American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, June 23rd (All times Eastern)
Chicago White Sox (31-41) at Kansas City Royals (34-38), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.39) Kansas City - James Shields (2-6, 2.72)
(Sports Network) - Trying for the series sweep, the Chicago White Sox will square off with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday in the finale of a three-game set.
The White Sox earned a late-inning victory in Saturday's game, as Alejandro De Aza's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning lifted them to a 3-2 triumph.
Jesse Crain worked around a couple of baserunners in the bottom of the eighth and was eventually awarded the win. Crain, who sports a 0.53 ERA, has made 29 consecutive scoreless appearances.
"I always have the feeling out there that I'm going to get through it no matter what," Crain said. "Just make the best pitch you can."
Starting pitcher Jose Quintana allowed two earned run in 5 1/3 innings in the no-decision. Addison Reed worked a perfect ninth for his 21st save.
Jeff Keppinger finished 3-for-3, including an RBI single in the fourth inning. Conor Gillaspie also knocked home a run in the fourth for the away team.
After Wade Davis allowed just two runs over seven innings of work, Aaron Crow was saddled with the loss for the Royals.
Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas each collected two hits in defeat.
The Royals' struggles scoring runs continued, as they moved to 11-33 when putting up three runs or fewer.
Taking the hill for Chicago on Sunday will be Dylan Axelrod, who is 3-4 with a 4.39 ERA on the season.
In 10 starts from mid-April to early June, Axelrod allowed three earned runs or less nine times, but he has struggled lately by allowing 10 earned runs over the course of his last 10 innings pitched. He yielded 10 hits, two walks, and four earned runs on June 18 against Minnesota but was lucky enough to escape with a no-decision.
The 27-year-old right-hander has performed much better on the road in his career (3.67 ERA) than he has at home (5.50).
For Kansas City, James Shields will toe the rubber looking for his first win since April 30. At 2-6, Shields has been one of the unluckiest pitchers in the majors this season, as he owns a 2.72 ERA and has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of nine starts since his last victory.
Shields pitched six strong innings in a no-decision versus the Indians on June 17, allowing four hits and one earned run while striking out five.
The right-hander has allowed just one run in 14 innings against the White Sox this season while striking out 15, although his efforts have yielded an 0-1 mark against the AL Central foes.
06/23 10:35:52 ET