The Chicago White Sox were riding high when they last left Kauffman Stadium. They’ll be looking to continue another run of outstanding play as they make their return to Kansas City.
Chicago goes for its sixth straight victory Thursday night when it opens a four-game set with the struggling Royals.
The White Sox (40-38) are back at Kauffman for the first time since May 29-31, when they pulled off their first three-game sweep in Kansas City since 2005.
The White Sox won the opener of a 12-game homestand that followed that series, but dropped eight of the next 11.
Chicago, though, has gotten back on track, winning 12 of 16 since that stretch. Jose Contreras(notes) pushed the White Sox’s run to five games Wednesday by allowing two runs in eight innings of a 6-2 victory over Cleveland.
The right-hander is 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on June 8.
“We’ve seen it before (from Contreras),” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, whose team has won five straight and 13 of 17 on the road. “That time in the minor leagues was great. He’s in a groove right now.”
Buehrle (7-2, 3.26 ERA) matched a season high with five runs in 5 2-3 innings, but the White Sox have won his last three starts.
The left-hander is 0-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts versus Kansas City in 2009. Chicago has won six of Buehrle’s last eight starts at Kauffman Stadium, the most recent a 5-3 victory May 30 when he yielded three runs and seven hits over 7 1-3 innings.
The Royals (33-44) lost the last two games of their three-game set against Minnesota, dropping to 1-2 on a seven-game homestand. Kansas City scored one run in each defeat.
“Obviously, I had a good day. But we just couldn’t get the big hit we needed,” Butler said.
Kansas City got 12 hits Wednesday, the first time since Aug. 29, 1996, that it had at least that many hits while scoring fewer than two runs.
Chen goes for his first victory since Oct. 2, 2005. In his first start since Aug. 4, 2006, the left-hander gave up four runs over 6 1-3 innings of a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Chen is 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two career starts versus Chicago.
Chicago outfielder Jermaine Dye(notes) has a nine-game hitting streak, batting .486 (17 for 35) with three homers, nine RBIs and seven multihit games in that span. Dye has batted .357 (10 for 28) this season against Kansas City, which has won four of seven meetings with the White Sox this season.