|Royals, White Sox look to claim series|
The Chicago White Sox will attempt to bounce back from a disappointing loss when they face the Kansas City Royals in the rubber match of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Chicago (45-77) is coming off a 3-1 loss to the Royals in which it squandered several key scoring opportunities. The biggest miscue came when outfielder Adam Engel failed to put down a bunt with two strikes. He fouled it off for strike three.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria wants Engel -- and all of his players -- to learn from those mistakes going forward.
"Every single major league hitter should know how to bunt," Renteria said to the Chicago Sun-Times. "And I make no bones about that. That ball has got to get down. It didn't work out. He didn't get it down. He was frustrated about it. It's not that he didn't want to get it down, he just didn't get it down. ...
"It's a good place. We have a critical situation, a moment in which you have to focus and concentrate and do your job. These are the tests that we put all our men through because a situation is demanded of them.
"If he's able to get it down, to slow the game down enough to do his job there, he'll be able to slow it down and do it when it's really, really important, which could be a playoff game, could be a wild-card game, could be a postseason game."
Those days could be on the horizon for the White Sox, but this season is about player development. Chicago has lost seven of its last 11 games and has scored one run or fewer 23 times this season.
Kansas City (38-85) has struggled even worse. The Royals are coming off only their fourth win in the past 16 games.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon will look to start a hot streak at the plate after homering in Saturday's victory. The blast marked Gordon's first home run since Aug. 1. Seven of his eight homers this season have come on the road.
Meanwhile, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu carries a five-game hitting streak into the series finale. The Cuban native is hitting .344 (33-for-96) with eight doubles, nine home runs and 24 RBIs in his past 24 games.
White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (4-9, 4.40 ERA) will make his 25th start of the season. The talented 24-year-old has gone seven starts without a victory, with his last win coming July 1 against the Texas Rangers. He is 0-4 with a 6.20 ERA since.
In six career starts against the Royals, Lopez is 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA. He has five walks and 20 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings.
The Royals will counter with right-hander Heath Fillmyer (1-1, 3.61), who will make his seventh start of his rookie campaign. He picked up his first career win Aug. 8 against the Chicago Cubs.
Fillmyer has faced the White Sox once in relief, allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings for a 3.86 ERA.