Don't be too surprised if Cubs starter Edwin Jackson doesn't seem fazed by facing his former White Sox teammates when the crosstown Chicago rivals continue their series on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field.
After all, Jackson is no stranger to squaring off against one of his former teams -- he's played for eight clubs in his 11 big league seasons. Pitching in the Windy City rivalry should not be an issue either, considering Jackson previously defeated the Cubs as a member of the White Sox on July 1, 2011.
Now, he finds himself pitching on the other side of the matchup as the Cubs look to win both games on the South Side of Chicago before the series shifts north to Wrigley Field for the final two meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.
"I have a phone full of friends -- I've been on eight teams," Jackson said when asked if he keeps in touch with any of his former White Sox teammates. "Everybody's a text message away nowadays."
Jackson, who went 11-9 with a 3.66 ERA in 30 starts over parts of two seasons with the White Sox from 2010-11, doesn't know what type of reaction he will get in his return, though at this point he hardly notices such things.
"Have I been booed? Maybe. You go out there and you're kind of in a bubble," Jackson said. "It's short-term memory, I really don't remember. There's nothing that sticks out in my mind. If they do boo, then they boo. If a boo changes your game, then you probably don't need to be on the field anyway."
The White Sox will counter with staff ace Chris Sale, who returns to the mound for the first time since May 17 after missing his last start due to a mild case of tendinitis in the back of his throwing shoulder.
The 24-year-old southpaw had twirled back-to-back gems prior to the setback and enters Tuesday's outing sporting a 23-inning scoreless streak. Sale threw a bullpen session without any issues on Sunday, and pitching coach Don Cooper said the Sox handled Sale's injury the same way they would have with any of their starters.
"I'll stand by our record at the Major League level with keeping people healthy," Cooper said. "But I have concern with all of our pitchers. That's our No. 1 goal ... to stay healthy. If you can stay healthy, then we can run you out there and let you do the things we envision you doing."
Sale (5-2, 2.53 ERA) will look to pick up right where he left off Tuesday in his first career start (third overall appearance) against the rival Cubs. Jackson, meanwhile, will simply be focused on turning things around from his rough start on the North Side. Through his first 10 starts with the Cubs, Jackson is 1-7 with a 6.11 ERA.
"It's a long season," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "There's still another 20-plus starts there to fix this and get it going."
Cubs: Fujikawa returns to disabled list
Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa was placed on the disabled list on Monday for the second time this season due to a strained right forearm.
Fujikawa, who will undergo an MRI on Tuesday, was also on the DL from April 13 to May 10 while dealing with the same issue. The right-hander left his appearance Sunday against the Reds after feeling some soreness on his first pitch to Joey Votto, the seventh batter he faced in that outing.
With the Cubs already without fellow reliever Shawn Camp, the club on Monday claimed right-handed reliever Alex Burnett off waivers from the Orioles to help fill the void. Burnett had appeared in just two games with Baltimore this season, though he went 4-4 with 10 holds and a 3.52 ERA in a career-high 67 appearances with the Twins in 2012.
White Sox: Flowers back in starting lineup
Catcher Tyler Flowers returned to the lineup on Monday after missing the White Sox previous series against the Marlins due to back spasms.
Flowers also dealt with back spasms during Spring Training, though the backstop said they weren't nearly as bad this time around.
"Nothing in particular happened again. I just kind of woke up with it, and I had a hard time moving a few days ago," Flowers said. "If anyone has a secret, let me know. I don't know what's causing it or what it is. I'm just continuing to do the same things I've done. I do a number of back exercises and stuff, and with this episode in spring, I'm just trying to avoid it."
• After defeating left-handed starter Jose Quintana on Monday, the Cubs are now 5-10 against southpaw starters this season, with the White Sox again sending lefties to the mound on Tuesday and Wednesday.
• White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez is hitless in 17 career at-bats against Jackson. Captain Paul Konerko hasn't fared much better, collecting just one base knock in 12 career ABs against his former teammate.
• The White Sox have won each of the last four season series, totaling a 16-8 record against the Cubs from 2009-12. They hold a 49-42 advantage all-time in the 91 regular-season meetings between the rivals.