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