|5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, August 1, 2018
Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 18,019
Royals aim for second straight win against White Sox
Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox
- The Royals lost three of four games in the Bronx, dropping them to 4-18 (.182) against AL East opponents this season, the second-worst record by any team against another division in their league (Bal vs. AL West: 3-16 - .158)
- Whit Merrifield picked up four hits against the Yankees to run his July total to 30 hits. Merrifield has recorded 25 or more hits in nine consecutive months (April through September) starting in May 2017, the longest active streak in MLB.
- Danny Duffy is 3-0 with just one earned run allowed in his last five road starts, including seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball at the White Sox on July 14. His 0.28 ERA over a span of five road starts in a single season is the lowest by a Royal's pitcher, all-time.
- The White Sox won just one of three games against the visiting Blue Jays despite averaging six runs per game in the series. In July, the White Sox offense is on pace to post monthly highs in runs per game (4.96), home runs (32), batting average (.251), slugging (.444), and OPS (.746)
- Omar Narvaez had three hits on Sunday against Toronto, his seventh multi-hit game in July. His 13 multi-hit games while playing catcher since June 7 leads MLB backstops.
- The White Sox have won eight of the last 12 games between these two teams in Chicago, including two of three right before the All-Star break, Chicago's only series win of the month. These two teams have allowed the most and second-most runs in baseball this season (KC -- 580 and CWS -- 571).
- Rangers' Beltre retires after 21 seasons
- Price, Venters named Comeback Players
- Rays cut 1B Cron after 30-homer season
- Cubs pitching coach Hickey steps down
- Indians OF Martin cleared to work out
The Kansas City Royals will go for back-to-back wins for only the third time since the start of June when they face the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
Kansas City (33-73) is coming off a 4-2 win over the White Sox in Tuesday night's series opener. Ryan O'Hearn and Brett Phillips each slugged his first homer of the season -- with O'Hearn's shot coming on his first big league hit -- as the Royals won for only the fourth time in 11 meetings against the White Sox this season.
O'Hearn will try to stay hot after the team promoted him from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday afternoon. After his milestone home run into the right-field bleachers, members of the Royals' bullpen bartered with a fan who caught the baseball. They retrieved the home run ball by giving the fan a separate ball signed by the team's relief pitchers.
"It's surreal, man," O'Hearn said to The Athletic. "It's been a lot of years in the making, and a lot of hard work going into this."
White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (4-6, 5.40 ERA) will try to quiet O'Hearn and his teammates when he takes the mound for his 14th start of the season on Wednesday. The 26-year-old is looking to bounce back from a rocky outing Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels, when he allowed six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Covey is 0-4 with a 6.04 ERA in five career starts against Kansas City. In his only start against the Royals this season, Covey gave up four runs and seven hits over six innings and took the loss in Kansas City's 5-2 victory on April 28.
The Royals will counter with right-hander Jakob Junis, who will make his 20th start of the season. He will pitch a short drive from his hometown of Sterling, Ill., and nearby Rock Falls High School, where he starred on the mound.
The 25-year-old Junis (5-11, 5.06) allowed seven runs (three earned) on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings his last time out against the New York Yankees on Thursday. He has 101 strikeouts in 110 1/3 innings this season but has been hurt by 25 home runs allowed.
Junis' only previous start against the White Sox came this season, when he gave up six hits and six runs and walked two while striking out five in 5 2/3 innings on April 26. He took the loss in Chicago's 6-3 victory that day.
As expected, the White Sox did not sell of key players before Tuesday's trade deadline.
"I didn't anticipate, to be honest, anything else was going to be occurring at this particular time," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said to reporters, according to the team's official website. "But there's always surprises and you deal with them when you reach that point. For us, today was nothing new, so we just keep moving forward."
The Royals will devote much of their focus to younger players in the final two months of the season.
"We've got our eye on everybody, obviously," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said to The Athletic. "We're continuing to look internally for players that can help us going forward. We're far from satisfied with how this season has transpired. And I'm responsible. I'm responsible for the win-loss record of this team."
Updated August 1, 2018