The last time the Chicago White Sox won 11 in a row at home, they were playing at the old Comiskey Park. That was also the site of their last four-game home sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
Freddy Garcia will try to help the White Sox achieve both feats again Thursday night when he faces his former team at U.S. Cellular Field.No team in the majors has been hotter over the past seven weeks than the White Sox (56-44), who are 32-11 since June 8. In that time, they've gone from 9 1/2 games back in the AL Central to a one-game lead over Minnesota.Chicago, which has also won 17 of 18 at home, earned its latest victory in thrilling fashion. After falling behind 5-1 on Wednesday night, the White Sox tied the game with home runs from Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez and Paul Konerko. Alex Rios singled home a run in the seventh to put Chicago ahead for good in a 6-5 win."I think we're really playing good ball and to go out there and be down like we were tonight, I didn't feel like anybody ever panicked," Beckham said. "We stayed focused."The win improved the White Sox to 8-1 in this season's series with Seattle. They've also defeated the Mariners (39-63) seven straight times at home and in 11 of the last 12 meetings in Chicago.Another win Thursday would give Chicago its longest overall win home win streak since a 13-game run July 1-Aug. 5, 1989. The White Sox haven't swept the Mariners in four games on the South Side since Sept. 15-18, 1983.Garcia (9-4, 4.74 ERA) will try to help his team accomplish both feats and rebound from the shortest start of his career. The right-hander lasted 1 1/3 innings of Saturday's 10-2 loss in Oakland, seeing his six-game win streak come to an end after surrendering five runs, six hits and three walks."Freddy has been great for us all year long. He was around the plate; he just got hit," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I'll take that from him and move on."Garcia spent his first five-plus major league seasons in Seattle before leaving in a five-player trade June 27, 2004. He's 3-3 with a 5.57 ERA in eight career matchups with his original club.He limited the Mariners to two runs and two hits over seven innings April 24, but did not get a decision in a 5-4 home win.Seattle is currently reeling, with a 6-19 record this month and nine losses in its last 11 road games."It's extremely frustrating right now," catcher Josh Bard said.As they try to avoid another defeat, the Mariners will send out David Pauley (0-2, 2.18), who is 0-5 with a 6.81 ERA in eight career major league starts -- three this season.Pauley got charged with a 6-1 home loss to the White Sox on July 19, when he yielded three runs and a season-high eight hits over six innings.Rios had two hits including a two-run homer off Pauley in that game, and is 4 for 4 in their matchups.