The White Sox season series loss to the Royals last year was their first to the club since 2000. Chicago will try to get its 2012 series with visiting Kansas City off on the right foot this evening behind streaking starter Gavin Floyd in the opener of a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox dropped seven of 18 to the Royals last season, their worst record against the club since a 5-7 mark 12 years ago. The 11 losses were also the most they had against Kansas City since dropping 12 meetings to the franchise in 1973.
Floyd will look to get Chicago an early advantage tonight and extend his recent run of excellent starts. The right-hander has given up two runs or less in four of his six outings this season, including each of his past three.
Floyd has a 1.71 earned run average while striking out 21 and walking just three over that span, but is just 1-1. He did not factor into the decision of Saturday's 3-2 victory over Detroit even though he allowed just two runs on seven hits over seven innings. Floyd also struck out six without a walk.
The 29-year-old is 2-3 with a 3.03 ERA on the season and owns a career losing mark against the Royals. He is 3-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 14 lifetime encounters, including a 2-4 mark and 2.86 ERA in seven games -- six starts -- at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox would love for Floyd to duplicate Jake Peavy's outing from Wednesday's 8-1 win over the Indians. Peavy gave up one run on seven hits over seven innings, striking out five to improve to 4-1 on the year.
"He's been impressive," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said about Peavy. "There's not much more I can say about him because he's done everything."
Alejandro De Aza's two-run single highlighted a six-run fourth inning as Chicago picked up its second straight win after losing six of seven. Adam Dunn added a two-run homer in the first frame, his 10th of the season. The slugger hit just 11 homers all of last season over 122 games while hitting just .159.
Dunn has one homer in eight career at-bats against Kansas City's Felipe Paulino, who makes his second start of the season after winning his debut on Saturday.
The right-hander began the season on the disabled list due to a right forearm strain, but dominated the Yankees this past weekend. Paulino threw six scoreless innings, scattering four hits and a walk while fanning six. He retired the first 11 batters faced and did not give up a hit until the fifth inning, when he eventually got out of a bases-loaded jam unharmed.
"I feel really strong and confident in myself," Paulino told his team's official website. "That's the big key in this sport, baseball -- be confident all the time when you throw your pitches and try to attack the hitter."
Paulino, 28, is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts versus the White Sox.
The Royals seek their third straight winning after wrapping up a seven-game homestand on Wednesday with a 4-3 win over the Red Sox. Kansas City managed a winning record on the stand (4-3) after losing its first 10 games at home from April 13-23.
Brayan Pena drove in two runs to back Bruce Chen, who picked up his first win of the season with 6 2/3 innings of work. He allowed three runs and struck out five.
"You could tell from the first inning on that he was on his game," said Kansas City manager Ned Yost. "He was executing, his stuff was good, you could tell it was gonna be a good game."
Jonathan Broxton pitched his way out of a jam in the ninth inning to earn his seventh save of the season.