MLB

White Sox-Royals Preview

As the Kansas City Royals continue to find comfort at home, the Chicago White Sox have struggled no matter where they've played of late.

The Royals will try for a sixth consecutive home victory over the White Sox on Saturday night.

Kansas City (64-44) dropped six of the last eight to conclude a 4-6 road trip but bounced back with Friday's 3-2 victory over Chicago. Edinson Volquez threw seven strong innings and Lorenzo Cain had two hits to help the Royals win for the 12th time in their last 15 at Kauffman Stadium.

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"(To) bounce back (Friday) and get a win against a division team is huge," Cain said.

Kansas City is 35-18 at home, where it's held the White Sox (51-56) to 11 runs during a five-game winning streak that dates to last season.

"(It's) always been a tough team for us to play," said Chicago manager Robin Ventura, whose club fell to 3-8 against the Royals this season after losing for the sixth times in the last eight games.

Cain is hitting .233 with one RBI in his last 11 road contests but .387 with 13 RBIs in his last 16 at home. The veteran is batting .409 with eight RBIs while hitting safely in all 11 games against Chicago this season.

He's 3 for 5 this year off Jeff Samardzija (8-6, 4.35 ERA), who has a 6.23 ERA in losing two starts against the Royals in 2015.

The right-hander completed at least seven innings in 10 straight starts before matching a season high with nine runs allowed in 4 2-3 innings of Sunday's 12-3 loss to the New York Yankees.

"If you are not sharp and on top of it, you are going to pay for it," Ventura told MLB's official website.

It doesn't seem likely Samardzija will have leadoff hitter Adam Eaton behind him Saturday after the center fielder jammed his left shoulder making a catch in the opener. Though Eaton is 2 for 13 with seven strikeouts in the last four games, he's hit .432 with a .528 on-base percentage in his last 12.

''It was enough to take him out," Ventura said about Eaton, who is day to day. "He couldn't really do anything. He knew right away. It was enough that we were going to have to get him checked out."

Trayce Thompson, brother of Golden State All-Star guard Klay Thompson, could make his first start in place of Eaton after recording two hits and scoring on Jose Abreu's double in his second career game Friday.

Batting .344 with 19 RBIs in his last 17 games, Abreu came through but the White Sox went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position in the opener.

They'll hope to rebound against Jeremy Guthrie (7-7, 5.65), who remains in Kansas City's rotation despite going 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA and yielding 30 hits in three starts since the All-Star break. Due to an off day the right-hander hasn't pitched since July 29 when he gave up eight runs and three homers in 5 1-3 innings of a 12-1 loss at Cleveland.

''It just unraveled for me and was not a good outing when you look back at it,'' Guthrie said.

Though the Royals pulled out a 7-6, 13-inning win at Chicago on July 18, Guthrie allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings.

Melky Cabrera is batting .364 with five doubles, a triple and a home run in 44 at-bats against Guthrie.