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White Sox try to avoid Royals' brooms

(SportsNetwork.com) - Chicago lefty Chris Sale goes after his second win in as many starts on Sunday when the White Sox try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Sale got the White Sox off on the right foot on Monday, as he won on Opening Day for the second year in a row, limiting the Minnesota Twins to three runs and five hits over 7 1/3 innings.

"The energy in the ballpark was awesome," said Sale, who beat the Royals on Opening Day in 2013. "The energy in the dugout and the clubhouse before the game, even during the game, we were staying positive. It was fun to watch."

Sale has faced the Royals 21 times (10 starts) and is 5-7 against them with a 2.68 ERA.

Kansas City, meanwhile, will rely on its ace, right-hander James Shields, who did not get a decision in his initial outing, but pitched well enough to get the win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday.

Shields surrendered three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings of his team's 4-3 loss in that one.

"They are still good. Sometimes you've got your days and sometimes you don't," Shields said. "We've got a long season to go and I'll hand the ball off to those guys any day of the week."

Kansas City has taken the first two games of this set and on Saturday Billy Butler drove in two runs to help the Royals eke out a 4-3 win.

Alex Gordon had two hits, including a clutch two-out double in the eighth. Salvador Perez plated Gordon with a double down the left-field line for the tiebreaking run.

"We have a real knack especially the last two years of scoring a lot of two- out runs with nothing going on. It shows and says that it's a team that doesn't quit," said Royals manager Ned Yost.

Royals starter Bruce Chen conceded just one unearned run on six hits to go with seven strikeouts across 6 1/3 innings. Wade Davis (1-1) picked up the win despite allowing two runs in the eighth, while Greg Holland struck out two batters in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.

Adam Eaton, Conor Gillaspie and Paul Konerko each knocked in a run for the White Sox. Starter John Danks allowed three runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts over seven innings, while Scott Downs (0-1) received the loss after being charged for the deciding run in the eighth inning.

Kansas City was 10-9 against the White Sox last season.