Luis Robert will look to continue his torrid hitting on Monday night when the Chicago White Sox begin an eight-game trek with the opener of a five-game series against the Kansas City Royals.
Robert recorded two of Chicago’s four hits in a 5-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday. The setback was the third in four games for the White Sox.
His team’s recent troubles aside, Robert is batting a robust .407 (22-for-54) with two homers, eight RBIs and 11 runs scored during his 13-game hitting streak.
Robert started that streak shortly after the White Sox dropped two of three games to the Royals from April 26-28. Chicago is just 4-10 against American League Central rivals this season, although Kansas City is 6-9 at home in 2022.
Yoan Moncada sat out Sunday’s contest for rest purposes after going 6-for-21 with two homers and four RBIs in five games this season. Manager Tony La Russa said Moncada is available to play against the Royals.
Chicago’s Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal, however, are mired in hitting slumps. Abreu has one hit in his last 28 at-bats, while Grandal has one hit in his last 16.
“(The hitters) do their homework, they have their plan, they do their prep,” La Russa said. “If I had to say one way to do it would be make sure we maintain our aggressiveness, which should improve our plate discipline. What they’re doing well on the other side, we can improve on that.
“At times we do a little more chasing, especially before two strikes when the count is in our favor. We can improve on that.”
The White Sox will look to do precisely that against Kansas City right-hander Brad Keller (1-3, 2.70 ERA), who will take the mound on Monday looking to rebound after a disastrous outing.
Keller, 26, surrendered six runs (five earned) on nine hits — including two homers — in 5 2/3 innings of a 6-4 setback at the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
“I felt like I just battled the whole time,” Keller said. “I still feel like I made some pretty good pitches and backed up a couple of sliders that really cost me.”
That performance came on the heels of two dominant ones for Keller, including a sterling effort against the White Sox on April 28. He permitted a solo homer among three hits in seven innings of a no-decision.
Keller sports a 5-5 record with a 3.30 ERA in 17 career appearances (14 starts) vs. Chicago.
The Royals squandered an early six-run lead before rallying for an 8-7 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Salvador Perez had a two-run single in the ninth inning for Kansas City, which won three of its last five games to finish 4-5 on its trip.
“There are a lot of crazy games here (at Coors Field), but the good thing is we got it (a win) today,” Perez said. … “It’s a happy flight.”
Perez recorded 12 hits and seven RBIs during the trip. He went 0-for-13 with eight strikeouts in the previous series vs. the White Sox, however.
The White Sox called up Johnny Cueto from Triple-A Charlotte to pitch against the Royals. It will be Cueto’s first appearance for the White Sox since signing a minor league contract last month. Cueto is 0-1 with a 5.17 ERA and 17 strikeouts in four starts with Charlotte.
Cueto is 1-3 with a 4.74 ERA in four career starts against the Royals.
–Field Level Media