Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011Posted: 12:00 p.m.
Thanks in part to rookie Eric Hosmer, the Kansas City Royals are winding down another sub-.500 season on a positive note.
The Royals seek their first seven-game winning streak in three years Saturday night against the visiting Chicago White Sox, who will try to avoid a season high-tying seventh straight loss.
Hosmer helped Kansas City (66-86) extend its run Friday by doubling in the winning run in the ninth inning, lifting the Royals to a 7-6 victory.
"I got beat up pretty good," said Hosmer, who finished with three hits and is batting .346 (9 for 26) over the last six games. "You're just so happy when you get a walk-off win. You can't even feel it. You just look for the bruises later."
Though he didn't debut until May 6, Hosmer leads all AL rookies with 139 hits and trails only Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (154) for the major league lead. Hosmer's total is the most by a Royals rookie since Angel Berroa had 163 en route to winning the AL rookie of the year award in 2003.
Kansas City, 8-5 against Chicago this year, hasn't won seven in a row since Sept. 13-18, 2008.
"Hopefully we can keep this streak up and go into the off season looking good," said Alex Gordon, who scored the winning run.
Regardless of their late-season surge, the Royals will finish below .500 for the seventh straight year.
Brent Morel hit his sixth homer in 14 games this month for the White Sox (73-77), who last dropped seven in a row April 13-20.
"It's tough," Morel said of the skid. "We haven't been playing good."
Morel, who hit two homers in his first 99 games, is batting .167 (8 for 28) against Kansas City.
Chicago will try to end its losing streak as it faces Royals rookie Everett Teaford, who's coming off his first major league win. Teaford (1-0, 2.73 ERA) surrendered three hits and struck out five over five scoreless innings in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Seattle.
"To have my 100th (professional) start, my first big-league start and my first win of my career, and my dad here. ... You can't write a better story than that," Teaford said.
The left-hander will be making his first start in Kansas City after going 0-0 with a 4.58 ERA and one save in 15 appearances at Kauffman Stadium.
In two games against the White Sox, Teaford has yielded two hits in 1 1-3 innings.
Fellow rookie Zach Stewart (2-4, 4.63) gets the start for Chicago and will be looking to avenge a loss in his first meeting with Kansas City.
The right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-1 defeat to the Royals on Aug. 12. Since then, Stewart has gone 1-2 with a 5.59 ERA in six games, including four starts.
Coming off a one-hitter Sept. 5 at Minnesota, Stewart gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings of Sunday's 7-3 loss to Cleveland.