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Padres take on White Sox, seek to finish above .500

The San Diego Padres will try to finish the season with a winning record when they visit the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

San Diego (81-80) has been eliminated from playoff contention and is playing for pride entering the season finale. A victory would give the Padres back-to-back seasons above .500 for the first time since their four from 2004-07.

Meanwhile, Chicago (61-100) already has achieved an unwanted milestone. The White Sox have at least 100 losses for only the fifth time in franchise history, and now they will try to avoid loss No. 101, which would tie them with the 1948 White Sox for the third-most defeats in club history.

The Padres have won four games in a row and will try to close the season with a series sweep. They beat the White Sox 3-2 on Friday and 6-1 on Saturday.

Padres right-hander Pedro Avila (2-2, 3.57 ERA) is scheduled to make his sixth start of the season and the eighth of his career. Avila has 47 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings this year.

In his most recent appearance, he gave up two runs on two hits in 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen on Sept. 23 against the St. Louis Cardinals. He also pitched 2 2/3 innings in his most recent start, during which he gave up seven runs on six hits against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 11.

Avila never has faced the White Sox.

Chicago will counter with right-hander Jose Urena (0-7, 7.45). He posted an 0-4 record with a 9.82 ERA in five starts with the Colorado Rockies early in the season and has gone 0-3 with a 5.31 ERA in four starts since the White Sox acquired him.

Urena gave up seven runs (four earned) on four hits in four innings Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his most recent start. He has allowed 13 homers in 38 2/3 innings this season.

In eight career starts against the Padres, Urena is 1-5 with a 4.39 ERA.

Offseason questions loom for both clubs after they fell far short of expectations.

For the White Sox, one top question involves veteran shortstop Tim Anderson. The organization must decide whether to bring him back on a $14 million club option or pay a $1 million buyout.

Anderson, 30, battled injuries throughout the season and enters the season finale hitting .245 with one home run, 25 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 123 games. It is a sharp downturn after he won the AL batting crown in 2019 and earned All-Star nods in 2021 and 2022.

“The hunger is there probably more than it ever has been,” Anderson said. “I’m just excited for the offseason and curious to see how things are going to go.”

The Padres on Sunday will be without catcher Luis Campusano, who was placed on the injury list this weekend because of a right ankle sprain. He finished the season hitting .319 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 49 games and figures to play a more prominent role behind the plate in 2024.

“It puts him in a really good spot going into next year,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said.

–Field Level Media

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