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DET@CWS: Sale strikes out 11 Tigers over eight frames

KANSAS CITY -- Royals starter Wade Davis needs a solid start against the White Sox on Saturday.

Davis will take on Chris Sale as he looks to snap a four-game losing streak in which he's pitched just 15 2/3 innings and allowed 19 runs. Three of his last four starts have been ugly, including his two shortest starts of the season.

By the time he exited after 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday against the Orioles, he'd thrown 83 pitches and given up four runs (two earned) on seven hits, three walks and three strikeouts.

"I fell behind too much," Davis said. "That leadoff walk to start that first inning was a bad way to start it, and that led to a lot of pitches."

Despite his recent struggles, manager Ned Yost elected to keep him in the rotation.

"One, he hadn't pitched in 11 days. Two, we think that there are some things we can do to improve his game," Yost said Sunday. "His stuff was as good as it's been all year long, it was just command."

If he can put together a good start, the Royals may be in position for their third straight series victory out of the All-Star break, with previous wins against the Tigers and the Orioles. They also have the chance to move back to one game under .500.

Since Davis' last start, the Royals have won six of eight games out of the break and four straight, including Game 1 against the White Sox.

They'll face a familiar foe in Sale, who is making his third start of the season against the Royals. He's allowed just one earned run in 15 innings for a 0.60 ERA, with 12 strikeouts.

On Tuesday, Sale notched his 15th quality start of the season with 11 strikeouts over eight innings. It was the 11th time in his career he posted double-digit strikeouts.

Despite having a 3.13 ERA in the last eight games, he's lost seven of them due in large part to a lack of run support. The White Sox have plated just 2.75 runs per game in the same eight-game stretch.

With the loss, Sale dropped to 6-9 on the season with a 2.81 ERA through 18 starts.

Royals: Clutch in close games
Although Friday night's game was not a one-run win for the Royals, they still lead the league with 36 one-run games. The White Sox are right behind them with 34. The Royals are 19-17 in single-tally decisions, and they've gone 8-1 in their last nine and 13-5 in their last 18.

They also lead the Majors with 31 comeback victories. They've already exceeded last year's total by three. Kansas City's opponents have 18 comeback wins.

White Sox: Beckham back in the lineup
Gordon Beckham returned to the White Sox lineup on Friday after missing five games with a strained left wrist. He went 0-for-3 with a walk.

"I'm close to healthy," Beckham said. "There's definitely some soreness there, but I feel a lot better than I did last weekend so we'll go from there."

• Reliever Jesse Crain had a slight setback in his rehab from a sprained right shoulder and will sit out for a couple more days. Crain had an 0.74 ERA in 38 appearances before the injuries.

"Just take four or five days off, start throwing again next week," Crain said. "Let it calm down and see where it goes from there."

Worth noting
• Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.

• Josh Phegley has hit safely in nine of his 13 starts, with three home runs and nine RBIs. Comments