Braves, with electric offense, visit scoring-challenged White Sox

Atlanta Braves reliever Aaron Bummer elected not to “drop names” when asked which former Chicago White Sox teammates he might want to face this week.

“That’s karma waiting to happen,” Bummer said.

Given Chicago’s offensive struggles to start the season, a less diplomatic respondent might have taken more time to answer the question. The White Sox already have been shut out twice in their four games entering Tuesday night’s visit from the Braves after Atlanta romped 9-0 in Monday’s series opener.

Still seeking its first win of the season, Chicago will try to slow an Atlanta team that has produced 34 runs while winning three of four out of the gate.

Every Braves starter collected at least one hit on Monday. Austin Riley had two hits, including a three-run home run, en route to four RBIs. Ozzie Albies added a pair of hits and drove in a run in the rain-shortened, eight-inning game.

Orlando Arcia hit a two-run double for the Braves and is batting .438, off to his strongest start in three seasons with Atlanta after beginning his career with Milwaukee.

“Sometimes, it takes guys a little later in their career to start figuring things out,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I think by the consistency and work ethic and things like that [he’s adjusted], because he’s playing really well right now.”

Off to their first 0-4 start since 2015, the White Sox will turn Tuesday to left-hander Garrett Crochet, who was the tough-luck loser in a 1-0 setback to Detroit on Opening Day. He will face Braves right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, formerly of the White Sox, in his Atlanta debut.

Crochet’s 73rd career appearance doubled as his first start, but he pitched effectively all the same on Thursday against the Tigers. Crochet (0-1, 1.50 ERA) allowed one run and five hits, all singles, in six innings while striking out eight against zero walks.

“The big step I saw in spring training was just his ability to get the ball in the zone. … He added the cutter, he’s been working on the split/change,” said Brian Bannister, the team’s senior adviser to pitching. “He’s become a more well-rounded pitcher with an arsenal that’s worthy of a starting pitcher.”

Bannister added: “I never felt personally like he was ever going to walk somebody, and that’s something you want to see in starting pitchers. … It’s definitely a start to build on, and to do it on the big stage on Opening Day was very impressive.”

Lopez, who made 205 appearances with the White Sox in parts of seven seasons, including 91 starts, hasn’t faced Chicago in his career. Last season, he was 3-7 with a 3.27 ERA and six saves in 68 relief outings for the White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Guardians.

Crochet has not faced the Braves and is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 13 interleague games in relief covering 11 innings.

White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said outfielder/designated hitter Eloy Jimenez is day-to-day after straining his left adductor during Sunday’s game vs. Detroit. Jimenez was out of the lineup Monday, with Gavin Sheets serving as DH.

Grifol confirmed the White Sox will play one man short as the team waits to further assess Jimenez.

–Field Level Media