Mired in franchise-worst start to season, White Sox face Royals

Field Level Media

April 15, 2024 at 7:15 am.

The Chicago White Sox will try to turn around the worst 15-game start in franchise history when they open a three-game series Monday against the visiting Kansas City Royals.

The White Sox have won just two of their first 15 games, eclipsing the 1968 team, which started 3-12.

Over the weekend, Chicago was swept by the Cincinnati Reds, getting outscored 27-5. During their 11-4 loss Sunday, the White Sox were booed for their defensive lapses and offensive ineptitude.

Chicago has dropped seven of its first eight home games. The White Sox are reeling without three of their best players, each on the injured list. Yoan Moncada (left adductor), All-Star outfielder Luis Robert Jr. (right hip flexor) and Eloy Jimenez (left adductor) are all out indefinitely.

“You are trying to play hard every single day,” White Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi said. “I feel for them. It sucks to see, but by the time you kind of sit back and sulk over it, it’s a couple of games go by, and you can let those slip. You just gotta be mentally onto the next thing.”

The White Sox will send right-hander Nick Nastrini to make his major league debut Monday. Nastrini, 24, was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of last year’s trade deadline for right-handers Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly. Nastrini has made two starts at Triple-A Charlotte, going 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA. He made five appearances (three starts) in spring training this year, going 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA.

The Royals will send right-hander Seth Lugo (2-0, 1.45 ERA), who will be making his fourth start of the season.

In his most recent start last Wednesday night against the Houston Astros, Lugo earned his second win of the year, allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out two.

Lugo, who is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his career against Chicago, will be making his second career start (third appearance) against the White Sox. Lugo allowed one run on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking two against the White Sox on April 4 to earn his first win with Kansas City.

In his last start, Lugo was the beneficiary of a good offensive night by Vinnie Pasquantino, who homered and drove in a career-high five runs in an 11-2 rout of Houston on Wednesday.

Pasquantino was batting just .108 before going on a 6-for-8 tear with eight RBIs in the final two games of the Houston series.

“I think I told somebody just a couple days ago, ‘Just wait until Vinnie gets going,’ ” Lugo said. “He had that night we all know he’s capable of.”

Pasquantino accounted for Kansas City’s only offense Sunday with a solo homer in a 2-1 loss to the Mets in New York.

Royals catcher Salvador Perez injured his left groin and hip in a collision with Starling Marte at the plate. He left Sunday’s loss in New York after four innings.

Perez left the game under his own power but was noticeably limping as he headed toward the dugout.

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