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Losing streaks collide when Royals, White Sox meet

Sportsnaut
Apr 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) reacts after giving up a grand slam in the second inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

At least one team will get the victory it desperately needs when the Kansas City Royals travel to Chicago to face the White Sox on Tuesday.

The Royals, losers of four straight games, face the White Sox, who are the owners of an MLB-worst seven-game losing streak.

The Royals will send left-hander Daniel Lynch (1-1, 5.40 ERA) to the mound to face White Sox lefty Dallas Keuchel (1-1, 15.00).

Kansas City is fresh off three consecutive defeats at Seattle, although the club was competitive in each game. The Royals lost the first game 4-1 when an error by pitcher Brad Keller opened the door for a four-run inning by the Mariners. It was Kansas City’s first error of the season.

The Royals also blew late leads in each of the past two games after coming from behind earlier in each game.

“It stings, but it’s over with, so let’s move on,” Kansas City’s Andrew Benintendi said. “You know, it’s easier to fold in those situations than keep fighting. We didn’t get it done today, but hopefully we can next time.”

The next time comes Tuesday behind Lynch, who pitched five shutout innings in his start against Minnesota on Wednesday to pick up the Royals’ most recent win. It was just his second scoreless outing in 17 major league starts. He lasted 81 pitches.

“I’d like to have had a little bigger lead and just let him keep pitching, but when you get to the heart of (the Twins’) order and you’re 10-12 pitches away from as far as we want to take you, you’ve got to get him some help,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said.

Lynch has struggled against the White Sox, going 1-2 with a 16.20 ERA in three career starts. He has allowed 15 earned runs on 16 hits in 8 1/3 innings.

The White Sox were in dire need of Monday’s off day.

“It’s a good time for everyone to get away and clear their heads a little bit,” said Lucas Giolito, who started in Sunday’s 6-4 setback to the Twins in 10 innings. “And when we return, we just focus on each facet of the game.”

Keuchel has had plenty of success against the Royals in his 11-year career, going 6-4 with a 3.21 ERA over 14 starts.

In his last start, Keuchel had one of the worst outings of his career, giving up 10 runs (seven earned) in one-plus inning Wednesday against the Cleveland Guardians. It was the fourth time in his career that he was unable to get an out in the second inning, and the first time he allowed 10 runs in one start. The White Sox made four errors in two innings, three by shortstop Tim Anderson.

“There’s really nothing to say,” Keuchel said. “I watched it back on film, and it wasn’t any better.”

The White Sox will have to figure out a solution without three of their offensive stars. Outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert are both hurt, as is third baseman Yoan Moncada.

Jimenez was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a right hamstring strain and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. Robert isn’t on the IL and could play Tuesday after coming away with a minor groin strain last week. Moncada hasn’t played this season with a strained right oblique.

–Field Level Media