American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, June 15 (All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (35-32) at Chicago White Sox (33-36), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - James Shields (7-3, 3.44) Chicago - Andre Rienzo (4-3, 5.25)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot Kansas City Royals will go for the series sweep of the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon as the weekend set at U.S. Cellular Field comes to an end.
The Royals won their sixth straight game in convincing fashion on Saturday, busting loose for five runs in the fourth inning on their way to an easy 9-1 victory.
Mike Moustakas (3-for-4) and Billy Butler (2-for-4) both had two runs scored, two RBI and a home run for Kansas City, which finished the afternoon with 16 hits. Lorenzo Cain was the only player in the starting lineup who failed to record a hit, although he made up for it with a pair of RBI.
Not to be outdone by the impressive offensive showing was Danny Duffy (4-5), who was excellent over seven scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and a walk while tying a career high with nine strikeouts.
"He just did a great job," Royals manager Ned Yost said of his starting pitcher. "He had everything working. His fastball, his breaking ball, he had a good changeup and he had a really, really good defense behind him."
Hector Noesi (2-5) was cruising along until the troublesome fourth inning and exited with a final line of 3 2/3 innings, eight hits and five runs, although just two of those were earned.
The White Sox avoided a shutout in the bottom of the ninth when Paul Konerko belted his fourth homer of the year.
James Shields will get the call for the road team on Sunday. The Royals' ace is 7-3 with a 3.44 ERA and has won four straight decisions.
Shields was on point his last time out, allowing just one unearned run in six innings of work while striking out eight in a victory over the Yankees on June 8.
"Shields had to grind it out again and again," Yost said of his pitcher, who had to work around six hits and two walks on the day. "He made it through some choppy waters."
The nine-year veteran is 3-1 lifetime at U.S. Cellular Field with a 2.89 ERA.
For Chicago, Andre Rienzo will head to the mound attempting to improve upon a 4-3 record and a 5.25 ERA.
Rienzo has earned a loss in three straight starts, and his latest outing was his worst yet, as he gave up nine hits and seven earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings.
The 26-year-old Brazil native faced the Royals on May 20, yielding two earned runs over six innings with eight strikeouts in a win.
Kansas City has a 5-3 edge in the season series with Chicago and remains just a game and a half behind Detroit for first place in the AL Central.
06/15 10:48:08 ET