Royals-White Sox Preview

Adam Dunn hasn’t given Chicago White Sox fans much reason to

cheer, but after a key hit in his last game, he’s hoping he’s

finally turned the corner.

Dunn and the White Sox will try to move over .500 for the first

time in more than two months when they continue their series

against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

Chicago (43-43) signed Dunn after he hit 116 home runs his last

three years, but he’s batting .171 with an American League-worst

105 strikeouts.

He came into Monday 2 for 37 with 20 strikeouts in the previous

11 games, but he had two hits – including a two-run homer in the

eighth – as Chicago defeated Kansas City (34-51) on a walkoff

balk.

“I hadn’t hit one in so long I almost forgot,” said Dunn about

his first homer since June 12 and eighth overall.

The slugger raised his average at U.S. Cellular Field 13 points

to .139 with only his second multihit game there this year.

After Dunn gave Chicago a 4-3 lead, Eric Hosmer homered in the

ninth off closer Sergio Santos. Dunn was batting when Aaron Crow

balked home A.J. Pierzynski with the winning run with two outs.

“He just came up a little bit,” Pierzynski said. “It wasn’t

much, but I’ve seen it called a lot of times. … It was a good way

to win. Good comeback.”

The Royals, not surprisingly, disagreed with the call by plate

umpire Ed Rapuano.

“I understand if he drops the ball or blatantly moves, but he’s

calling him for flinching when he’s stepping back off the mound.

What the hell are you supposed to do? How are you supposed to step

off? It’s a disappointing call,” Jeff Francoeur said.

With the victory, the White Sox moved back to .500 for the

second time in three days. They last had a winning record April 15

at 7-6.

The Royals have lost 12 of 15 and failed to build on a 16-8 win

over Colorado on Sunday. Francoeur got the Royals off to another

quick start with a two-run homer in the first, while Hosmer’s homer

was his second in as many days.

Kansas City will try to bounce back against Jake Peavy (4-1,

4.47 ERA).

Peavy went six innings against Colorado on Thursday, giving up

four runs – three on a first-inning home run – in a 6-4, 10-inning

win.

The right-hander is 4-2 with a 3.89 ERA against the Royals,

including 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA in three starts last year.

Billy Butler is 4 for 10 with three homers against Peavy while

Francoeur is 4 for 12.

The Royals will turn to Felipe Paulino (0-2, 3.21), who will try

to avoid losing his third straight start. Paulino allowed four runs

and a season-high 11 hits in seven innings of a 4-2 loss to San

Diego last Tuesday.

Paulino has appeared in seven games with the Royals since being

acquired from Colorado. He has never faced the White Sox.

Kansas City has lost nine straight to AL Central rivals and is

9-17 in intradivision play.