With their own playoff aspirations long gone, the Royals will simply look to play the role of spoiler against their division rivals. The White Sox will arrive in Kansas City with a three-game lead over the Tigers after winning a makeup game against Detroit in Chicago on Monday.
As for this series, the Royals have been a thorn in the White Sox side all season, winning 10 of the 15 meetings, including seven of the last nine.
That success against the White Sox also holds true for Tuesday's starter, Luke Hochevar. The righty is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA against Chicago this season, despite being 7-13 with a 5.71 ERA against everyone else.
Hochevar will hope to get back on track against the White Sox, as he's struggled mightily in his last four starts. He's allowed at least four earned runs in each of those outings, while posting a 9.00 ERA (21 earned runs in 21 innings). The good news is he picked up his first win since July 31 in his last outing on Wednesday, despite allowing five runs over five innings to the Twins.
"He [hadn't] won a game in his last seven starts and I wanted to get him over that hump," manager Ned Yost said of leaving Hochevar in through five innings in spite of his struggles. "I was bound and determined to give him every opportunity to do it. Part of my job is to get guys in a frame of mind so they can go out and compete and be successful. Sometimes, you've got to let 'em work through some things."
Pitching with some added confidence from that victory, Hochevar will look to deliver another blow to the White Sox hopes of winning the AL Central.
The White Sox will counter with Gavin Floyd, who will be pitching on an extra day of rest after allowing three runs in only 4 2/3 innings in his last start against the Tigers.
White Sox: Pierzynski rests to prepare for stretch run
A.J. Pierzynski wasn't in the White Sox lineup for Sunday's finale against the Twins, but don't expect to see the fiery catcher spending too many more days on the bench down the stretch.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura took Sunday as an opportunity to get Pierzynski a day off, but there won't be many more opportunities as the White Sox find themselves at the top of the AL Central heap. Pierzynski was back on the field for Monday's makeup game against the Tigers, the first of 16 games remaining on Chicago's schedule -- three each against the Royals and Angels, four against the Rays and six against the Indians.
"Guys are tired, so you're just trying to make sure they're still strong," Ventura said.
In general, Ventura said he plans to rest his regulars by giving them a couple of innings off in games that the White Sox are leading or trailing by a wide margin.
Royals: Odorizzi one of five recalled
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi, one of the Royals' top prospects, was one of five players promoted to the Royals from Triple-A Omaha on Sunday.
Odorizzi, the Royals' No. 3 prospect and No. 31 overall prospect according to MLB.com, was promoted alongside pitchers Nate Adcock and Tommy Hottovy, catcher Adam Moore and infielder Irving Falu following Omaha's loss Saturday night in the Pacific Coast League championship series.
The immediate plan is to use the 22-year-old prized pitching prospect out of the bullpen, though he will likely make at least one start before the season comes to an end.
"We'll put him in the 'pen right now, we'll look at it," Yost said of Odorizzi. "He won't start against any contending clubs. We've got two series against Cleveland that we're looking at. We might start to him at the end of this week against Cleveland, we'll see."
After not losing a season series to the Royals from 2001-10, the White Sox are just 12-21 against Kansas City since the start of last season.