Kansas City Royals rookie right-hander Brady Singer at last will face an unfamiliar lineup Saturday as he attempts to cool down the host Chicago White Sox.
After opposing the Minnesota Twins in his past three starts, Singer gets the novel — albeit daunting — assignment of trying to solve the White Sox, who drilled three more home runs Friday to earn their third straight victory and 10th win in 11 games.
Chicago leads the American League with 62 home runs in 32 games and has hit 51 home runs in August, matching the franchise record for a month previously set in July 2003 and August 2001. The White Sox sit in a three-way tie atop the American League Central with the Twins and Cleveland Indians.
Singer (1-3, 5.16 ERA) has allowed seven home runs in 29 2/3 innings this season, including two homers on the other side of Chicago during an Aug. 4 road loss to the Cubs. A scheduling quirk of the condensed 2020 campaign hardly did Singer any favors after the visit to Wrigley Field.
Singer defeated the Twins with five innings of two-run ball on Aug. 9, but he lost his past two starts against them, allowing a total of seven runs and 10 hits in 9 2/3 innings. Eddie Rosario hit a three-run, first-inning home run against Singer on Aug. 22 to quickly derail the rookie’s most recent outing.
“It’s definitely a challenge,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said of facing a team three starts in a row. “I was confident he was going to mix it up down in the zone. He’s been effective with the high strikes, and he did make some good pitches down in the zone. But they were ready.”
After allowing just one first-inning run in his first five starts, Singer yielded three on Saturday. Singer credited the Twins’ disciplined approach at the plate, a factor that contributed to him throwing his newly tweaked changeup only twice.
“I think they put some good at-bats together,” said Singer, who has yet to face the White Sox. “If anything, my off-speed pitches weren’t as good as I’d like them to be.”
Right-hander Dylan Cease (4-2, 3.13 ERA) will look to close a sterling August on a high note as he gets the start for Chicago.
Over five starts this month, Cease is 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. He started his run with a road win against the Royals on Aug. 2, spacing two runs on five hits in six innings with one walk and four strikeouts.
Cease had won four consecutive decisions before a tough-luck loss Sunday against the Cubs, when he gave up two runs in six innings en route to a 2-1 defeat. He is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts against the Royals with 11 strikeouts in 12 innings.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu enters Saturday on an 11-game hitting streak while left fielder Eloy Jimenez has hit safely in eight straight games.
Royals left fielder Alex Gordon went 3-for-5 Friday to snap an 0-for-13 slide. Jorge Soler and Whit Merrifield homered for Kansas City.
The Royals have lost each of their four games against the White Sox this season.
–Field Level Media