Although Chicago and Kansas City are out of the playoff race, Jose Valentin isn’t done tormenting the Royals.
The 33-year-old shortstop hopes to have another big game against them as the White Sox and Royals continue their season-ending four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Valentin hit a grand slam on Friday, helping Chicago to an 11-2 victory, the team’s third win in five games. It was the seventh career slam for the 12th-year veteran, who is batting .363 against the Royals this season with eight homers and 16 RBIs in 44 at-bats.
“He’s killing us, man,” said Carlos Beltran, who hit his 26th homer run for the Royals.
The loss spoiled Beltran’s milestone achievement as the center fielder became the sixth player since 1900 to have 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in three seasons.
The Royals, who along with the White Sox were in contention for the AL Central title up until Tuesday, lost for the fourth time in 14 games.
Bartolo Colon starts for Chicago in this game as he tries for his 100th career victory.
The right-hander is 4-2 in his last seven starts, allowing three runs or fewer six times over that span.
STANDINGS: White Sox - 2nd place, 6 GB, AL Central. Royals - 2nd place, 7 GB, AL Central.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Colon (14-13, 3.90 ERA). Colon held the New York Yankees to three runs and seven hits over six innings of Chicago’s 6-3, 10-inning victory on Monday. Colon is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts against the Royals this season. In 16 career starts against them, he is 8-5 with a 4.75 ERA.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Jamey Wright (1-1, 1.57 ERA). The right-hander, called up from Triple-A Omaha on Sept. 5, hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his three starts this season. In the Royals’ 8-5 road loss to the White Sox on Sept. 19, he gave up one run and five hits over six innings but didn’t get a decision. Wright is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two career starts against Chicago.
SEASON SERIES: White Sox, 9-8.
STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - SS Valentin has seven RBIs in his last two games. … The White Sox broke their club record of 217 home runs set last season. … RF Ordonez, chasing an AL batting title, was moved from his customary cleanup spot to second in the White Sox lineup. He was 0-for-4. Royals - DH Mike Sweeney went 0-for-3 Friday after missing the previous three games with soreness in his back. … Kansas City’s 2004 schedule, announced Friday, includes the Royals’ first-ever games with the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta is the only team Kansas City has never played. … CF Beltran is batting .417 (10-for-24) with two homers and five RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 33-46 on the road; Royals - 40-38 at home.
INJURIES: White Sox - LHP Josh Stewart (hand), 15-day DL. Royals - 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.