Danks aims to continue mastery of Royals

(SportsNetwork.com) - Few pitchers have dominated the Kansas City Royals the way John Danks has. The left-hander hopes that trend continues on Thursday when the Chicago White Sox close out their three-game series with the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Danks has faced the Royals 16 times in his career and owns a perfect 7-0 record against them with a 2.43 ERA. He's also gone 4-0 at Kauffman Stadium.

The left-hander, though, hasn't been the same pitcher since shoulder surgery in 2012. Last season he threw 193 2/3 innings, but was 11-11 with a 4.74 ERA. It was more of the same this spring, as he pitched to a 6.97 ERA in three official Cactus League starts.

Kansas City, meanwhile, will hand the ball to one of its offseason acquisitions, righty Edinson Volquez, who is coming off the best season of his career.

Volquez spent 2014 with Pittsburgh and went 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA in 32 games, all but one as a starter. He had lost 12 games with a 5.71 ERA the previous season for San Diego and the Dodgers.

Kansas City made it two in a row on Wednesday, as Lorenzo Cain homered for the fifth time in 44 games against the White Sox, a two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning that lifted the Royals to a 7-5 win.

Cain's no-doubt-about-it shot off Zach Putnam (0-1) cleared the bullpen behind left field and put the reigning American League champions in position to sweep the season-opening three-game set.

"I believe that if we have the lead or are tied from the sixth inning on we're going to win the game," said Yost.

Cain finished with three hits and two runs scored and Eric Hosmer hit a three- run homer off White Sox starter Jose Quintana in Wednesday's win.

Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer off Royals starter Danny Duffy, who went five-plus innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits. Avisail Garcia had three hits for Chicago.

Quintana, who is 0-6 in 13 career starts against the Royals, gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk in five innings. He hit two batters, including Cain in the first inning, after the White Sox plunked three in Monday's opener.

Duffy received a warning after throwing behind Chicago designated hitter Adam LaRoche in the second inning and Quintana followed by hitting Mike Moustakas in the third.

Kansas City, which won 13 of its 19 meetings with the White Sox last season, hasn't won their first three since sweeping Detroit in 2008.