American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, July 27th
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (49-51) at Chicago White Sox (40-60), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Wade Davis (4-9, 5.92)
Chicago - Chris Sale (6-9, 2.81)
(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals have a big obstacle standing in the
way of their fifth straight win as they take on the Chicago White Sox in the
second of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
The talented southpaw Chris Sale will be on the mound on Saturday for the
White Sox, who were defeated, 5-1, in the opener. Sale has been consistently
effective for Chicago, not allowing more than three earned runs in any of his
past five starts. A lack of run support is the primary reason the All-Star ace
has just one win in his last nine games. Sale was the winning pitcher of the
Midsummer Classic before taking a loss on Monday despite limiting the Tigers
to just two earned runs and fanning 11 batters in eight innings.
Chicago will need to figure out a way to generate more offensively to help out
Sale. On Friday, Conor Gillaspie's homer in the eighth was the lone score for
the White Sox, who have lost four of their last five games.
"Offensively, guys were swinging it, hitting it hard, a lot of chances," said
White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "That's just the way it goes. Unfortunately,
that's the way it was and late, it just kind of unravels."
Alex Rios, Gordon Beckham and Josh Phegley all went hitless in a combined 11
at-bats in the series opening loss. Beckham was making his return to the
lineup after missing five games with a strained ligament in his left wrist.
Adam Dunn has hit one single in three-straight games and has just two extra
base hits in his last 13 appearances. Alexei Ramirez has gone 2-for-4 in back-
Ramirez may have trouble continuing that streak as he has a .188 career
average against Royals starter Wade Davis. The 6-foot-5 righty is coming off
of his second shortest outing of the season. Davis had trouble with his
control as he gave up four runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits in 2
2/3 innings against Baltimore on Monday. The 27-year old starter has taken a
loss in four-straight games and has a 7.98 ERA in July.
Kansas City has been playing with confidence since the break with six wins in
eight games. Right fielder David Lough led the offense on Friday by going 2-
for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Billy Butler also went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Lough's recent hot streak has driven his batting average up to .304. He is 8-
for-19 with five runs driven in and four scored over his past six games.
Butler has been just as dangerous, going 6-for-10 with a pair of doubles and a
homer in the last three days.
These teams have split their first 10 games in 2013. The Royals are seven
games back of Detroit for first place in the AL Central while Chicago is 16
games behind in last place in the division.
07/27 10:24:39 ET