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Sox Can Move Into Second Place Tie With Win Over Royals

(Sports Network) - A pair of big name starters clash tonight in Kansas City as the Royals host the Chicago White Sox in the rubber match of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Jake Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner in San Diego, will take the hill for the White Sox, while Zach Greinke, last year's AL Cy Young Award recipient, starts things for the Royals.

Peavy has amassed a 7-5 record this season but his earned run average is a pedestrian 4.71. The right-hander has been excellent lately, however, and will be attempting to extend a 21-inning scoreless streak tonight, two innings shy of his career-best.

Peavy, who started the season at 4-5 with an ERA near 6.00, turned things around in interleague play, compiling a perfect 3-0 mark in his last three starts against NL teams with a minuscule 0.78 ERA.

Meanwhile, Greinke has followed up a 16-8 mark and 2.16 ERA last year with a miserable 3-8 record so far this season, although his ERA is still a respectable 3.72 and the right-hander has won his last two starts.

After losing the opener of the set, the ChiSox bounced back on Tuesday when Alexei Ramirez's run-scoring single in the fourth inning proved to be the difference, and Chicago held off Kansas City 4-3.

Gordon Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski each scored once and drove in a run for the White Sox, who avoided their first three-game skid since a four-game slide from April 15-18. Juan Pierre knocked in the other run for Chicago.

Gavin Floyd (3-7) lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits to pick up his first career win in Kansas City. He was 0-4 with a 7.53 earned run average in his previous five starts at Kauffman Stadium.

Scott Podsednik had two RBI for the Royals, who had won four of five coming in. Wilson Betemit drove in a run and scored once in defeat.

Brian Bannister (7-6) gave up four runs on eight hits in a four-inning start. He also fanned four batters and walked two in the loss.

"This team for whatever reason, my ERA is a full 5 points higher than other teams," Bannister said. "I still have failed to come up with a solution for that lineup. It seems like every time I play against them, they come up with a creative way to beat me."

The Royals will be attempting to win their fourth straight series at home tonight but Peavy is 4-1 lifetime against Kansas City, winning his last four starts against the team.

Greinke is 5-10 lifetime against the White Sox with a 4.46 ERA in 19 starts. This will be his first start against Chicago this season after going 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA in five starts against them during his 2009 Cy Young season.

The 2010 season series between the White Sox and Royals is tied at four games apiece. Kansas City won two of three matchups at home from May 14-16.