Preview: White Sox (62-70) at Royals (82-51)
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: September 04, 2015 8:10 PM EDT
Kris Medlen has cashed in on his chance in the Kansas City Royals’ starting rotation, while John Danks can’t buy a win for the Chicago White Sox.
Kansas City looks to ride its red-hot offense to a sixth straight victory over the visiting White Sox in Friday night’s series opener.
Medlen (3-0, 3.51 ERA) has filled in for the ineffective Jeremy Guthrie to pick up wins in his first two starts since 2013. He missed all of 2014 after undergoing surgery on his throwing elbow and returned to the big leagues this year to make seven appearances out of the Royals’ bullpen.
The right-hander was plugged into the rotation last week and held Baltimore and Tampa Bay to six runs and nine hits over 11 1-3 innings while walking two and striking out 11.
Medlen benefited from a 10.32 run support average in his two starts, which could keep climbing based on Kansas City’s offensive production this week.
Kansas City (82-51) totaled 44 hits and 32 runs in taking two of three against Detroit, winning 15-7 on Thursday behind a season-high 20 hits. Ben Zobrist and Kendrys Morales each finished with four hits, while Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando homered.
The Royals’ 20 hits and 15 runs were their most since pounding out 21 hits in a 16-8 victory at Colorado on July 3, 2011.
‘It was definitely a long game,’ Cain said, ‘but we’ll take that kind of win.’
Morales is batting .441 with four homers and 13 RBIs in his last nine games, while Cain is hitting .395 with 10 RBIs during an 11-game hit streak.
The White Sox (62-70) are 3-10 against the Royals this year and have six wins in their last 27 meetings with their division rivals. Chicago has lost seven straight in Kansas City and has been swept twice there this season.
Danks (6-12, 4.82) is 0-4 in his last five turns, and three scoreless outings in five July starts is a distant memory.
He limited Seattle to two runs and seven hits over six innings last Friday, but was a tough-luck 2-0 loser. Danks is 1-4 with a 5.23 ERA since shutting out the Royals and St. Louis over 12 1-3 innings in back-to-back July starts. He is 2-8 with a 6.48 ERA on the road this season.
‘It’s a team game – everybody’s got to do their job,’ Danks said. ‘There’s been plenty of times I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain… It’s frustrating.’
Danks is 9-2 with a 2.69 ERA in 20 career starts against the Royals. He went 4-0 with a 1.73 in his first 10 starts at Kauffman Stadium before losing his two outings there this season.
He’s fared very well against Cain (.217), Morales (.207), Salvador Perez (.160) and Zobrist (.130), but Eric Hosmer (.290) and newcomer Jonny Gomes (6 for 19 with a homer and two doubles) have had success.