Having beaten the streaking Royals on opening day, Sale will try to produce another splendid start Monday afternoon while once again pitching opposite James Shields
Sale (3-2, 3.83 ERA) will pitch on his usual four days’ rest when the White Sox (12-17) close out their three-game set against the Royals (17-10), who seek their first five-game win streak since taking seven straight Sept. 10-17, 2011. The teams are playing Monday because Friday’s game was postponed due to freezing rain.
Sale will try to lead Chicago to only its second win in the past nine games in Kansas City. The Royals have also won 12 of 16 overall matchups after rallying for a 6-5 victory in 10 innings Sunday.
“We continue to fight,” Butler said. “We just don’t give up. We never lost focus or our desire to come back. It’s not going to happen every night, but we just continue to put pretty good at-bats together.”
Sale has allowed two runs over seven innings and struck out seven while winning each of his last two starts, the most recent a 5-2 victory in Texas on Wednesday. Sale also fanned seven Kansas City batters on April 1 and tossed 7 2-3 innings in a 1-0 season-opening win.
Shields (2-2, 3.00) gave up a solo homer to Tyler Flowers over his six innings.
“It’s always fun getting their best guy,” Sale told the team’s website. “It’s what you want. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a challenge and we look forward to challenges. That’s the nature of the game.”
Shields enters this game having pitched at least six innings in each of his first six outings with Kansas City. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in five of those starts and gave up two over seven innings in an 8-2 win against his former team, Tampa Bay, on Tuesday.
After giving up both runs in the opening frame, Shields retired 20 of the final 22 batters he faced, including 13 in a row.
“The guys had my back, they always do,” Shields told the team’s website. “That’s what this team is all about. We’re real resilient.”
Shields hasn’t earned a win over the White Sox since April 19, 2011, and is 0-2 with a 3.93 ERA in his last three matchups. He has received a combined four runs of support in those games.
Sale is 0-2 with a 4.73 ERA in his last two starts in Kansas City and has gotten a combined two runs of support. He gave up one run and scattered 10 hits over eight innings in his first start there, a 2-1 win July 15.