(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals will be shooting for a series sweep
and their sixth consecutive victory as they take on the Chicago White Sox at
U.S. Cellular Field.
Kansas City's pitching staff has been excellent during its recent winning
streak and the starting rotation has a 0.79 ERA over that span. The White Sox
has felt the wrath of the Royals' pitching staff in this series as they have
produced just one run through the first two games.
Chicago starter Chris Sale went nine innings in Saturday's affair, giving up
the lone run on seven hits and a walk, but the lack of run support spoiled an
otherwise impressive performance. The 1-0 loss dropped the White Sox to 21
games below the .500 mark for the first time since Sept. 25, 2007.
"Yeah, I mean, just gotta stay on the positive," Sale said of his mindset.
"Can't get down on yourself or anyone else. Just keep grinding it out and
things will turn around."
Conor Gillaspie's homer in the eighth inning of the opener was the lone score
of the series for the White Sox, who have lost five of their last six games.
Gordon Beckham and Josh Phegley have combined to go 0-for-13 at the plate
through the first two games.
Chicago will need to figure out a way to generate more offensively to help out
Sunday's starter, Hector Santiago.
Santiago has been solid so far this month, with a 2.81 ERA in four starts, but
he has not took a winning decision since June 21. Although he has not allowed
more than three earned runs in a game in July, he has been taken yard once in
all four starts.
The Royals will counter with the undefeated Bruce Chen, who has allowed only
one run in 12 innings since moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation.
The 36-year old southpaw improved to 4-0 on Tuesday as he gave up just one run
on a solo shot over six innings versus Baltimore.
"He just keeps you off balance. He never gives in," Oriole centerfielder Adam
Jones said. "It's a true testament to how he's maintained and stayed around as
long as he has. He's not tricking you, because he can't blow it by anybody. He
just makes his pitches. I was sitting out in center field wondering how we
only had three hits. How? But he makes his pitches and you have to respect
Billy Butler has been leading the charge offensively for the Royals of
late. He went 2-for-3 on Saturday to register his fourth-straight multi-hit
game and is also batting .450 over his last 10 games. Lorenzo Cain has driven
in a run in both games of the series.
Kansas City has won six of the 11 matchups between these divisional rivals
this season. The Royals are seven games back of Detroit for first place in the
AL Central while Chicago is 17 games behind with sole possession of last place
in the division.
The Sports Network