White Sox

LIVE: Royals open up big lead on White Sox

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LIVE: Royals open up big lead on White Sox

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Posted: 9:22 a.m.
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(AP) -- A preseason favorite to win the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox are instead limping to the finish.

The reeling White Sox look to avoid a fifth straight loss and prevent the Kansas City Royals from their season-high fifth consecutive victory Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Chicago (73-75) was a manageable five games back of first-place Detroit on Aug. 30, but has since lost 10 of 15 while the Tigers have won 12 in a row to build a 13 12-game lead.

The White Sox did not seem to show much fight while being outscored 25-9 in a three-game sweep at the hands of Detroit this week. Chicago blew a three-run, ninth-inning lead and lost 6-5 in 10 innings Wednesday.

"Their fight left three days ago. I don't care what they say," disgruntled White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It's not frustrating; it's embarrassing. It's embarrassing because we should have won this."

All-Star first baseman Paul Konerko believes the team's underachievement has finally taken a mental toll.

"When you grind for seven months and kind of get to a point where you know you can't get to where you want to get to it just happens," Konerko said. "People are human. Everybody is going out trying to do a job. Unfortunately at this point that's what it's become, a job."

September has been rough for Konerko, who had two hits and two RBIs on Wednesday but is 7 for 36 with one homer in his last 10 games. However, he has batted .326 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 11 games versus Kansas City in 2011.

Scheduled White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.58 ERA) is 1-0 with a 4.74 ERA in three starts against the Royals this season but has allowed 15 runs and 18 hits over nine innings while losing his last two starts overall. The left-hander gave up seven runs in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-4 loss to Cleveland last Friday.

"It was another one of those days," Buehrle said.

Kansas City's Mike Moustakas is 0 for 5 versus Buehrle, but 8 for 19 with three RBIs in his last five games. The rookie third baseman had three hits and drove in two runs as the Royals (64-86) completed a two-game sweep of Minnesota with a 7-3 win Wednesday.

Fellow rookie Eric Hosmer is batting .350 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in his last 25 games. He's 10 for 31 versus Chicago this season but 1 for 6 off Buehrle.

Jeff Francis (5-16, 4.88) takes the mound for the Royals in what is expected to be his final start before he is shut down for the season. He is likely to exceed 180 innings just two years after undergoing shoulder surgery.

"I've proven I'm healthy and even though I'll miss my last two starts, I feel good and I feel strong enough that I could make them," Francis told the Royals' official website.

The left-hander looks to avoid a third straight losing start after he allowed five runs in 3 1-3 innings of a 7-3 defeat at Seattle last Friday. He's 0-1 with a 5.51 ERA in three starts versus Chicago this season.

The Royals are 6-5 in the season series, but the White Sox have taken the last two meetings.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez homers, Seby Zavala goes to the DL

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez homers, Seby Zavala goes to the DL

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Double-A Birmingham

Eloy Jimenez hit his eighth home run of the season in a 7-3 loss. Zack Collins and Matt Rose each had a hit, a walk and a run scored. Ian Clarkin gave up five runs and walked five in his five innings. Seby Zavala, who leads the Southern League with 10 homers, went on the disabled list with a wrist injury.

Triple-A Charlotte

Jordan Stephens had a good second outing at the Triple-A level, allowing just one earned run in his 6.1 innings. He allowed five hits and walked two, striking out four batters. In his two starts with Charlotte, he's got a 2.19 ERA with three earned runs allowed in 12.1 innings. Charlie Tilson doubled in the 12-6 win. Thyago Vieira gave up two runs in his lone inning of work, and his ERA stands at 5.85 on the season.

Class A Winston-Salem

The bats seem to have gone a tad cold for the Dash, who suffered a 4-1 loss. The top five hitters in the lineup — Joel Booker, Alex Call, Blake Rutherford, Micker Adolfo and Gavin Sheets — combined to go 2-for-18.

Class A Kannapolis

Lincoln Henzman gave up four earned runs in five innings, allowing a pair of home runs. Luis Gonzalez and Evan Skoug each had a hit in a 5-3 loss.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: