At 15-31, the Chicago White Sox have the worst record in the majors since the All-Star break, and manager Pedro Grifol is starting to reach his breaking point.
Grifol will be looking for his team to put forth a better effort on Tuesday when Chicago faces the host Kansas City Royals in the middle contest of a three-game series.
Nothing went right during Monday's series opener for the White Sox (53-85), who were on the wrong end of a 12-1 shellacking. Chicago allowed 16 hits while recording just three of its own en route to its fourth consecutive loss and sixth in the last seven games.
"In games like that you're always going to get inconsistent effort," Grifol said after the blowout. "Am I OK with it? I'm not. Am I going to address it? Yes I am.
"I'm not going to get too deep in the effort. I didn't like it for the most part and we'll address it."
The White Sox have now dropped 16 of their last 22 games to fall to a season-worst 32 games under .500. Chicago's sputtering offense has scored a total of 18 runs over the last seven games, with 10 of those runs coming in a victory over the Baltimore Orioles last Wednesday.
Right-hander Dylan Cease (6-7, 4.91 ERA) happened to be the beneficiary of those 10 runs, and he will be hoping for more of the same production on Tuesday when he makes his 29th start of the season.
Cease came away with the victory against Baltimore despite allowing five runs on six hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out seven.
In 13 career starts against Kansas City, Cease is 4-4 with a 3.28 ERA.
Fellow right-hander Brady Singer (8-10, 5.15) will oppose Cease after being skipped in the rotation due to arm fatigue ahead of a stint on the paternity list.
Prior to his absence, Singer failed to go more than four innings in back-to-back outings, taking a loss against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 19 before suffering the same fate against the Mariners on Aug. 25.
In that outing against Seattle, which happened to be Singer's most recent start, the 27-year-old allowed four runs on nine hits in four innings while walking one and fanning six.
Singer will be hoping the Royals (43-96) can replicate Monday's 12-run outburst, which was headlined by Edward Olivares and Nelson Velazquez. Olivares homered twice, Velazquez went deep once and the duo combined for five RBIs.
In 21 games with Kansas City, Velazquez has seven homers and 14 RBIs. He was acquired from the Cubs on July 31 in a trade that sent Jose Cuas to Chicago.
"It's a pretty compact swing for a guy with that much power," Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. "He's got very limited at-bats in the big leagues, and to put up the power numbers that he has, I think he's just scratching the surface of what he can be as a hitter. With that compact swing he's going to be able to do stuff to different parts of the field and not just hit home runs."
—Field Level Media