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White Sox seek sweep of Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The Chicago White Sox swept a three-game series from the Toronto Blue Jays in their only visit to the Rogers Centre in April 2016.

After defeating the Blue Jays 5-2 on Saturday afternoon, the White Sox have a chance to repeat their sweep Sunday afternoon.

The White Sox have won six straight games at the Rogers Centre dating to July 8, 2015, and also have taken nine of their past 10 meetings with the Blue Jays overall.

The two losses in the first two contests of the three-game series guarantee the Blue Jays a losing five-game homestand. They split the first two games against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The teams will start a couple of pitchers in the series finale who have spent time on the disabled list.

White Sox right-hander James Shields (1-0, 1.62 ERA) will be making his first start since going on the disabled list April 21 (retroactive to April 18) with a strained right lat. This will be his fourth start of the season.

The Blue Jays will hand the ball to left-hander J.A. Happ (1-4, 4.31 ERA), who will be making his fourth start since coming off the disabled list. He was put on the DL on April 17 with elbow inflammation.

The White Sox (31-36) have won six of their past eight games and are 7-8 in June. They have won their past two series.

"We've been swinging the bats better," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "We've been able to score early in most of these series. I think the relief corps, on top of that, has been able to come in and hold the offense on the opposite side.

"They're just playing really good baseball right now. I think things are kind of coming together at this point."

The Blue Jays (32-35) are 6-8 in June after going 18-10 in May. Seven times they have lost this season when they had a chance to reach .500.

Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, who had a six-game winning streak end when he took the loss Saturday, said the team has not lost confidence.

"The mentality hasn't changed," Stroman said. "I'm sure we'll rattle off 10 in a row here soon. Nothing changes from the group. We realize that we're going to go through stretches like this. That's why we stay confident."

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the team has not changed its approach to games.

"They approach it good every day, and I know the mentality there," Gibbons said. "The thing about baseball, it's not a sport where you go out and overpower somebody. If they throw a good game against you, things are tough, that's the way it is, if they're swinging the bats.

"It's not like a big, physical sport where if you have the bigger, faster guys you're going to dominate."

In three rehabilitation starts with Triple-A Charlotte, Shields was 0-3 with a 3.21 ERA.

In 16 2/3 innings in his three starts with the White Sox this season, he has allowed nine hits, 10 walks and three earned runs while striking out 16.

In 24 career starts against the Blue Jays, Shields is 12-6 with a 3.28 ERA. The 12 wins are his most against any opponent. In his past 10 starts against Toronto, Shields is 6-1 with a 2.14 ERA.

Happ is 1-1 with a 4.11 ERA in three starts since coming off the disabled list. He was put on the disabled list April 17 with inflammation in the elbow.

Happ, a 20-game winner in 2016, won for the first time this season last Sunday in Seattle, pitching six scoreless innings against the Mariners. He is 1-2 with a 3.93 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox.

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