White Sox-Royals Preview
After enjoying a massive outburst at the plate in their previous two games, the Kansas City Royals were quieted by a familiar nemesis with the Chicago White Sox.
Now they should feel confident about bouncing back in a matchup that they’ve dominated.
With Jose Quintana looking to beat them for the first time in his career, the Royals will try to avoid their first series loss at Kauffman Stadium since mid-June on Saturday night.
Kansas City (82-52) rolled into its series with Chicago (63-70), totaling 27 runs and 34 hits in back-to-back victories over Detroit in the first series of this nine-game homestand.
The AL-best Royals, however, couldn’t overcome their struggles against John Danks in Friday’s 12-1 defeat. Danks improved to 10-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 21 career meetings after his complete-game effort dealt the club only its eighth loss in the past 32 home games.
Kendrys Morales had been batting .441 with four homers in his previous nine games before going 0 for 3 and Lorenzo Cain had his 11-game hitting streak come to an end.
”If you figure it out, let me know, because I have not figured it out,” manager Ned Yost said. ”I mean seriously I haven’t. Certain players have certain teams that they do really well against."
Yost’s club might be able to get back on track against another left-hander. Quintana has a 5.63 ERA in four starts against the Royals in 2015 and is 0-6 with a 4.68 mark in 16 career matchups.
Quintana (7-10, 3.75 ERA) had gone at least six innings in 21 of his prior 23 starts before allowing four runs and nine hits over 4 1-3 in Sunday’s 6-5 home win over Seattle.
"You would like to see Q better than that. He grinded through it," manager Robin Ventura told MLB’s official website. "We know he’s better than this. He knows he’s better than this."
Quintana will try to rebound with a career-high fourth straight road win. He’s 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last four for the White Sox, who seek their third straight win.
Cain is hitting .375 in 40 at-bats versus Quintana, while Salvador Perez is batting .366 with two home runs in 41 at-bats. Paulo Orlando is 4 for 8 with two doubles off him this season, though Omar Infante has gone 0 for 11 with five strikeouts.
Danny Duffy is 5-2 with a 3.08 ERA in his last 11 starts, but he’d like to be a little more efficient after failing to reach the seventh inning in the past five. He yielded two runs over five Sunday before leaving without a decision in a 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in his last six starts at Kauffman Stadium, but has an 8.64 mark in two home meetings with Chicago. He’s 1-0 with an 0.68 ERA in his two on the road.
Slugger Jose Abreu is 5 for 15 with a home run against Duffy (7-6, 4.11), but Adam Eaton and Tyler Flowers are a combined 4 for 29 with 10 strikeouts.
Abreu and Flowers each homered Friday to help the White Sox snap a seven-game losing streak in Kansas City. Eaton and Alexei Ramirez both matched career highs with four hits.