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Self-destructive White Sox look to end skid vs. Royals

Apr 26, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) tosses the baseball to first base for the force out in the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox have lost eight consecutive games after a 6-0 defeat to the visiting Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, and there are two easy reasons to explain their woes.

They have committed a major-league-worst 20 errors this season, and they have issued an American League-high 4.66 walks per nine innings.

Chicago will try to turn things around Wednesday during an afternoon contest against the Royals. The White Sox will send Dylan Cease (2-1, 3.38 ERA) to the mound to face Zack Greinke (0-1, 2.25) in a matchup of right-handers.

The game originally was scheduled to start at 6:10 p.m. local time but was moved up by five hours because the evening temperatures are expected to be in the low 30s.

The White Sox issued a gruesome 11 walks in their defeat Tuesday. Chicago starter Dallas Keuchel allowed two unearned runs on two hits but still had to leave with no outs in the fifth because he had thrown 88 pitches. He handed out five walks, the most he has ever allowed to the Royals and tied for the third most in his career.

Chicago manager Tony La Russa is not worried about his club.

“If you have talent like this and you have to get after guys to get started, they’re walking around smiling and not working, then you have the wrong people,” Russa said postgame. “We have the right people. We’ll be all right. The sooner the better, though. We’re not having any fun.”

Cease has been effective in his three starts, though his lone loss came in his latest outing. He allowed a single run in each of his first two starts, striking out eight hitters each time. Against the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday, he gave up four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

“I thought Dylan pitched well and held them down,” La Russa said. “They had some chances, and he pitched out of it.”

Cease has been solid against the Royals in nine career starts, going 3-2 with a 2.96 ERA. That’s his second-lowest ERA against any team he has faced more than twice (Detroit, 2.08 in 10 starts).

Greinke is 9-10 with a 3.95 ERA in 28 career appearances (25 starts) against the White Sox.

The 38-year-old veteran has yet to allow more than two runs in a game this season. In his most recent start, Greinke allowed one run on six hits in five innings on Thursday. He was victimized by a lack of run support, as the Royals were shut out 1-0 by the visiting Minnesota Twins.

“Just a really good start by Zack, limiting the damage to just the one run,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “I always believe that’s going to be enough. If we can keep them there, our offense is going to get things going. We just didn’t have a lot of opportunities.”

The Royals likely will be without Adalberto Mondesi, who came out of the Tuesday game in the sixth inning with left knee discomfort. Mondesi, who has never played more than 102 games in a season, had played in every game so far this season.

“Everything kind of came out pretty clear,” Matheny said of Mondesi’s initial scan results. “He’s sore. We’ll probably get another look at it in the morning, but their team doctor came over and took a look and didn’t see anything structurally wrong. We’ll just hope for the best.”

–Field Level Media