day after Maybin collected his first home run and RBI of 2014 by hitting a solo home run off of John Danks in San Diego's 4-1 win over Chicago on Friday.
• Paul Konerko, who returned to the lineup as designated hitter on Saturday for Chicago after missing three games with back tightness, ranks second all-time in homers (59) and RBIs (176) during Interleague Play.
Will Laws is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.