The Kansas City Royals are headed toward another losing season but they’re giving their fans hope that the future might prove a little brighter.
The Royals will try to win eight in a row for the first time in eight years Sunday by recording their first four-game home sweep of the slumping Chicago White Sox since 1994.
Kansas City (67-86) has already clinched its eighth consecutive losing season but has not been content just to play out the string.
The Royals have outscored opponents 41-17 over their last seven games. They’ve also batted .343 during that run and had 18 hits - tied for the second-most this season - during a 10-3 victory Saturday night. Mike Moustakas(notes) had three hits for the third straight game and homered for the third time in four contests.
“I can’t wait for tomorrow,” Moustakas said. “We can’t look far ahead. Next year is next year and we’re all excited about that. We’ve still got to come out here and win a game tomorrow.”
Judging by the way he’s pitched in recent matchups, John Danks(notes) (6-12, 4.36 ERA) could have a chance to cool off Kansas City. He’s 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his last seven starts against the Royals, but is also 0-3 with a 10.91 ERA in three outings this month.
Danks was tagged for eight runs and a season-high 11 hits over five innings Monday during a 14-4 loss to Detroit.
“I have pride. I’m competitive. I didn’t have fun today. I didn’t have fun at all,” he told the team’s official website. “I’m as frustrated as I’ve ever been. I want to finish strong and have a good taste in my mouth heading into the offseason. At the rate I’m going over my past three starts, it’s not good.”
Bruce Chen(notes), meanwhile, will try to produce another strong outing against the White Sox (73-78), losers of seven in a row, while helping his team to its first eight-game win streak since a 9-0 start to the 2003 season.
Chen (11-7, 4.04) is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his three starts versus Chicago this season and is coming off a stellar performance. After struggling in his first two starts this month, the left-hander allowed two hits over eight innings and struck out eight in a 4-0 win over Minnesota on Tuesday.
“It’s tough to put balls in play solidly against him when he’s on and he was on tonight,” Moustakas said. “It’s fun to watch a guy like that and play defense when he’s in a zone the way he was tonight.”
The White Sox are trying to avoid their first eight-game losing streak since Sept. 14-21, 2010.