American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 19th (All times Eastern)
Chicago White Sox (65-54) at Kansas City Royals (53-66), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jose Quintana (5-2, 2.77) Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (2-3, 4.02)
(Sports Network) - Kansas City will try to complete the sweep when the Royals host the Chicago White Sox today in the finale of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Bruce Chen (9-10) picked up the victory for Kansas City in last night's 9-4 win after throwing six strong innings and surrendering only two runs, five hits and a walk.
Offensively, third baseman Mike Moustakas clubbed a three-run homer and knocked in four runs overall, Billy Butler finished with three RBI, Alcides Escobar had four hits and scored three times and Eric Hosmer added a solo shot to help the Royals win for the fourth time in their last five games.
Butler's team-leading RBI total is now at 79 while Escobar's batting average is .309. Johnny Giavotella returned to the majors for the first time since June to replace the injured Chris Getz. Giavotella, who is a highly touted prospect, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the victory.
Jeremy Guthrie will hope to get the same level of run support today as he takes the hill for the sweep-seeking Royals. Kansas City's starting right- hander has not needed much offense to get through his past two outings as he comes in riding a string of 15 shutout innings in back-to-back triumphs over Chicago and Oakland. Guthrie held the A's to three singles and two walks while striking out eight in Tuesday's 5-0 win.
"You're not a No. 1 starter for four years and start Opening Day just for nothing," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I just felt, along with Dayton [Moore, general manager] that three or four starts would get him back on track, and he's definitely on track. You look at it and you see this is not fluky stuff -- it could be extended out, start after start."
The improved performance by Guthrie is relieving after he posted a 7.71 ERA in his first three starts with the club after being acquired in a trade from Colorado on July 19.
Chicago will counter with Jose Quintana, who has been on a hot streak himself. The left-handed rookie lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowed two runs on eight hits, walked two, and struck out four in the team's 3-2 win over Toronto on Tuesday night. His current ERA dropped to 2.77 after surrendering only two runs in back-to-back games.
"I have made a couple corrections in some of my pitches and all in all, I think that adjustment has been helping me out," said Quintana, who added the adjustment was more to do with execution and pitch location as opposed to something mechanical. "I feel good, I've definitely never pitched this many innings but it's one of those things -- my arm feels good and I'm putting in the work and I feel that I can definitely go the distance,"
Quintana is winless against the Royals in two starts this year. He allowed just two runs in a 2-1 loss to Kansas City earlier this month.
The White Sox, who lead the AL Central by 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit, need to up their offensive production to avoid the sweep. The team has scored just 13 runs in its last five meetings with Kansas City. Adam Dunn hit his 400th career home run in Saturday's loss. Dunn leads the team with 35 home runs and 83 RBI for the season.
Paul Konerko also hit his 400th career home run earlier this season. No other teammates have reached the 400 home run milestone in the same season in MLB history.
Dunn is just 1-for-10 with five strike outs in his career versus Guthrie.
Kansas City is 7-4 against the White Sox this season.
08/19 11:19:19 ET