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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 5th (All times Eastern)
Chicago White Sox (2-2) at Kansas City Royals (1-2), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - John Danks (0-0, 0.00) Kansas City - Bruce Chen (0-0, 0.00)
(SportsNetwork.com) - John Danks tries to put a miserable 2013 season behind him on Saturday when the Chicago White Sox continue a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
After Danks' season was cut short in 2012 with a shoulder injury, he struggled to find his arm strength last year and was 4-14 with a 4.75 ERA over 22 starts. He also surrendered 28 homers in 138 1/3 innings.
"Keep the ball in the ballpark. That's what hurt me a lot last year," Danks said. "Try to keep the walks where they were and keep the ball in the ballpark. I think the cutter getting back to where I think I can use it a little more aggressively helps. Just trying not to hurt myself. If I do give up a homer, make it a solo shot."
Nearly 20 months removed from shoulder surgery, the White Sox are hoping that Danks can be the pitcher who won 15 games for them in 2010. He appeared to have plenty of arm strength this spring and pitched to a 2.96 ERA over 24 1/3 Cactus League innings.
Kansas City, meanwhile, will counter with left-handed veteran Bruce Chen, who will be starting his sixth year with the Royals.
Chen began last season in the bullpen for Kansas City but rejoined the rotation in mid-July and had a 0.94 ERA in his first six starts. Overall, he was 9-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 34 games (15 starts).
He's 7-2 vs. the White Sox the past three years.
"They're in our division and we face them a lot so we get a chance to see them at lot," Chen said. "It's one of those things that I've been doing well against them, but this year, they're kind of like a different team -- [Jose] Abreu, [Avisail)] Garcia, [Marcus] Semien, [Adam] Eaton. They have a different team, and I'm just glad I'm able to do well against a team in our division because that really helps us a lot."
Kansas City picked up its first win of the season on Friday, as Alex Gordon drove in three runs and Lorenzo Cain had two hits and a pair of RBI in the Royals' 7-5 triumph.
Omar Infante went 3-for-5 with an RBI and Norichika Aoki had three hits and scored a run for the Royals.
Jeremy Guthrie (1-0) allowed four runs on seven hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings to earn the win and Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth to notch his first save of the season.
"It was a good offensive day for us. It was a tough day for pitchers today with the cold and the wind blowing. It was very difficult to grip the ball and get a good feel on the ball," said Royals manager Ned Yost.
Adam Eaton had two hits and two RBI, while Conor Gillaspie, Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia finished with one RBI apiece for the White Sox, who have dropped two straight after winning their first two games of the season.
Erik Johnson (0-1) was tagged for all seven runs on 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings to absorb the loss.
"I just have to compete better for my team. They put five runs on the board after I got them in a hole. You have to give credit to the offense for never giving up and fighting back," said Johnson.
Kansas City was 10-9 against the White Sox last season.
04/05 10:33:17 ET
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