Royals-White Sox Preview
No pressure, Miguel Gonzalez, just go out there and follow up the numbers Chris Sale and Jose Quintana are putting up.
If the Chicago White Sox can get anywhere near that from the former Baltimore starter signed to a minor league deal April 3, they should be in good shape for his home debut Saturday against the Kansas City Royals.
Gonzalez (0-0, 5.17 ERA) is making his fourth start and third since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on May 9, and he's yet to prove he can harness any reasonable level of control. The right-hander gave up three runs and five hits with five walks in 4 2/3 innings of Sunday's 7-5 loss to the New York Yankees.
He's issued 10 walks in 15 2/3 innings so far with his new club.
“I thought I could have gone more, but that control wasn't there,” Gonzalez told MLB's official website. “It's part of the game sometimes.”
He's also struggled against Kansas City, going 1-3 with a 5.09 ERA in four starts. Jarrod Dyson is 5 for 6 and could find his way into the lineup, but Eric Hosmer (1 for 11), Kendrys Morales (1 for 10), Alcides Escobar (1 for 9), Omar Infante (1 for 8) and Alex Gordon (1 for 8 with four strikeouts) have struggled.
Gonzalez is up against Danny Duffy (0-0, 2.57), who's making his second start after appearing 16 times out of the bullpen. He was put on a 45-pitch limit and threw 48 in Sunday's 4-2 home win over Atlanta, giving up a hit in three scoreless innings. He'll be limited to 60 for this game.
“I thought it went pretty well,” Duffy said. “I sort of ran out of gas in the third inning and lost my legs, but I got through it. Next time I should be stronger.”
The left-hander is 3-2 with a 3.64 ERA in nine starts and two relief appearances against the White Sox, and much of the success involved has come at U.S. Cellular Field with a 2-1 record and 1.82 mark in five starts and two relief showings.
Robin Ventura might consider putting Carlos Sanchez in the lineup since he's 5 for 8 against Duffy. Alex Avila (1 for 8), Melky Cabrera (2 for 15) and Adam Eaton (3 for 21) have struggled.
The Royals (21-20) opened the series with Friday's 4-1 win for their fourth in five games. Paulo Orlando was 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs and is 10 for 18 with six RBIs in his last five.
They're expected to have Mike Moustakas (thumb) back after a minor league rehab stint.
Chicago (25-17) has lost four of five as it watches its AL Central lead shrink. The White Sox have only managed 11 hits in the last two games, and Brett Lawrie is 0 for 15 with nine strikeouts in his last four.
“We had some opportunities and we didn't do that same thing that they did, being able to put it in play and knock guys in,” Ventura said. “We had enough guys on base, we just didn't execute enough.”