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Chicago at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium
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The Kansas City Royals' slump has dropped them further back in the playoff race, and their postseason hopes likely will continue fading unless their suddenly stagnant offense can get back on track.

An improved pitching performance from Jeremy Guthrie wouldn't hurt matters, either.

Kansas City looks to avoid a fourth straight loss Wednesday night as it hosts the last-place Chicago White Sox, who are seeking a season-best fifth consecutive win.

The Royals (64-60) were four games out of the AL's second wild-card spot and 6 1/2 back of Central-leading Detroit before dropping six of eight.

They've averaged 2.0 runs during their cold stretch and are now 8 1/2 games out of the division lead with their wild-card chances also slipping away. Kansas City had problems again Tuesday, falling 2-0 in the series opener.

"We're just not swinging the bats real well right now," manager Ned Yost said. "We're going to have to find a way to swing the bats better."

Alex Gordon went 1 for 4 and is hitting .143 during the team's slump.

"We weren't doing anything offensively, and then (John Danks) got ahead of us," Gordon said. "Give credit to him, but we just didn't do a very good job offensively."

Guthrie (12-9, 4.15 ERA) has struggled as well lately. He's dropped two straight starts after winning his previous four, allowing five runs in six innings of a 5-3 loss to Boston on Aug. 10 before giving up four runs and a career-worst 13 hits in Thursday's 4-1 defeat at Detroit.

The right-hander had gone 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in his last six starts against the White Sox, including a four-hit shutout May 4, but gave up six runs in 2 1-3 inning of a 9-1 defeat the last time he faced them June 21.

"He has tremendous stuff, and we did a good job of making him throw it over the plate," Chicago's Adam Dunn said after that contest. "He threw some good pitches and we were able to lay off them."

Avisail Garcia had three hits Tuesday and is batting .429 during a seven-game hitting streak for the White Sox (50-74), who have won four straight for the first time since May 14-17.

The final victory in that streak, 3-0 over the Los Angeles Angels, marked Chicago's last shutout prior to Tuesday.

"Hopefully this will get us on a little streak to finish the season on a high," Danks said.

White Sox starters have a 1.95 ERA during the team's run as rookie Andre Rienzo takes the hill Wednesday.

Rienzo (0-0, 3.70) has been solid in four starts since being called up July 30. He allowed two runs and four hits in six innings before Minnesota rallied to beat the White Sox 4-3 on Thursday.

The right-hander didn't walk a batter after issuing at least three free passes in each of his first three outings.

"I tried to give the team a chance to win," Rienzo said. "That's my job. I was so-so, but giving the team a chance to win is my focus."

The White Sox have a 2.16 ERA against Kansas City this season, but they're 6-7 in the series.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

Andre Rienzo, RHP
2013 stats
24.1 Innings Pitched 160.2
0-0 Wins-Losses 12-9
3.70 Earned Run Average 4.15
11 Walks 50
16 Strikeouts 88
97 Pitches Per Start 103
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched 114.2
--- Wins-Losses 6-6
- Earned Run Average 3.30

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP
Weather
weather image  Sunny. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
89°F69°F9mph/S47%12%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Chi White Sox4th AL Central4954.476105-5 W 1
Kansas City2nd AL Central5150.50574-6 W 3
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jeremy Guthrie
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
De Aza186012.333
Garcia31000.333
Beckham277203.259
Konerko4311336.256
Gillaspie41001.250
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Andre Rienzo
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Butler000000
Carroll000000
Chen000000
Coleman000000
Collins000000
 

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Injuries
Chi White Sox
PlayerInjury
A. GarciaShoulder
N. JonesBack
M. LindstromAnkle
F. PaulinoShoulder
Z. PutnamShoulder
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
L. HochevarElbow
E. HosmerHand
J. VargasAppendectomy
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 21CLECLE 4-3McAllister Guthrie 
Apr 22CLEKC 8-2Shields Salazar 
Apr 23CLECLE 5-3Shaw Herrera 
Apr 24CLECLE 5-1Kluber Chen 
Jun 10KCKC 9-5Vargas Kluber 
Jun 11KCKC 4-1Ventura Bauer 
Jul 4CLEKC 7-1Ventura Tomlin 
Jul 5CLECLE 7-3House Guthrie 
Jul 6CLECLE 4-1Kluber Duffy 
Jul 24KCKC 2-1Crow Rzepczynski 
Jul 25KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 26KC 7:10 PM EDT  
Jul 27KC 2:10 PM EDT  
Aug 29KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 30KC 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31KC 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 22CLE 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 23CLE 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 24CLE 7:05 PM EDT