American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 18th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago White Sox (65-53) at Kansas City Royals (52-66), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jake Peavy (9-8, 3.04)
Kansas City - Bruce Chen (8-10, 5.56)
(Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox will try to hang onto its slim lead
in the American League Central race as they take on the Kansas City Royals in
the second portion of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Despite utilizing their promising young starting pitcher Chris Sale (14-4),
the White Sox fell to Kansas City, 4-2, in the series opener to increase their
losing streak versus the Royals to three games. The defeat narrowed Chicago's
lead over Detroit in the division standings to just 1 1/2 games.
Paul Konerko returned from the disabled list and hit a home run for Chicago in
the opener. Second baseman Gordon Beckham produced an RBI and went 2-for-3 at
the plate in the losing effort, but Kevin Youkilis and Adam Dunn combined to
go 0-for-6 with three strike outs.
Youkilis could have a memorable day on Saturday, as he enters just one hit shy
of his 1,000th career hit.
Sale's loss puts more pressure on Jake Peavy to be effective on Saturday.
Peavy has delivered four quality starts in a row and gone 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA
over that span. The right-hander lost to Kansas City on Aug. 7 in a game that
had the similar playoff race implications. The recent memory should serve as
motivation for Peavy in this one.
"I did not see the scoreboard tonight. I don't really care," said Peavy, after
giving the White Sox a chance to win over 6 2/3 innings and 104 pitches in the
loss to the Royals. "You got to take care of business here. Losing a game like
we lost tonight, when you feel like it could have went differently, it
[stinks]. There's no other way to say it."
Bruce Chen earned the decision for Kansas City in that matchup, and he will
try to repeat that success tonight. The southpaw comes in with an 8-10 record
and a 5.56 ERA, but he is 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA in his last eight outings
against Chicago. With eight wins, Chen is the team's leader.
"I guess because they have such a good lineup, I think I concentrate and focus
a little bit better because any mistake you make you can pay for it," said
Chen on his success versus the White Sox.
Alexei Ramirez is just 1-for-22 in his career versus Chen. Konerko, Alex Rios,
and Beckham have also struggled against the left-hander throughout their head-
He did not fare quite as well on Sunday versus Baltimore, as he gave up four
runs, four hits, and two home runs in the team's 5-3 loss to the Orioles.
Kansas City's 22-year old catcher Salvador Perez was the hero in Friday's win
due to his two-run, tie-breaking double in the seventh inning that changed the
complexion of the ballgame. Perez has a career batting average of .316 in 80
Billy Butler and Lorenzo Cain both hit solo home runs for the Royals, who are
10-6 in August so far. Butler now has team-leading totals of 25 home runs and
76 RBI in 2012. The All-Star designed hitter is 10-for-25 with three home runs
and five RBI in his career versus Peavy.
Second baseman Chris Getz suffered a broken left thumb on Friday which will
cause him to miss the rest of the season. The Royals called up their highly
regarded prospect Johnny Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha. He was hitting .323
with 10 home runs and 71 RBI in the minors prior to the recent call up.
Kansas City is 6-4 against the White Sox this season.
08/18 10:34:02 ET