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Slugger Jose Abreu is aiming become Sox’ first Rookie Year since Ozzie Guillen 1985. | Tony Gutierrez/AP

Slugger Jose Abreu is aiming to become the Sox’ first Rookie of the Year since Ozzie Guillen in 1985. | Tony Gutierrez/AP

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Updated: May 21, 2014 6:27AM



This week’s names and numbers in baseball:

CUBS NINE TO KNOW

1. The Cubs’ best record in the first 20 games of a season was 16-4 in the world-championship season of 1907. Their worst was 4-16 in 1942. They were 7-13 in 2012 and 6-14 last season.

2. Hey, Carlos Villanueva fans! The record for losses by a Cubs pitcher in the first month of the season is five, shared by Pat Malone in 1928 and Juan Cruz in 2002. Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson each had four last April.

3. Lovin’ the Friendly Confines: Starlin Castro hit .480 in his first six games at Wrigley Field this season. Lifetime, he’s a .289 hitter at home.

4. After the double shutout Wednesday in the Bronx, I reminded myself the Cubs were blanked 16 times in 2013 and held to one run in 15 other games.

5. The Cubs are hitting .272 with no outs, .212 with one out (the worst in the majors) and .201 with two outs.

6. Cubs batters had 91 strikeouts against opposing starting pitchers in their first 15 games.

7. Emilio Bonifacio leads the Cubs with nine hits leading off an inning. (Adam Eaton has nine for the White Sox.)

8. Edwin Jackson already has gone to a full count 14 times. The good news is that batters are only 2-for-9; the bad news are the five walks.

9. Batters are hitting .160 against Travis Wood the first time they face him in a game. They are hitting .308 the second time and .304 the third time and are 2-for-3 the fourth time.

SOX NINE TO KNOW

1. The White Sox’ best record in the first 20 games of a season was 16-4 in the world-championship season of 2005. Their worst was 3-17 in 1944 and 1997. They were 10-10 in 2012 and 8-12 last season.

2. Jose Abreu is trying to become the Sox’ first Rookie of the Year since Ozzie Guillen in 1985. The other Sox to be named Rookie of the Year were Luis Aparicio (1956), Gary Peters (1963), Tommie Agee (1966) and Ron Kittle (1983).

3. It was cool when Alexei Ramirez hit a walk-off home run in the ninth inning to beat the Indians last Sunday. Remarkably, in his four at-bats that day, Ramirez saw a four pitches.

4. A.J. Pierzynski is the latest of 228 players who have worn both Sox: White and Red.

5. Sox relievers have the worst swing-and-miss rate in the majors at 18.1 percent and the worst strikeout rate at 14.1 percent.

6. Hey, Alexei Ramirez fans! Paul Konerko holds the Sox’ record for most hits in the first month of the season with 39 in 2002.

7. In the Sox’ first 15 games, their cleanup batter struck out 21 times, the most in the majors.

8. In the Sox’ 14-inning loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday, the Sox used nine pitchers (including infielder Leury Garcia). It is the fifth time the Sox have used that many pitchers in a game since 1914 and the third during the Robin Ventura era.

9. Adam Eaton leads the Sox with 10 hits in the first three innings of games.

Chicago-gram:

Chicago player anagram (scroll down for answer)

Sleep Scrawl

Here’s a friendly anagram of the last position player to take to the mound for the Sox before Leury Garcia.

The Week ahead

The Cubs hope to bring sexy back — winning, that is — when they face the Diamondbacks for four games at Wrigley Field. Then it’s time for a brew as they head to Milwaukee next weekend. The Sox head to Motown, hopefully for some dancin’ in the street against the Tigers. Then it’s back home to catch some Rays.

Chicago-GRAM ANSWER:

Casper Wells



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