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5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, July 24, 2019
Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 19,098

Moncada, White Sox aim for series win over Marlins

Third baseman Yoan Moncada knows the ways of a nomad in the Chicago White Sox lineup, having batted first, second, fifth, sixth and seventh this season.

When Moncada's debut in the cleanup spot Monday yielded two hits and four RBIs -- including a three-run home run -- first baseman Jose Abreu lobbied for all the shifting to stop.

Abreu, Chicago's regular No. 3 hitter, would love to see Moncada batting behind him for not only Wednesday's home interleague series finale against the Miami Marlins, but well beyond.

"I can't control that, but if I would have that decision, I would put him in the cleanup spot for the rest of the season," Abreu said through an interpreter. "Everybody knows the talent he has and the importance for him to be that kind of player."

A key acquisition in the trade that sent left-hander Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox before the 2017 season, Moncada began his White Sox career as a second baseman before moving to the other side of the infield for the 2019 campaign.

Whether it's his defensive position or spot in the batting order, Moncada leaves those things to manager Rick Renteria.

"I'm just ready to hit in whatever spot that Ricky and the team need me to," Moncada said through an interpreter. "That's my mindset. There's not too much of a difference if I hit fourth or second."

Moncada also batted cleanup on Tuesday, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout as the Marlins evened the series with a 5-1 win. Moncada wasn't the only Chicago hitter to struggle, though, as Caleb Smith and two Miami relievers combined on a two-hitter.

It wasn't enough for Abreu to change his view.

"If someone is happy that we finally found a cleanup hitter, it's me," Abreu said. "Nothing that (Moncada) does surprises me because I know all the talent he has. I know that he still can do more. He has been working hard. What he did (Monday) is not a surprise for me. I still know he's a great player, and I think we've seen that throughout the whole season this year. He's going to get better."

The White Sox are set to face Marlins rookie right-hander Zac Gallen (0-2, 3.63 ERA), who will be making his sixth career start. Gallen has not pitched against Chicago or appeared in interleague play.

His most recent start marked his longest in the major leagues to date. On Friday, Gallen scattered two runs -- one earned -- and three hits in 5 1/3 innings during a 2-1 road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I thought it was pretty good against if not the best, then one of the best offenses in baseball," Gallen said. "We talked about last time the attention to detail. I think it's even more heightened when you come into a place like this (when) you're on the road and you play those guys."

Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez is slated to get the call for the White Sox as he aims to continue a solid second half. Lopez (5-8, 5.76 ERA) has delivered two quality starts in as many outings since the All-Star break. On Friday, he earned a 9-2 win at Tampa Bay, allowing two runs over seven innings.

Lopez has faced the Marlins once in his career, allowing two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning in a 2016 relief appearance.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 24, 2019

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