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STL@CHC: Wood holds Cards to two earned for the win

The White Sox had one of the toughest schedules in baseball to start the season, with 27 of their first 32 games to start the season coming against 2013 playoff teams, including current contenders Detroit, Tampa Bay, Texas and Boston.

Some may look at parts of the South Siders' upcoming schedule as favorable -- i.e. matchups with last-place teams in the Cubs, D-backs and Astros -- but that sort of logic can be deceiving. Entering play Wednesday, the White Sox are 9-6 against teams with records above .500 and 8-11 against those at or below that mark.

John Danks will look to help correct that mark against sub-.500 teams Wednesday with a bounce-back start when he takes on the Cubs and fellow lefty Travis Wood at U.S. Cellular Field.

Danks was roughed up in his last start against the Indians, who scored five first-inning runs and eight in Danks' five innings of work. Wood, on the other hand, will look to build off his last start. He beat the Cardinals on Friday with seven innings of two-run ball after allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Brewers the outing before that.

The pitching matchup aside, White Sox manager Robin Ventura cautioned against making predictions based on opponents and their current record and pointed out other teams might be looking at his Sox in the same way because of his team's recent rash of injuries.

"We're banged up, we're trying to scratch and claw," Ventura said. "I'm sure these guys probably look at us as it's a favorable matchup just because of the way we look. You still play hard. You still try and win those games. I would say the first part of the season was probably harder than most months, and we came out of it OK. We're different right now. We've got to figure out our path more than worrying about what everybody else's record is."

And though the intensity of this crosstown rivalry has diminished, one could probably toss the records of both teams out the window.

"It's who you're facing, how everybody's feeling," Ventura said. "There's a lot of factors that go into it. I know people look at it and go, 'You're supposed to beat who you're supposed to beat.' It doesn't always happen that way. You just stay focused on playing your game and be ready to play every day instead of worrying about who you're playing and when you're playing them."

Cubs: Designated hitter unknown for South Side visit
When the Cubs played at Yankee Stadium on April 16, Mike Olt and Nate Schierholtz were the designated hitters in the day-night doubleheader. On Tuesday, Cubs manager Rick Renteria wasn't ready to reveal who will handle the DH duties at U.S. Cellular when the intracity Interleague series shifts to the South Side.

Last year, the Cubs' designated hitters batted .378 (14-for-37). In two games this season, they're 1-for-7.

Renteria has a short list of players available. The Cubs have decided to carry 13 pitchers, and won't make a roster move to add another bat for the brief series in the American League ballpark.

Olt entered Tuesday's game 2-for-23 in his last eight games. He will likely start against Danks. So far, Olt, who walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning Tuesday, is batting .200 (5-for-25) against left-handers and .140 (6-for-43) against right-handers.

"We'll continue to try to match him up and give him some of the best possible situations he can have and gain some confidence and move forward," Renteria said of the rookie third baseman.

Olt batted .276 in Spring Training, and has been used in a platoon at third with left-handed hitting Luis Valbuena.

"Hopefully, it's a matter of stringing some hits together and getting on track offensively," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said of Olt. "I like what we see from him. Right now, he's playing through a slump."

White Sox: Dunn scratched from lineup with bruised right calf
Adam Dunn was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup with a bruised right calf.

"It takes a lot to hurt that calf. Or cow, whatever you want to call it," Ventura quipped before Tuesday's game.

Obviously, the calf was hurt enough to warrant the scratch.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro inadvertently kicked into Dunn's right calf in the ninth inning of Monday's game. Castro rolled a grounder to short and Dunn had to stretch for Alexei Ramirez's high throw to first base, resulting in the collision.

"Last night, I didn't know how bad it was, and today, it was sore and I thought it would loosen up and it never did," Dunn said. "I'm not going to go out there in left field and make a complete and total fool of myself by not being able to move."

Dunn grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 5-1 victory.

Worth noting
• The Cubs honored White Sox captain Paul Konerko before Tuesday's game in what was his final appearance at Wrigley Field, barring a World Series matchup. Jeff Samardzija presented Konerko, who plans to retire at the end of the season, with his No. 14 from the Wrigley scoreboard. A career .311 hitter at Wrigley Field, Konerko joined the White Sox one year after the regular-season crosstown series started in 1998.

• Cubs reliever Pedro Strop will have an MRI on his left groin on Wednesday. He was injured five days ago doing lunges while working out, and tried to pitch Tuesday night but had to be pulled after facing five batters.

• Two White Sox players had four hits in Tuesday's 5-1 win: Gordon Beckham, which tied a career high, and the recently-acquired Moises Sierra, who set a career high and snapped an 0-for-20 skid.

• Jose Abreu picked up his American League-leading 81st total base and 22nd extra-base hit of the season with an eighth-inning double Tuesday.

• Anthony Rizzo extended his hitting streak to a season-high six games on Tuesday.

• The Cubs were held to four hits for the second consecutive game on Tuesday and are now 2-14 when scoring three or fewer runs in a game.

• The North Siders dropped both games of the series at Wrigley Field despite a 0.56 ERA (1 ER/16 IP) from their starters. Comments