Royals seek consecutive wins against White Sox
The Kansas City Royals will go for back-to-back wins when they host the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night in the second installment of a three-game series.
Kansas City (48-95) is coming off a wild 4-3 win in 10 innings in the series opener. The Royals had a runner on second base when Alcides Escobar laid down a sacrifice bunt. White Sox reliever Jeanmar Gomez fired an errant throw to third base to try to catch the lead runner, Brian Goodwin, who instead headed home for the winning run.
The tough ending marked the sixth loss in a row for Chicago (56-88).
White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (5-12, 5.44 ERA) will make his 18th start of the season and 30th of his career. Covey has been in the bullpen for the past three weeks but is rejoining the rotation to replace rookie Michael Kopech, who tore a ligament in his elbow and will require Tommy John surgery after only four starts in the big leagues.
In seven starts against the Royals, Covey is 0-6 with a 5.87 ERA. He has walked 19 and fanned 20 in 38 1/3 innings. This will be the fourth time this season that Covey has faced Kansas City.
The Royals will counter with right-hander Brad Keller (7-6, 3.14 ERA), who will make the 18th start of his rookie campaign. He has limited opponents to three runs in his past 15 innings for a 1.80 ERA during that span.
In six career appearances (three starts) against the White Sox, Keller is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA. He has walked seven and struck out 17 in 17 innings. He most recently faced Chicago on Aug. 18, when he earned a win and allowed one run — a solo homer by White Sox outfielder Nicky Delmonico — in five innings.
Keller has made the most of his opportunity since he was selected in last winter’s Rule 5 draft by the Cincinnati Reds and quickly traded to the Royals for a player to be named. The moves gave him an opportunity to jump to the majors after working his way through the Arizona Diamondbacks’ system as an eight-round pick in 2013.
“I wouldn’t call it effortless, but he comes at you,” Royals manager Ned Yost told the Kansas City Star. “He throws strikes with his stuff. He’s not all over the place. He’s not pitching from behind. He’s coming after you.”
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu will be available for the second game since coming off the 10-day disabled list. The Cuban slugger needs three more home runs to become the ninth player in history to hit at least 25 home runs in each of his first five seasons. Others on the list include Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols.
“Everybody knows I was feeling good with my offense before the injury happened,” Abreu said through an interpreter to MLB.com. “Now, I just want to think about the things I can do on a daily basis. We have 18 or 20 games left, and I want to take advantage of every single game.”