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Series Preview: White Sox at Royals

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Jose Abreu has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games and will attempt to keep it going vs. the Royals. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

The Chicago White Sox will get one last chance to finally post their first victory at Kansas City this season.

Swept in two previous trips to face their division rivals, the White Sox will open a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night.

It won’t be easy, as the Royals have not only won eight consecutive series overall, they scored 27 runs with 34 hits in back-to-back victories over the Detroit Tigers leading into this series. They have also won nine of their last 12 games as they hold an American League-best 82-51 record.

Nothing has gone right for the White Sox against the Royals this season, starting with Opening Day. The Royals won the season opener 10-1 at Kansas City and have rolled in the matchup ever since.

The White Sox are just 3-10 against the Royals this season, losing five consecutive and six of the last seven. The offense is hitting just .225 against the Royals this season, while the pitching staff has posted a 4.46 ERA in 119 innings.

The struggles against the Royals are a big reason the White Sox are just 21-33 against the AL Central this season.

Going back to last season, the White Sox have lost seven consecutive games at Kansas City and are 4-11 there since the start of 2014.

The White Sox have just 30 games remaining this season, 16 at home and 14 on the road. And three of those 16 games at home will take place against the Royals.

HEAD TO HEAD

The White Sox’s Adam LaRoche is 6-for-18 (.333) against Royals pitcher Kris Medlen with two doubles and a home run. … In eight career starts against the White Sox, Royals pitcher Danny Duffy is 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA. … in two career starts against the White Sox (one in 2009 and the other this year) Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto has given up at least four runs each time, although he won the outing on May 9 of this year when he was still a member of the Reds. … Although White Sox pitcher John Danks is 9-2 in his career against the Royals with a 2.69 ERA in 20 starts, both of those losses have come this season. … The Royals’ Eric Hosmer operates by the rule of 10s when he faces White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana, having delivered 10 hits and 10 RBIs, while striking out 10 times in 44 at-bats against the left-hander. … White Sox pitcher Erik Johnson, who will be making his first big league start of the season Sunday, has made two of his 10 career starts against the Royals, posting a hefty 9.00 ERA over 10 innings.

NOTES

Even with a victory Thursday at Minnesota, the White Sox are just 4-10 over their last 14 road games, although they do have a 15-11 record away from home since June 30. … The White Sox’s Jose Abreu, who went 3-for-4 Thursday with a walk, has now hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, including eight doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs. … After going 2-for-3 on Thursday, the White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez is batting .320 (16-for-50) over his last 13 games. … The White Sox have just seven home runs over their past 17 games, with one multi-homer game in that stretch, while going without a home run 10 times. … Johnson had an 11-8 record at Triple-A Charlotte this season with a sparkling 2.37 ERA and earned International League pitcher of the year honors. … With Johnson starting Sunday, Chris Sale’s next start was pushed back to Monday afternoon at home against the Cleveland Indians. … The Royals’ Ben Zobrist and Kendrys Morales each collected four hits in a 15-7 victory over the Tigers on Thursday, with Zobrist becoming the first Royals leadoff man with four hits and three runs since David DeJesus did it in the 2007 season against the White Sox. … The Royals’ Lorenzo Cain hit the go-ahead home run Thursday, his sixth go-ahead homer this season after having three all of last season.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday: White Sox LH John Danks (6-12, 4.82) vs. Royals RH Kris Medlen (3-0, 3.51), 7:10 p.m. CST

Saturday: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (7-10, 3.75) vs. Royals LH Danny Duffy (7-6, 4.11), 6:10 p.m. CST

Sunday: White Sox RH Erik Johnson (0-0, 0.00) vs. Royals RH Johnny Cueto (2-4, 4.21), 1:10 p.m. CST