Royals-White Sox Preview
A strong finish at the plate by Brent Morel has the Chicago
White Sox feeling good as they look ahead to 2012.
Morel will try to continue his September power surge when the
White Sox and Kansas City Royals wrap up their season series
Morel homered and drove in two runs during a 6-3 victory
Saturday. He has eight homers in 23 games this month after hitting
two in his first 99 contests.
“I’m not trying to protect so much. That’s been keeping me off
some of the pitcher’s pitches. I’m just trying to get a ball in the
middle of the plate,” said Morel, who has two homers and six RBIs
in his last five matchups with the Royals.
While Morel is closing strongly, Adam Dunn is headed toward a
Dunn hasn’t had a batting average below .215 in any of his first
10 seasons, all in the NL. However, he’s hitting .162 and needs 17
plate appearances in the final four games to become an official
qualifier. The post-1900 record for lowest batting average by a
qualifier is .179 by Detroit’s Rob Deer in 1991.
Dunn is batting .139 (5 for 36) with a homer and four RBIs in 10
games versus the Royals.
With a 7-10 mark, Chicago is assured of its first losing season
against Kansas City since 2000. The White Sox (77-81) need to win
Sunday and sweep Toronto to avoid their third losing record in the
last five years under Ozzie Guillen, whose future with the club is
“We got a few games left, hopefully we win the games we have
left,” he said.
Chicago will next face Luis Mendoza (1-0, 1.29 ERA) as he tries
to build off a solid outing in his first major league action in
nearly 1 1/2 years. The right-hander allowed two runs in seven
innings of a 10-2 victory over playoff-bound Detroit on Tuesday,
earning his first win since Aug. 3, 2008, with Texas.
In April of last year, the Royals (69-89) sent Mendoza to the
minors after he surrendered 10 runs and 10 hits in four innings
over four games. He was the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the
year after going 12-5 with a league-best 2.18 ERA for Triple-A
Mendoza is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three games – two starts –
against the White Sox.
Looking to avoid finishing with a sub-.500 record for the second
straight season, Gavin Floyd (12-12, 4.46) will take the ball for
the White Sox.
The right-hander has gone 0-2 with a 5.16 ERA in four starts
this month. Floyd suffered his second straight defeat after
yielding four runs and a season-high three homers in a 4-3 loss to
Cleveland on Tuesday.
Floyd took the loss in his only appearance of the season against
the Royals, a 7-6, 12-inning defeat on April 5 at Kauffman Stadium.
He’s 3-7 with a 4.83 ERA in his career versus Kansas City, but 2-3
with a 3.00 ERA in six games – five starts – at U.S. Cellular
Royals outfielder Melky Cabrera, who needs one hit to reach 200
for the first time in his seven-year career, is hitting .417 (5 for
12) in his career off Floyd.