(Updated: UPDATES Royals standing in sentence 3)
The Kansas City Royals hope to contain Chicago’s Jose Abreu one more time when they host the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of their three-game series. Abreu was 10-for-13 with three home runs, eight RBIs, two triples and two home runs in his last three contests, including 4-for-5 with two RBIs in Monday’s 11-3 victory in Kansas City, but was 1-for-5 in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss that snapped a three-game winning streak.
Brandon Moss’ grand slam accounted for the Royals’ runs as they remain on the periphery of the American League wild card race, three games behind Minnesota for the final spot. Kansas City hopes to have center fielder Lorenzo Cain (quads) and 3B Mike Moustakas (right knee) back in the lineup after neither played Tuesday. “We’ve had an off day planned for Cain and Moose for four or five days because this is a quick turnaround,” Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters about the day game after a night game. Chicago’s Lucas Giolito was ejected from his last start — his fourth of the season since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte — and opposes rookie Eric Skoglund, who returns to the rotation after his first career relief appearance.
TV: 2:15 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, FSN Kansas City
PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH Lucas Giolito (2-2, 2.84 ERA) vs. Royals LH Eric Skoglund (1-2, 10.29)
Giolito allowed five runs (three earned), three hits and four walks while striking out five in 5 1/3 innings of a 9-2 loss to San Francisco on Friday. The 23-year-old Californian won his previous two starts, yielding one run and six hits over 14 innings in victories over Tampa Bay (10 strikeouts) and Detroit. Giolito, who makes his first road start of the season and second of his career, has never faced Kansas City or any of its players.
Skoglund permitted three runs, three hits and three walks in three innings of relief in the Royals’ 17-0 loss at Minnesota on Sept. 2. The 24-year-old Floridian made his major-league debut May 30 versus Detroit, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out five in 6 1/3 innings of a 1-0 victory. Skoglund yielded 13 runs in 4 2/3 innings over three starts in between, with two coming in June and the other Aug. 27 — a 12-0 loss at Cleveland in which he permitted seven runs in 1 1/3 frames.
1. Chicago rookie Nicky Delmonico (.281 batting average, seven home runs, 15 RBIs in 96 at-bats) recorded his second two-hit game in the last three contests Tuesday after going 0-for-17 in his previous five games.
2. Kansas City claimed RHP Mike Morin (0-0, 6.91 ERA in 10 relief appearances this season) off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels.
3. Abreu needs eight RBIs in the last 16 games to reach 100 for the fourth time in his four-year career.
PREDICTION: Royals 6, White Sox 5