Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals Game Preview (4/5)


Mar 21, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks (50) pitches in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox enter this second of three consecutive games at the Kansas City Royals with two straight losses, including losing the series opener Friday by a 7-5 score.

Standing at 2-2 overall and this being their fifth consecutive game, the starting lineup for the White Sox will have a bit of a different look, as you will see in the lineups listed.

Going to the mound for his season debut Saturday for the visiting White Sox is John Danks, and for the host Royals it will be Bruce Chen, who is also making his ’14 debut.

For Danks this spring, he went 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA in five starts, which equaled 24.1 innings pitched.

In 2013, Danks had an overall record of 4-14 with a 4.75 ERA in 22 starts (138.1 innings pitched). Danks struck out 89 batters.

In a recent article, Scott Merkin of quoted Danks as saying about being improved this season over last year:

"“Keep the ball in the ballpark. That’s what hurt me a lot last year. Try to keep the walks where they were and keep the ball in the ballpark. I think the cutter is getting back to where I think I can use it a little more aggressively helps.”"

Chen didn’t have the greatest of spring trainings this March, finishing with an ERA of 7.27, along with an 0-4 record in 17.1 innings pitched. Of the 16 runs given up this spring, 14 were earned for Chen.

In ’13, Chen was 9-4 with a 3.27 ERA. Against the White Sox, Chen has an career record 7-2 since 2011.

• Player to Watch: Jose Abreu (White Sox): He has five RBIs the past two games and six RBIs for the season. He’s built a .313 batting average.

Tyler Flowers will have the day off. Flowers has eight hits this season with two runs. His batting average sits at .571.

Paul Konerko will be the DH for the White Sox today.

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