Long balls have gone a long way toward putting the Chicago White Sox on the verge of their first sweep of the season
Chicago has connected for six home runs against visiting Cleveland in the past two games and will look to keep rolling in Thursday's matinee.
Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger have gone deep in both victories, which have come at the beginning of a stretch of 13 straight games against American League Central foes.
To Sheets, a White Sox rebound from a frustrating start could hinge on this run of divisional games
"We can do a lot of damage," he said. "This two-week stretch is extremely important for us. It's going to be crucial for this season. There's a sense of urgency in this clubhouse, and we have to come out every night ready to play."
Josh Bell's first-inning RBI double on Wednesday staked the Guardians to a 1-0 lead, but Cleveland couldn't mount much of an attack the rest of the way
Bell worked a bases-loaded walk in the seventh to account for the club's only other run in a 7-2 loss. It marked Cleveland's second straight loss and fourth in six games.
Already without Jose Ramirez (bereavement list) for the series, the Guardians have missed slugger Josh Naylor. Naylor left Tuesday's game with left leg tightness and was out of the lineup Wednesday
Cleveland will turn to rookie left-hander Logan Allen (1-1, 3.43 ERA) as it tries to salvage the finale.
Thursday marks Allen's fifth start since making his major league debut April 23. The 24-year-old has 24 strikeouts in 21 innings. In his most recent start Friday, Allen fanned Los Angeles Angels stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout in the same inning.
Asked about managing such high-pressure situations, Allen hardly blinked.
"It's definitely a little different, but it's probably just putting that to the side and understanding that it's still just the same game, you know," he said. "I'm right here with them for a reason.
"But I will say the young kid definitely finds it's really cool to face these guys you grew up watching. There's no doubt about that."
Allen has two no-decisions in as many May starts. Against the Angels, he allowed three runs and eight hits, both career highs, during his shortest stint to date, 4 1/3 innings.
Chicago starter Dylan Cease (2-2, 4.86) tries for his first victory since April 10, a span of six starts. Cease rebounded from a rough outing at Kansas City on May 8 with Saturday's no-decision against Houston, when he scattered four hits, two walks and five strikeouts in six shutout innings.
Cease is 4-3 with a 3.74 ERA in nine career starts against Cleveland, with 46 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings.
White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal, who had two hits Wednesday, is day-to-day after aggravating a hamstring issue that caused him to leave the game
--Field Level Media