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MLB: Chicago White Sox at Chicago CubsJun 5, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Erick Fedde (20) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox sit 35 games below .500 and own the worst record in the majors.

Bright spots are hard to find on a squad that has lost 19 of 22 games entering Saturday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.

But right-hander Erick Fedde, who starts Saturday, certainly qualifies as one.

The White Sox took a chance on the 31-year-old Fedde after he dominated the Korea Baseball Organization last season while pitching for the NC Dinos.

After going 21-33 in parts of six seasons for the Washington Nationals, Fedde emerged in South Korea and went 20-6 with a 2.00 ERA in 30 starts.

He developed his pitching arsenal and his confidence increased, and both have stood out while he has struck out 77 in 81 1/3 innings for the White Sox.

On Saturday, Fedde (4-1, 3.10 ERA) will be looking to halt a five-start winless stretch in which he is 0-1 with a 3.99 ERA.

Fedde received a no-decision against the Seattle Mariners on Monday when he gave up one run and five hits over seven-plus innings in an eventual 8-4 loss.

He took a shutout into the eighth and served up a homer to Dominic Canzone on the first pitch and was subsequently removed from the contest by manager Pedro Grifol.

“I love that my manager has the belief in me to have the ball,” Fedde said of getting to start the eighth. “I would have thrown as many (pitches) as I could have. … I want the ball as much as I can.”

Fedde is 2-2 with a 5.19 ERA in five career starts against Arizona. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is 3-for-3 with a homer off Fedde, while Ketel Marte is 3-for-7.

The White Sox activated outfielder Tommy Pham (ankle) prior to Friday’s game and he went 1-for-4. He was a late-season acquisition by the Diamondbacks last year and part of their World Series squad.

“We couldn’t have done it without him,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of Pham. “I’m a huge fan.”

Nicky Lopez drove in the lone Chicago run in the opener and joined Andrew Benintendi and Paul DeJong in recording two hits. The White Sox failed to homer after going deep at least once in 14 consecutive games.

Chicago is just 6-30 on the road this season as it enters the middle game of this three-game series.

Arizona cruised to a 7-1 victory in Friday’s opener with Eugenio Suarez and Joc Pederson each clubbing solo homers. The Diamondbacks have beaten the White Sox in 11 of their past 12 meetings.

Pederson also homered in Thursday’s 11-1 trampling of the Los Angeles Angels. That blast was a grand slam as part of a five-RBI night.

Arizona has scored 39 runs while winning four of its past five games. Overall, the Diamondbacks have won nine of their past 13.

Arizona remains short on starters with right-handers Zac Gallen (hamstring) and Merrill Kelly (shoulder) still sidelined and left-hander Blake Walston (elbow) getting hurt earlier this month.

So the Diamondbacks are going the opener route with right-hander Scott McGough (1-3, 5.85) on Saturday. It will be his second stint as an opener this season. Left-hander Tommy Henry (2-2, 5.58) likely will pitch in the game, according to Lovullo.

McGough pitched 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. He gave up three hits, two walks and struck out two in the 8-3 loss.

McGough, 34, has never faced the White Sox.

–Field Level Media

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