Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn admitted he sided with fans who are “feeling a level of frustration or disappointment” in the organization’s overall inactivity at the trade deadline on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Hahn also exudes optimism regarding the defending American League Central champions, who will try for their second straight series win Wednesday afternoon as they meet the visiting Kansas City Royals in the finale of a three-game set.
After stranding nine runners in a 2-1 loss on Monday, the White Sox regrouped for a 9-2 victory on Tuesday. Chicago trails the first-place Minnesota Twins by two games and the second-place Cleveland Guardians by one.
The White Sox are one game above .500 in the second half and through 103 games this season.
“We feel they are very much capable of playing better baseball than we’ve seen over the first few months and that there’s the makings of a potential championship team in there should they get to their accustomed levels of performance,” Hahn said.
“One of the things that excites us is about getting this group together, having them play together on a regular basis. … With a little better fortune health-wise going forward, I’m confident that’s a quality group and capable of winning this division and beyond.”
Comprising the No. 1-4 spots in the Chicago batting order on Tuesday, stalwarts Tim Anderson, Andrew Vaughn, Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu combined to collect 10 of the team’s 14 hits and drive in seven of the nine runs.
Jimenez went 3-for-3 with four RBIs while extending his hitting streak to a season-best eight games.
Royals right-hander Brady Singer (4-3, 3.51 ERA) hopes to slow the White Sox just as he did during a May 17 victory in Chicago, when he pitched seven shutout innings of four-hit, nine-strikeout ball.
Singer was 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA in five July starts after going 1-3 with a 5.97 ERA over five starts in June. He is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in six career appearances against the White Sox, including five starts.
“His last couple of outings have been incredible,” Royals reliever Scott Barlow said. “His two-seamer was moving a ton (Thursday). His slider, too, was really, really sharp. And being able to locate into lefties really well and have it run back over for strikes — when you’re getting a lot of takes, your stuff’s working up for sure.”
Kansas City would welcome the sight of Singer keeping up his recent form as the team tries for its third win in four games. Tuesday marked the 19th time this season the Royals have allowed nine runs or more.
The Royals were sellers at the Tuesday deadline, dealing second baseman/outfielder Whit Merrifield to the Toronto Blue Jays for two prospects. Kansas City also sent backup catcher Cam Gallagher to the San Diego Padres in exchange for a minor-leaguer.
Chicago right-hander Lance Lynn (1-4, 6.42 ERA) is set to make his 10th start of the season after missing the first two-plus months due to injury.
Lynn has not won since June 20 and is coming off a Friday home loss to the Oakland A’s during which he yielded five runs, four earned, and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Lynn has allowed three home runs in two of his past three starts.
Lynn is 6-2 with a 3.46 ERA in 11 career starts against Kansas City.
–Field Level Media