Royals ready to hold White Sox back

By: Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
By: Dick Kaegel / MLB.com

So far this season the Royals have not done very well against the White Sox -- just two victories in eight games to be precise.
Now, of course, the clubs are in a struggle over the American League Central cellar. Not to reside in it, of course, but to stay out. The Royals finally eased past the White Sox into undisputed fourth place on Saturday night, the first time they had not occupied or shared last place since April 6.

So the Royals will be trying to amp up production against the White Sox in this three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. In their first visit this season, the Royals won just one of three and their record at "The Cell" since 2004 is a gloomy 7-25.

On the other hand, Royals right-hander Gil Meche has a 3-1 career record at the Chicago ballpark, and he gets his first start there this season. Meche has something to prove because he's lost his last five starts. That came after a bright stretch in which the team won six of his seven starts and he was 4-0 personally.

The White Sox will start left-hander Mark Buehrle, who has been a Royals nemesis for years. He's 16-6 with a 3.36 ERA against them including 4-0 in his last seven starts.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Gil Meche (7-11, 3.90 ERA)
Meche gave up three runs (two earned) in 6 1/3 innings Wednesday against the Rangers in Arlington, losing his fifth consecutive start. He earned a no-decision in his only start this year against the White Sox, giving up three runs on eight hits in seven innings of a 7-4 loss on April 23 at Kauffman Stadium. In 10 career starts against the White Sox, Meche is 5-2 with a 4.53 ERA and has held Chicago hitters to a .233 batting average.

CWS: LHP Mark Buehrle (9-8, 3.36 ERA)
One pitch slightly out of the area where Buehrle wanted it ended up costing the left-hander a chance for a victory Wednesday night. Kurt Suzuki took that high fastball and drove it out for a two-run home run, giving the A's their margin of victory in a 3-2 win. Buehrle has lost his past two starts, despite allowing just three runs over seven innings against Oakland. The left-hander has a chance to get healthy at home against Kansas City. Buehrle holds a lifetime 57-36 record at U.S. Cellular Field.

Players to watch
Buehrle is usually tough on the Royals, but there are two guys who don't mind facing him. Mark Teahen has hit .433 (13-for-30) against him but might not be available because of an elbow injury. Emil Brown is .419 (13-for-31) against Buehrle with two home runs and six RBIs.


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