The Chicago White Sox will look to keep the pressure on the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians as they continue their series versus division basement dwellers Kansas City Royals. Chicago improved to 23-15 on the season and moved to with one-half game behind the Indians, who had the day off, with an 11-6 victory over the Royals on Thursday. The victory was the Sox's six in seven games against KC this year. Meanwhile, the Royals (14-24) are on the brink of playoff elimination as they have dropped 14 of their last 19 contests overall.
Pitching matchup: In a battle of young right-handers, Dane Dunning (0-0) will go for the White Sox while the Royals will send Brady Singer (1-3) to the hill.
Two Big Innings Propel White Sox Over Royals, Snap Two-Game SkidChicago exploded for five runs in the second and seventh inning on their way to a 11-6 victory over Kansas City to open a four-game series at Kaufman Stadium on Thursday night and snap a two-game losing streak. The White Sox hitters continued to beat on Royals' pitching as they rapped out 13 hits, including three home runs, and the run total tied a season-high. Tim Anderson (.347) continued his strong work at the plate with three hits in four at-bats with two runs scored, one home run as well as two RBI, marking his sixth game of the season with at least three knocks. Yasmani Grandal (2-for-3, 2 walks, 1 2B), Jose Abreu (2-for-5, 3 RBI), and Adam Engel (2-for-4) joined Anderson with a multi-hit affair and were among seven players to get a base knock. Edwin Encarnacion (1-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI) and Luis Robert (1-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI) also homered. Starter Dylan Cease (5-2) picked up the victory as he allowed four hits and three runs over five innings of work.
The White Sox are averaging over seven runs a game (51 total) against the Royals as they are hitting .306 with 11 4-baggers along with 29 walks and 58 strikeouts. Anderson (.476 avg), Robert (.366 avg., 4 HR, 9 RBI), and Grandal (.333) have particularly feasted on Royals pitching. Meanwhile, the Sox's pitching staff have posted a 6-1 record with a 4.21 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and 8.5 SO/9 in the seven games versus KC this season.
Rookie Dane Dunning is slated to make his third start of the season. Dunning showed magnificent improvement, and was pretty dazzling overall, in his second outing in a 5-2 White Sox victory the Royals in 10 innings on Sunday. In that outing, the 25-year-old threw five hitless shutout innings while recording seven strikeouts and just one walk. He also induced six ground balls along compared to just two fly balls.He also struck out seven in his debut, a 5-3 victory over Detroit, but he allowed three runs on five hits in four and one-third innings of work. Overall, the rookie has yet to get a decision and owns a 2.89 ERA with a 0.75 WHIP, .152 OBA, and a 2.17 FIP. His per nine-inning stats are as follows, 4.8 hits, 1.0 home runs, 1.9 walks, and 13.5 strikeouts. While this is the 2016 first-round draft selection' second go-around versus the Royals, it marks Dunning's first outing away from Guaranteed Rate Field.
Kansas City Continues To Struggle At HomeAfter posting a 4-4 record over its first eight games at Kaufman Stadium, Kansas City has lost six of its last nine to fall to 7-10 there for the season following an 11-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Offense has been a huge problem for the Royals at home recently as they have been outscored by 20 runs over this nine-game stretch as the Royals are averaging just 2. 8 runs at Kaufman Stadium during this stretch. The Royals six tallies on Thursday are their most runs at home since they crossed the plate nine times in a 9-6 win versus Minnesota on Aug. 8.
Hunter Dozier, who is 4-for-11 at-the-plate over the last three games, led the way offensively on Thursday with two hits in five at-bats which his fifth home run of the campaign in the first inning.
Edward Olivares also had a strong game in his debut with the Royals, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored, as did Nicky Lopez (2-for-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI).
Kansas City is averaging 4.4 runs while batting .261 with 11 homers along with 27 walks and 61 strikeouts versus the White Sox this season. On the mound, the Royals have a 1-6 record against the White Sox with a 5.92 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, and 8.37 SO/9.
Brady Singer has struggled, like the rest of the Royals' starting staff which ranks in the bottom third of the league, this year. Singer's biggest issue has been his control and that he is prone to make one or two big mistakes a game that hitters have taken advantage of. The 24-year-old righty recorded a no-decision in a 9-6 victory against the White Sox on Sunday as he surrendered three runs -- two of which came on a Juan Encarnacion -- on five hits while walking two and striking out four. He also induced 11 ground balls compared to four fly balls, marking the third straight contest that he has gotten more opponents to hit more ground balls than fly balls. The 2018 first-round draft pick has gone at least five innings seven times, allowed five hits on six occasions, allowed two or more runs seven times, and one homer in six games.
Singer is 1-3 on the season with a 5.19 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, .248 OBA, and 5.55 FIP. The rookie's nine-innings include 8.6 hits, 2.1 home runs, 3.6 walks, and eight strikeouts. While Singer is making his eighth career start, he will be pitching at Kaufman Stadium for just the third time. He is 1-1 at home this season as he has allowed 11 hits, including two home runs, and six runs while walking two and striking out seven in nine innings of work.
The Royals are:
- 17-35 in their last 52 during game 2 of a series.
- 108-226 in their last 334 games as an underdog.
- 20-42 in their last 62 games as a home underdog.
- 26-59 in their last 85 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
- 56-135 in their last 191 vs. a team with a winning record.
- 28-68 in their last 96 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
- 8-20 in their last 28 Friday games.
- 28-75 in their last 103 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
- 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
The White Sox are:
- 4-0 in their last 4 Friday games.
- 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- 11-3 in their last 14 when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game.
- 10-3 in their last 13 vs. American League Central.
- 13-4 in their last 17 overall.
- 13-4 in their last 17 after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game.
- 9-3 in their last 12 games following a win.
- 12-4 in their last 16 road games.
- 19-7 in their last 26 games as a road favorite.
- 9-4 in their last 13 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
- 6-1 in the last 7 meetings versus the Royals.
- 4-0 in the last 4 meetings versus the Royals in Kansas City.