Lucas Giolito, White Sox seek sweep of struggling Royals

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Chicago White Sox starting pitchers boast a streak of 25 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings entering Sunday’s road game against the Kansas City Royals.

Chicago will aim for a series sweep as the most recent White Sox starter to yield a run attempts to extend the streak of dominance.

Lucas Giolito (1-3, 4.99 ERA) allowed an unearned run in the fourth inning of a May 2 loss to Cleveland. Since then, opponents haven’t been able to make much of a dent against the rest of the White Sox staff.

In the past four full games, Dylan Cease, Dallas Keuchel, Carlos Rodon and Lance Lynn have combined on 24 innings of scoreless ball, allowing nine hits while striking out 26.

White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz is taking the success in stride.

“I’m not the type of guy that kind of gets overly excited. When the season’s over and things go right, then I’ll be excited,” Katz said. “I just go day by day.

“I feel like they give us a great opportunity to win each day. But I know there’s gonna be bumps in the road, and it’s how fast we get back on track that’s the biggest thing. I’m happy with where we’re at right now, that’s for sure.”

Chicago has won three of four, while the Royals have lost seven straight.

Kansas City snapped a streak of 28 scoreless innings in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 9-1 loss, and the Royals will need to reverse a recent trend of slow starts to avoid a series sweep.

Giolito is 7-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 13 career starts against the Royals, with 80 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings. He has notched four victories at Kauffman Stadium, where the White Sox have won nine straight overall.

Left-hander Mike Minor (2-1, 5.23 ERA) is set to start against the White Sox. In his most recent outing Tuesday, he allowed three runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings against Cleveland.

Minor is 0-2 with a 2.78 ERA in eight career appearances against the White Sox, including three starts.

The White Sox erupted for eight first-inning runs on nine hits Saturday to knock rookie Daniel Lynch from the game after just 2/3 of an inning. But the Royals’ relief corps helped limit Chicago the rest of the way, allowing three hits and one run after the first.

Lefty Kris Bubic ably carried the bulk of the load, spacing one hit, three walks and two strikeouts in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

The outing helped keep the bullpen in a good place entering Sunday’s series finale.

“An incredible job by Kris Bubic,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “He saved our pen and threw incredibly well. … We needed that worse than he even knew. He did a great job of not beating up the entire pen.”

Tim Anderson, Nick Madrigal, Yoan Moncada and Leury Garcia each had two hits for Chicago on Saturday, while Carlos Santana collected two hits for the Royals.

White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal walked four times, and he has 13 walks in the past four games.

–Field Level Media

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