Royals go for sweep of White Sox, fifth straight win
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Travis Wood is excited about pitching with a normal four days between starts.
Wood starts Sunday for the Kansas City Royals against the Chicago White Sox in the finale of this three-game series.
Chicago is on an eight-game losing streak and will counter with left-hander Derek Holland.
Wood will make his third start of the season. He made his last relief appearance June 25 and his first start July 2, a no-decision against the Minnesota Twins. He threw 81 pitches and labored through four innings, allowing two runs.
With the All-Star break and the No. 5 starter, Wood did not pitch again until Tuesday, going 15 days between starts. This time, he'll be pitching on a starter's normal schedule.
"Getting into that five-day routine is big," Wood said.
He took the loss Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers, giving up six runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. Most of the damage was done in the second inning, when he surrendered five runs and six hits with the first four batters reaching base.
"The first one was whatever," Wood said of his initial start. "I always like to stay out there longer, but I knew I was on a pitch count. I was fairly pleased with that one. ...
"Other than the second inning of the last start, I was happy with it. They got to me in the second. I wasn't able to shut them off before they scored five. After that, I thought it was pretty good."
Wood is 0-1 with an 8.64 ERA in his two starts, allowing eight runs and 15 hits. Opponents are hitting .429 with a .762 slugging percentage and a 1.171 OPS in his two starts.
The White Sox are a young, rebuilding team that traded away Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle since July 13 for a plethora of prospects.
"I knew that, obviously, was a possibility, because we had spoken of it," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "The fact that they've been able to do as much as they have, in this short period of time, is kind of impressive.
"I know that most guys in your particular clubhouse start to see all the changes and sometimes start to worry about 'where do I fit in.' I think that the biggest message that I can give our players is to simply keep playing the way we'd like you to play as White Sox. And you end up putting yourself in the position that you need to be in order to maybe solidify remaining as part of the system."
Holland, a veteran left-hander signed to a one-year contract, is another player the White Sox could move before the end of the month.
Holland is 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA against the Royals. He earned a win over them May 4, allowing two runs (one unearned) and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.
The White Sox will attempt to snap their losing streak after falling 7-2 on Saturday in a game in which Melky Cabrera went 4-for-4. The Royals will try to end their homestand with five straight victories after Mike Moustakas hit two of their five homers.