LIVE: Dunn doubles off Chen, Sox lead Royals

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LIVE: Dunn doubles off Chen, Sox lead Royals

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011
Posted: 10:56 a.m.

Associated Press

The Kansas City Royals are headed toward another losing season but they're giving their fans hope that the future might prove a little brighter.

The Royals will try to win eight in a row for the first time in eight years Sunday by recording their first four-game home sweep of the slumping Chicago White Sox since 1994.

Kansas City (67-86) has already clinched its eighth consecutive losing season but has not been content just to play out the string.

The Royals have outscored opponents 41-17 over their last seven games. They've also batted .343 during that run and had 18 hits - tied for the second-most this season - during a 10-3 victory Saturday night. Mike Moustakas had three hits for the third straight game and homered for the third time in four contests.

"I can't wait for tomorrow," Moustakas said. "We can't look far ahead. Next year is next year and we're all excited about that. We've still got to come out here and win a game tomorrow."

Judging by the way he's pitched in recent matchups, John Danks (6-12, 4.36 ERA) could have a chance to cool off Kansas City. He's 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his last seven starts against the Royals, but is also 0-3 with a 10.91 ERA in three outings this month.

Danks was tagged for eight runs and a season-high 11 hits over five innings Monday during a 14-4 loss to Detroit.

"I have pride. I'm competitive. I didn't have fun today. I didn't have fun at all," he told the team's official website. "I'm as frustrated as I've ever been. I want to finish strong and have a good taste in my mouth heading into the offseason. At the rate I'm going over my past three starts, it's not good."

Bruce Chen, meanwhile, will try to produce another strong outing against the White Sox (73-78), losers of seven in a row, while helping his team to its first eight-game win streak since a 9-0 start to the 2003 season.

Chen (11-7, 4.04) is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his three starts versus Chicago this season and is coming off a stellar performance. After struggling in his first two starts this month, the left-hander allowed two hits over eight innings and struck out eight in a 4-0 win over Minnesota on Tuesday.

"It's tough to put balls in play solidly against him when he's on and he was on tonight," Moustakas said. "It's fun to watch a guy like that and play defense when he's in a zone the way he was tonight."

The White Sox are trying to avoid their first eight-game losing streak since Sept. 14-21, 2010.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

The White Sox are back in action in spring training as they square off against the San Diego Padres. Coverage begins this afternoon at 2 p.m. on CSN!

Probable starters: Jhoulys Chacin vs. Dylan Covey

Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes

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White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.