After picking up a second straight come-from-behind victory against the Royals, the White Sox will try to complete a three-game sweep Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
The White Sox (53-37) battled back from five runs down for a 7-6 win over Kansas City on Wednesday, one day after rallying from an early three-run hole for an 8-7, 13-inning victory.
All-Star left fielder Carlos Quentin hit a pair of two-run homers Wednesday, then scored the go-ahead run on an eighth-inning balk to lead the White Sox to their 11th win in 13 contests. The victory pushed their AL Central lead to 3 1/2 games over Minnesota.
“We’ve been fighting all year,” Quentin said. “Our energy level has been good day-in and day-out. That’s one thing our coaching staff has really stressed to the team.”
Chicago earned the win despite managing just five hits. All-Star hopeful Jermaine Dye went 0-for-4 and Paul Konerko struck out in each of his four at-bats in his second game back from the disabled list.
Still, the White Sox won a seventh consecutive game over Kansas City, and look to sweep their division rival for a second straight time after winning three games June 3-5 in Chicago. They haven’t taken a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium since April 22-24, 2005.
To extend that dominance over the Royals, Chicago hands the ball to Mark Buehrle (6-7, 3.91 ERA), who looks to bounce back from his first defeat in more than a month.
The left-hander gave up four runs, 10 hits and three walks in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-1 home loss to Oakland on Friday.
“Everything was up, and I couldn’t find my groove,” Buehrle, who was 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his previous five outings, told the team’s official Web site. “I tried changing some things to get my pitches down in the zone, but it didn’t happen.”
If past history is any indication, Buehrle should have a good chance to get back on track Thursday. He’s 16-6 with a 3.40 ERA in 33 appearances against the Royals, including 8-2 in the last 14 outings. The White Sox have won 12 of those matchups.
The Missouri native is 8-4 with a 3.34 ERA in 15 starts in Kansas City, winning three straight decisions at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals (40-52) have dropped nine of 12 since a six-game winning streak and have lost a season high-tying four straight at home.
While Zack Greinke (7-5, 3.62) is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in six home starts this season, he lost for the first time in five starts Saturday. The right-hander pitched well, giving up two runs and striking out seven in six innings of a 3-0 defeat at Tampa Bay.
Greinke is 2-7 with a 4.81 ERA in 14 games against the White Sox. He was roughed up for eight runs and nine hits - four homers - in six innings of a 9-5 defeat to Chicago on June 3.
“I’ve had some good games and some bad games against them,” Greinke told the Royals’ official Web site. “Mainly, you just can’t make mistakes against their team. They just have too much power and they capitalize on mistakes.”