Royals look to build on win as they face White Sox
The Kansas City Royals exhaled -- and escaped -- with a victory against the New York Yankees on Sunday.
A game that had the makings of a runaway ultimately required walk-off heroics, but the Royals are hoping it provides a catalyst just the same as they begin a three-game series against the host Chicago White Sox on Monday afternoon.
"I've said it all year, you know -- I don't think we're playing bad, I just don't think we're doing enough to win games," Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield told reporters after Sunday's game. "Hopefully, that turns around."
Kansas City took a 7-1 lead against the Yankees on Sunday, but New York rallied to force extra innings with separate three-run rallies in the sixth and ninth. Merrifield drove in the winning run in the 10th on a hot shot to third base that scored Billy Hamilton, who sparked the attack by walking and stealing second base with one out.
The Royals will look to right hander Homer Bailey (4-5, 6.13 ERA) to recover from his recent woes. Pitching in the nightcap of Wednesday's doubleheader in St. Louis, Bailey was unable to guide Kansas City to a sweep of the twin bill after yielding five runs and four hits in 1 2/3 innings. The Cardinals connected for a pair of home runs against Bailey, who has started against each of the other AL Central clubs this season except for the White Sox.
Ivan Nova (3-4, 6.96 ERA) is set to get the call for Chicago, which has won four of Nova's past five starts after losing each of his first five. Nova has not faced the Royals in 2019 and is seeking his first home victory of the season in his fourth start at Guaranteed Rate Field. He is 2-1 with a 5.57 ERA in four career starts vs. the Royals.
The White Sox return home after struggling to a 2-5 road trip against the first-place Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins, which culminated with a three-game sweep by Minnesota.
After holding a 4-1 lead in an eventual 11-4 loss in Friday's series opener against the Twins, the White Sox were outscored, 25-1.
Minnesota pitching limited the White Sox to five hits in Sunday's finale, a 7-0 Twins shutout. While outfielder Charlie Tilson continued his solid recent stretch for the White Sox by collecting a pair of hits, catcher Seby Zavala had four strikeouts in as many plate appearances in his first major league start.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria expressed cautious optimism in his team after the trip concluded.
"I think these are the clubs that you look at that you have to play against that obviously kin our own division, that we have to learn about how they're going about doing their business, how we have to do business against teams like this," Renteria told reporters. "Ultimately, we have to get better. Period. Play better defense, pitch better, make adjustments, in-game adjustments.
"And they know that. They understand that. And I think it's not for a lack of trying or not talking about it, not working (at) it, but you're looking at (Minnesota) right now and going, 'Wow, they've gotten pretty good.'"
--Field Level Media
Updated May 27, 2019