White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen hopes Chicago can bounce back during interleague play after it went 12-6 against NL opponents last year, including 7-2 at U.S. Cellular Field.
That success at home included a three-game sweep of the Pirates (19-21) from June 17-19, extending their winning streak over them to five games since a loss July 6, 2001. Overall, Chicago is 7-2 at home against Pittsburgh.
The White Sox, however, will have to contend with Zach Duke (5-3, 2.84 ERA), the Pirates' most reliable starter.
The left-hander is looking to help Pittsburgh, which went 6-9 against the AL in 2008, rebound from Thursday's 5-4 loss at Washington that halted its season-high five-game winning streak.
Duke, who already has matched his win total from all of last season, seeks to equal a career high with his third straight victory. He last won three consecutive games as a rookie from July 7-21, 2005.
Duke beat Colorado on Sunday, allowing four runs and six hits in seven innings of an 11-4 win. That came five days after he held St. Louis to one run and four hits in eight innings of a 7-1 victory.
Duke has no record and a 6.75 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox, with Pittsburgh winning both contests at home. He went 0-1 with a 3.50 ERA in interleague play last season.
Chicago will turn to Gavin Floyd (2-4, 7.71), who is 0-3 with a 9.95 ERA in his last five starts.
The right-hander was hit hard again Sunday, surrendering six runs and seven hits - including two homers - in five innings of an 8-2 loss at Toronto.
Floyd is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two career starts against Pittsburgh.
Padres ace Jake Peavy confirmed Thursday that he would not accept a trade to the South Side, killing a deal that would have sent four players west and put Peavy in black and white.
"San Diego is the best place for us, right this second," Peavy said. "It's been a crazy 24 hours."
It started late Wednesday night when the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the veteran was called into the office of manager Bud Black and asked if he would push his no-trade clause to the side and play for the White Sox.
Peavy spoke to Chicago reliever Scott Linebrink early Thursday morning about the Sox and manager Ozzie Guillen, gathering as much information as he could.
According to a source, Linebrink did a good selling job, and it seemed Peavy was leaning toward accepting the trade, but after thinking about it as well as talking with his family, he was not ready to leave San Diego for an American League team.
Earlier Thursday, it was thought to be even money that Peavy would accept the deal.
The proposed deal to the Sox developed quickly this week as the struggling Padres looked to move their star and some $63 million he is owned through 2012, including $11 million this season. But Peavy had veto rights over a trade. He exercised those rights.
Twins 20, White Sox 1: As if the Sox didn't have a bad enough day, finding out that Jake Peavy blocked a trade from San Diego, they suffered the largest loss in franchise history.
And the reason they lost was the starting pitcher. Bartolo Colon was awful, allowing seven hits and eight runs (one earned) in just two innings. Colon had little help from his defense, but was smacked around after a throwing error by Wilson Betemit. The Sox won the series, but they looked as if they lost a lot more than the game Thursday.
• Manager Ozzie Guillen said he was looking forward to having Pittsburgh come into town for the weekend as interleague play is under way. "I love it when we play in an American League park because we can use our (designated hitter)," Guillen said. "I think it's great for baseball, and a lot of people this weekend are going to pay attention to the game."
• SS Alexei Ramirez was the latest candidate to get a look in the No. 2 spot. Ramirez went 0-for-3. The Sox lineup is still a work in progress. The only spot that now seems settled besides the middle of the lineup is the leadoff spot, where Scott Podsednik has it locked down.
• LHP Mark Buehrle improved to 6-1 with the win on Tuesday, and he couldn't help but answer questions about a potential 20-win season. "I think I've said it before, every starting pitcher wants to get 20 (wins), but if I get 20 wins and don't get to 200 innings, I don't think it will be as satisfying," Buehrle said. "For me, I want to go out there and throw 200 innings and let you feel you're going deep into games. It seems like pitching every six or seven days, it's going to be tough to get to 200 innings, but I'll do the best I can." Also on Buehrle's scope is the All-Star Game, which will be played in his hometown of St. Louis, where he rooted for the Cardinals growing up. "Obviously it would be nice, hometown, but I've still got about 10 starts to go," he said. "There is a lot of stuff that can go wrong between now and then. But here I am right now, it would be an honor to go and represent this team."
By The Numbers: 15-21—The worst start the Sox have had through their first 36 games, going back to the 2001 season in which they began the year 14-22.
Quote To Note: "I think we're frustrated as they are because they are frustrated, too. But it's early enough in the season to where we can get it going. Hopefully. We got a lot of pieces that haven't been going yet, so hopefully, according to their pasts, if they do what they're supposed to do, we'll be fine. We keep waiting on that and we keep hoping."—Sox bench coach Joey Cora on the slow start the Sox have had, especially offensively.
• OF Carlos Quentin told reporters that the left foot injury that caused him to miss six games is plantar fasciitis. "That's what they told me," Quentin said. The injury is caused by excessive wear. Quentin said he was fitted with new insoles for his cleats in addition to the protective boot he has worn the past few days. The pain began in his left heel but moved toward mid-foot after he received a cortisone shot. "It's annoying, and then it gets painful," Quentin said. The goal was to have him back in the starting lineup Friday, and he did come in as a replacement for Jim Thome in Thursday's 20-1 loss to the Twins, working as the designated hitter.
• 3B Josh Fields went 1-for-4 Wednesday night, but that wasn't enough to save him from the bench. Manager Ozzie Guillen once again sent a young player a message. Guillen already benched struggling SS Alexei Ramirez earlier this season, and he has warned Fields on several occasions that his time could be coming. Fields' replacement, Wilson Betemit, went 0-for-4 and committed two errors.
• LHP Clayton Richard was one of the four players agreed upon in the aborted Jake Peavy trade, with the only other name that was reported being top left-handed pitching prospect Aaron Poreda. Following the loss to Minnesota, the damage control began once word spread that Peavy nixed the deal. Manager Ozzie Guillen reiterated that Richard is still a part of the rotation, keeping his spot even with RHP Jose Contreras pitching well for Class AAA Charlotte.
LF Carlos Quentin (plantar fasciitis in left foot) did not play May 12. He entered the May 13 game as a sub, and he played May 15. He was scratched from the lineup May 16 and didn't play May 17-20. He appeared as a sub May 21, and he might start May 22.
CF Dewayne Wise (separated right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list April 14. He hopes to be ready to start a rehab assignment in late May and return to the White Sox in early June.