Chris Sale faces the original team as the Braves visit the White Sox

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York YankeesJune 21, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Chris Sale (51) pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox were playing .200 ball as the Atlanta Braves left Guaranteed Rate Field after a rainstorm postponed the finale of the season’s second series.

Chicago’s winning percentage has improved only marginally over the past 12 weeks. And the Braves? They are in the middle of the National League postseason race and want to do well when they visit the White Sox in a make-up game on Thursday.

Atlanta comes to Chicago with wins in six of its last nine games. The Braves, who lost two of three in St. Louis after a weekend series at Yankee Stadium, can ensure a winning record on their seven-game road trip with a win.

A 6-2 win against the Cardinals in the opener of a doubleheader Wednesday represented the offensive blueprint the Braves hope can boost them.

Lead man Jarred Kelenic, who moved into the lineup due to injuries, went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs, leading to a nine-hit offense.

Kelenic had three of Atlanta’s six goals in a 4-1 loss in the nightcap. Kelenic had Atlanta’s only RBI in his sixth three-hit game of the season.

“Anytime you get guys on base with the big dogs coming after me, it just gives us another opportunity to drive guys in,” Kelenic said. “And once we do that, we have a good chance of winning the game.”

Chicago managed just four hits in Wednesday’s 4-0 home loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose pitchers held the White Sox to an 0-for-17 shooting with runners in scoring position in a three-game sweep.

Gavin Sheets contributed Chicago’s only extra-base hit, a double in the second inning, before later leaving the game with a heel contusion. The White Sox said the X-rays were negative and Sheets is day-to-day.

The White Sox have lost seven of eight and have fallen to a major league worst 21-61, a .256 winning percentage. Players continue to work to overcome each loss after it occurs.

They realize that housing does little good.

“You get done with the game and you think, ‘Man, we were in it,’” infielder Danny Mendick said. “You’re competing and you’re exhausted because we lost it. It’s never like, ‘Oh yeah, we lost another game.’ It’s like, ‘Man, that hurt.’ Every time we lose (stinks).”

Atlanta shifted its starting rotation this week, drafting left-hander Chris Sale (10-2, 2.91 ERA) to start against his former team.

Sale were excellent in the first two months of the season but struggled in June. Still, he has won his last two starts, scoring three runs and striking out 15 in 12 innings.

Sale, who had 74 wins for the White Sox from 2010 to 2016, was 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in five career starts against Chicago as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Both wins came in Chicago.

The White Sox are expected to play a bullpen game against the Braves, who defeated Chicago 9-0 in eight innings on April 1 before the White Sox regrouped to win 3-2 the next day.

Michael Soroka, a former Brave, likely won’t appear against Atlanta after striking out seven in three innings of scoreless relief on Wednesday.

–Field-level media