06/24/10 1:12 PM ET
White Sox, Cubs heading opposite directions
By Didier Morais / MLB.com
But when the Chicago clubs reunite Friday, both managers will be tossing their aces into the fire. The pitching duel is between Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano -- who's thrown a no-hitter -- and Sox hurler Jake Peavy 0 -- a former Cy Young winner with the potential to toss one.
Though a no-hitter may be unlikely, both pitchers expect to build upon their victorious outings and spark the rivals' Interleague series.
"It's something great for the city," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of the rivalry. "[The fans] showed two weeks ago how important the series is. We had the NHL champs in town, everything was talking about the Blackhawks, everything was very nice, and we still packed it in.
"That means the fans in Chicago show how much they support baseball, how much they support both clubs, and how fun those games are."
And the White Sox have certainly enjoyed those games lately. Since their last match against the Cubs, the White Sox have bolted into the AL Central race, winning nine consecutive games to move just 2 1/2 games back of the first-place Twins.
"Looking back right now, it kind of kicked us into gear a little bit," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said of the first series against the Cubs. "We were able to keep the intensity going into Pittsburgh after that series."
The Cubs have been on the opposite end of that spectrum. The team is a season-low nine games under .500 for the first time since June 7, 2007.
Cubs: Colvin showing power
Despite the team's struggles, Tyler Colvin's hitting continues to stand out. The rookie's nine home runs this year are third among all rookies behind Atlanta's Jason Heyward and Detroit's Brennan Boesch, who are both tied at 11.
But Colvin has blasted a homer per every 13.44 at-bats, which is tops for rookies with at least 100 at-bats.
White Sox: Teahen close to returning
Mark Teahen's looming return may stir playing time problems for the White Sox infield. At third base, Ozzie Guillen typically shifts between 43-year-old veteran Omar Vizquel and 21-year-old rookie Dayan Viciedo in recent days.
But that's primarily because Teahen, who suffered a fractured middle finger on May 30, was on the DL. Now that Teahen's on the mend, Guillen will have to shuffle his lineup and properly allocate at-bats to appease everyone.
And when Teahen makes his return, he believes his performance on the field will make Guillen's decision a lot easier.
"When I'm healthy and playing like I can, I'll definitely help the team as well," said Teahen, who was hitting .368 in the 12 games prior to the injury. "So, I would expect to be right back at third. But I'm not worried about it."
Entering Friday's matchup, the Cubs' franchise has played 19,998 regular-season contests, the most in Major League history, since its inception in 1876. ... Former White Sox infielder Jayson Nix was claimed off waivers by the Indians Thursday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.