The White Sox may be out of the playoff hunt, but that doesn't mean they aren't playing hard.
Chicago has won 11 of its last 16 games and a season-high five straight after a 5-2 win over Kansas City on Wednesday night. The White Sox seek a three-game sweep of the Royals on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
Left-hander Jose Quintana (7-4, 3.66 ERA) will be on the mound for the visitors after an impressive win over the Twins on Friday. In that game, he allowed two runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"The only thing I did was try to attack early," Quintana said after the start. "I tried to come in and attack early, throw strikes, throw every single one of the batters. Thankfully, everything worked out. I was able to get them back."
Meanwhile, the Royals will call on right-hander James Shields, who has won four of his last five starts. That's a good thing for a Kansas City team that has lost seven of its last 10 games, including four straight.
In his last outing against the Tigers, Shields (8-8, 3.19 ERA) tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits for the win. He's 4-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 15 career starts against Chicago.
Much of the reason the Royals have struggled as of late is because of their offense. They've scored just 18 runs in their last nine games and are hitting .118 (9-for-76) with runners in scoring position during that stretch.
"That's why streaks like this continue, because guys are trying to do too much. Our club is not a club that is going to pound you into oblivion offensively," manager Ned Yost said. "We're not going to win games 9-1. If we're going to score runs it's got to be team oriented. We've got to get guys on, get guys over and get guys in. We don't have one guy that's capable of carrying us for an extended period of time."
White Sox: Dunn hitting stride
Over the past two months, Chicago designated hitter Adam Dunn has been on fire.
Dunn is hitting .309 (69-for-223) with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs over his last 64 games. He also ranks ninth in the American League with a .338 (24-for-71) average in August.
• White Sox pitchers have made 952 quality starts since 2003, the most in the Majors.
• Of Chicago's 124 games this season, 96 have been decided by three runs or fewer.
Royals: Johnson claimed off waivers
Former Royals infielder Elliot Johnson was claimed off unconditional release waivers by the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
Johnson, who was acquired in an offseason trade that brought Wade Davis and James Shields to Kansas City from Tampa Bay, was designated for assignment last Thursday to make room for outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, who was acquired in a trade with Toronto. Johnson played in 79 games for the Royals and batted .179 with two home runs.
"I know he's a good player," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I know we had a chance to get him off waivers. He's a guy that gives us some depth in the infield -- a guy that can steal you a base, switch-hitter."
• Yost switched the order of his rotation on Wednesday. Left-hander Bruce Chen will start Friday night's series opener against Washington instead of right-hander Wade Davis, who will start Saturday's game.
• The White Sox are 20-30 against the Royals since 2011 after going 54-37 from 2006-2010.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.