CHICAGO -- Consider White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, beaten by the Royals on Friday night, impressed by the 2013 Kansas City club.
"This is a team that I either feel like I do well against or don't do well at all against," Sale said. "They are a very free-swinging team, but at the same time, they are very athletic. They put the bat on the ball and they make things happen. This is a team that I was not surprised by at all this year having the success they had. They can hit, they can pitch and they have a heck of a bullpen, too."
Until the Royals dinged him for four runs in a 6-1 White Sox loss Friday night, Sale had allowed just two runs in three previous starts against K.C. this season. He's 5-7 against the Royals in his career.
Chen feels fresh at end of fifth season in Kansas City
CHICAGO -- Left-hander Bruce Chen will pitch the Royals' season finale Sunday, and he's actually feeling pretty fresh. He spent the first half of the season in the bullpen and pitched just 33 2/3 innings before he moved into the rotation on July 12.
After 14 starts and 19 relief appearances, he's at 114 1/3 innings, his lowest total in four years.
"I feel good. I'm not lying to you, but this is the best I've felt in the last three or four years, because usually by this time, you have over 150 innings or 160," Chen said. "And also, I want to push myself and see what I'd be like if we had gone all the way down to the wire. I want to finish strong, so if we'd been in the postseason, I'd feel like I still had more in the tank."
This is Chen's fifth year with the Royals, and because he's a potential free agent, it could be his last. But it certainly was the most exciting.
"The last eight weeks of the season have been great," he said. "I know we started way back at the All-Star break, but after we started winning some games, we were saying, 'Hey, we're close in the Wild Card hunt.' It was very exciting and everyone was into it, everyone was fighting to give this team a chance to win. And we came close."
Chen has already expressed interest in returning to Kansas City.
"This team is very good, they want to win, and it will be very interesting to see what happens here next year," Chen said. "I think the potential is here, and I expect great things from this team next year."
Yost plans to talk staff with Moore upon return to KC
CHICAGO -- Although his return seems imminent, Ned Yost plans to discuss his managerial future and the makeup of the coaching staff with general manager Dayton Moore when the Royals return to Kansas City after their final game of the season at U.S. Cellular Field.
Yost is without a contract for next season, but said Friday he would like to remain with the Royals after Moore publicly said he would like Yost to return.
"We're still in the evaluation process, like we always do," Yost said. "I imagine we'll get all that discussed when we get home, when we get past the season. We just wanted to focus on having the strongest finish we could."
The current staff consists of bench coach Chino Cadahia, hitting coach Pedro Grifol, pitching coach Dave Eiland, third-base coach Eddie Rodriguez, first-base coach Rusty Kuntz and bullpen coach Doug Henry. Cahahia has been on leave because of a family matter since Aug. 27, and Minor League managers Brian Poldberg and Mike Jirschele filling in for him this month.
White Sox skipper claims he knew Gordon made catch
CHICAGO -- While virtually everyone in the ballpark -- fans, broadcasters and Royals manager Ned Yost -- were fooled by left fielder Alex Gordon's catch Friday night, there was at least one exception.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura claimed Saturday that he knew all along that Alexei Ramirez didn't have a home run in the sixth inning of the Royals' 6-1 win, an event that prompted a premature fireworks and musical celebration. Gordon made the catch after first climbing the bullpen fence.
"What I saw was him jump on the fence, and then come down off the fence and catch the ball," Ventura said. "And the fireworks and the organ playing -- I wasn't fooled by it. I wasn't in charge of the fireworks. I know you probably think that, but we don't have a button here here for the fireworks and we don't have an organ either."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.