Here's something that Royals fans have been long awaiting. Their team has a chance to escape last place in the American League Central.
If the Royals beat the White Sox on Saturday night, they'll move past Chicago in the standings.
Charged with extending the Royals' winning streak to six games is left-hander Odalis Perez, who will try to do something he's never done: beat the White Sox. In his career, Perez is 0-4 against them in five tries. In his only start against Chicago this year, he was stingy (two runs in seven innings), but he still lost.
The Royals not only have their longest winning streak of the year at five games, but they also have their first winning month in hand at 15-11 with one game left. This is also their 81st game, marking the halfway point of their season.
KC: LHP Odalis Perez (4-7, 5.92 ERA)
Perez has turned in two straight workman-like starts against the Cardinals and Brewers. The outings weren't perfect, but he went six and five-plus innings, respectively, and kept the Royals in each game. Both turned out to be Kansas City victories. Perez has made it through at least five innings in 14 of 16 starts, usually throwing strikes and inducing contact to keep his pitch count down. Perez pitched one of his best games this year against the White Sox, holding them to two runs in seven innings on May 11 in a 2-1 loss.
CWS: LHP John Danks (4-6, 4.78 ERA)
Danks didn't exactly turn in a dominating performance in the White Sox 5-4 victory over the Rays on Monday. But allowing four runs on four hits over five innings was good enough to earn Danks his first victory since May 22. The left-hander struck out three and walked four, although he fell short of six innings for the sixth straight start, throwing 88 pitches. Danks has yet to face Kansas City this season.
Player to watch
Let's see if Jim Thome has made any adjustments in his approach to Perez. So far, Thome has just one hit, a single, in eight at-bats against Perez. He's also struck out three times against the lefty.