The Chicago White Sox are battling through a rough road trip and will try to get back on track Friday in the opener of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
The White Sox were just swept in a three-game series at Minnesota and have dropped seven of the past eight games. They were handed an 8-4 loss on Thursday and received another poor outing from John Danks, who fell to 1-4 after he allowed six runs and 12 hits, including four home runs.
"With Johnny, it's just one of those, he throws a couple pitches in there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "The home runs hurt, but we aren't helping him defensively -- any of the pitchers. You've got to clean that up to give yourself a chance to come back and score like we did."
Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn both homered and Alexei Ramirez collected four hits for Chicago, which is 1-6 on the 10-game trip.
Hector Santiago draws the start for Ventura's ballclub and is 2-5 with a 3.30 earned run average in 18 games (7 starts). He previously toed the rubber in Sunday's 5-4 loss at Houston and was reached for three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Santiago, a left-hander, has no record or ERA in seven career games (1 start) against the Royals.
Despite losing its last two games, Kansas City has been playing well of late with an 11-4 record in the past 15 contests.
The Royals took the opener of a three-game series at Cleveland, but dropped the next two portions of the set, including Wednesday's 6-3 loss to the Tribe. Luis Mendoza was saddled with the loss and permitted four runs in five innings, while Eric Hosmer and David Lough had three hits and an RBI apiece.
Kansas City had won four straight series and went 4-3 on the trip.
"It was a good road trip," Royals outfielder Alex Gordon said. "We would have loved to have turned these last two games around and we could have. We had our opportunities and just didn't do it. We're going to enjoy the day off, clear our heads and try to keep things going. We can't let these last two games affect us moving forward."
The Royals will try to bounce back Friday with Jeremy Guthrie on the mound and he is 7-4 with a 3.72 ERA in 14 starts. He had a personal two-start winning streak cut short in Saturday's 5-3 loss at Tampa Bay and was tagged for five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits in seven innings.
Guthrie, who is 2-4 in his past six decisions, tossed a four-hit shutout versus the White Sox on May 4 and is 6-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 18 career games, 16 of which have been starts, against them.
Kansas City and Chicago have split six games this season.