The White Sox hope to make up ground in the AL Central as they continue their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox beat the Royals 8-5 on Friday, but remained 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the division. The Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 6-2.
Chicago closes its season with six more games against the Royals and three against the AL-leading New York Yankees.
The Twins, however, play six games against the Tigers, who own the worst record in the majors, and two against the Cleveland Indians, who are 19 1/2 games back in the Central.
“We got to have a lot of help to be in first,” Chicago’s Frank Thomas said. “We’re hoping Detroit and Cleveland can come through for us and we continue to win. It doesn’t look good, but we’ll fight until the end. We’re not going to quit.”
The White Sox can only blame themselves for their current position—they were swept in three games against Minnesota coming into this series.
“We had our chances in Minnesota and didn’t take advantage of it. Now we got to take care of Kansas City,” said Chicago’s Jose Valentin, who had three hits, including a homer, on Friday. “We’ll try to win every game, finish strong and see what happens.”
Magglio Ordonez also homered for the White Sox on Friday.
The Royals fell 5 1/2 games behind the Twins. Any combination of four Minnesota wins or Kansas City losses would knock the Royals out of contention for the Central title.
Kansas City has already been eliminated from the wild card hunt.
“To play in October, we have to win every game, so tonight was a tough blow,” said Mike Sweeney, who homered for the Royals.
STANDINGS: Royals - 3rd place, 5 1/2 GB, AL Central. White Sox - 2nd place, 3 1/2 GB, AL Central.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Brian Anderson (12-11, 3.94 ERA). Anderson gave up four earned runs and 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings of Monday’s 10-4 win over the Tigers, his second straight win and fourth in six decisions. In nine career appearances, including seven starts, against the White Sox, he is 5-2 with a 4.57 ERA.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Dan Wright (1-6, 5.68 ERA). Wright gave up four runs and two hits in just one inning of a 7-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 12. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 9.53 ERA—his second-highest mark against any team—in five career starts against the Royals.
SEASON SERIES: White Sox, 8-5.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Royals - 1B-DH Sweeney’s homer was the 19th of his career against the White Sox, and third this season. It also snapped a 2-for-24 slump. … With 79 wins, the Royals are tied for the 10th-best turnaround following a 100-loss season. White Sox - 1B-DH Thomas is just one RBI shy of his 10th 100-RBI season. He went 3-for-4 Friday after going 1-for-12 in the series against the Twins. … RHP Wright has yet to win a start this season after winning 14 last season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Royals - 41-39 on the road; White Sox - 49-27 at home.
INJURIES: Royals - OF Michael Tucker (leg), 15-day DL; RHP Kevin Appier (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Runelvys Hernandez (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Kyle Snyder (shoulder), 60-day DL. White Sox - LHP Josh Stewart (hand), 15-day DL.