The AL Central-leading White Sox expect to have All-Star Carlos Quentin back in the lineup Thursday as they try to sweep the struggling Royals for the second time this season.
After defeating the Royals 9-0 in Tuesday’s series opener, Chicago (67-52) beat Kansas City 4-0 on Wednesday to remain a half-game ahead of Minnesota in the division.
The White Sox have been without Quentin the past two games after the slugger was struck on the left forearm by a pitch from Boston’s Josh Beckett on Monday.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Quentin, who leads the AL with 32 home runs, will be back in the lineup Thursday. Quentin has four homers in his last seven games and has four home runs and eight RBIs in 12 games against the Royals (54-66) this season.
Chicago right fielder Jermaine Dye had an RBI double Wednesday after hitting his 28th homer of the season on Tuesday. Dye, who played for the Royals from 1997-2001, is 10-for-30 with three home runs, three doubles and eight RBIs in nine games against his former team since July 10.
The White Sox have won nine of 14 against Kansas City this season, including a three-game home sweep June 3-5.
In the series finale, Guillen gives the ball to Lance Broadway (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who makes his first start of the season against a team he should be familiar with. Broadway is taking the place of the injured Jose Contreras, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a ruptured left Achilles tendon.
Broadway was a September callup last year, appearing in four games. His only career start came against the Royals on Sept. 27, when the 24-year-old allowed two hits and struck out eight in six innings of a 10-0 victory.
The right-hander was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday, and made his season debut one day later, retiring the only batter he faced in Chicago’s 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.
Kansas City has dropped six of its last seven games, scoring eight runs in those losses. The Royals, limited to five hits in each of the first two games of this series, are batting .206 in their last six defeats.
Left fielder Jose Guillen has been part of the offensive woes. He was hitless in four at-bats Wednesday, and is 4-for-29 (.138) in his last seven games.
“We had seven quality at-bats (Wednesday) in 32 plate appearances. We have to swing at better pitches. … That’s pathetic,” manager Trey Hillman said. “When you have seven quality at-bats in 32 plate appearances you’re not going to beat anybody, much less a first-place team.”
Kyle Davies (5-3, 4.66) starts for the Royals Thursday.
Davies allowed three runs, three hits and five walks in 2 1-3 innings of a 4-1 loss to Minnesota on Friday. In his previous outing on Aug. 2, the right-hander gave up three runs and five hits - including two home runs - and one walk in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-7 victory over the White Sox.
In his only other start versus Chicago this season on July 8, Davies surrendered three runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-7, 12-inning loss. Both of those starts came at Kauffman Stadium, where Davies has made his last six starts.