Originally written on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Royals_vs_tigers_b930
While a lack of offense has the Kansas City Royals slipping out of contention, things might not get any easier against the resurgent Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez looks to keep their bats cold and lead the Washington Nationals to their fourth straight win Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City's playoff hopes took another hit after Conor Gillaspie homered to lead off the 12th inning to give the White Sox a 4-3 victory Thursday. A five-game losing streak has dropped the Royals (64-62) 9 12 games behind Detroit in the AL Central and seven games back of the final wild-card spot. "They're grown men," manager Ned Yost said. "They've got to pull themselves out of it." Since averaging 5.0 runs and batting .293 during a 17-3 stretch, Yost's club has scored 2.1 per game and hit .211 while losing eight of 10. Kansas City has also dropped five of seven interleague home games this season, scoring 19 total runs in those contests. The Royals will try to break out against Gonzalez (7-6, 3.38 ERA), who can help get the Nationals (63-64) back to .500 for the first time since July 19. Since allowing 10 runs and a career-high 11 hits over 3 13 innings in an 11-1 loss at Detroit on July 31, Gonzalez has yielded only four runs in his last three starts covering 18 innings. However, he's lost his only two decisions in that span while receiving three total runs of support. He struck out nine and gave up two runs over seven innings in a 2-1 loss at Atlanta on Sunday. Gonzalez is 3-3 with a 6.44 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals, but hasn't faced them since 2011 while with Oakland. He's done a good job against Billy Butler (3 for 15) and Alex Gordon (1 for 7), though Butler is batting .361 over his last 16 games overall. Kansas City counters with Bruce Chen (5-1, 2.20), who allowed season highs of six runs and eight hits over 5 13 innings in a 6-3 loss at Detroit on Sunday. Chen, though, has yet to lose this season at Kauffman Stadium with a 3-0 record and 1.96 ERA in 14 appearances. He's limited opponents to one run and 11 hits over 20 23 innings in three home starts. This will be the left-hander's first start against the Nationals in over three years after going 2-2 with a 5.70 ERA in six in the series from 2000-10. Washington won its third straight with a 5-4, 13-inning victory over the Cubs on Thursday. Ryan Zimmerman had three hits, including a home run, and is 7 for 15 in his last three games. Tyler Moore is 6 for 12 during that same span. The Nationals have averaged 2.3 runs and batted .176 in interleague road games, but are averaging 5.2 runs and hitting .288 while winning nine of 13 overall. "We need things firing on all cylinders," outfielder Scott Hairston told the team's official website. "I think we have the talent, pitching and hitting, and once we all put that together, we're a dangerous team." The MontrealWashington franchise makes its first trip to Kansas City since taking two of three June 8-10, 2004.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift, blames media for scrutiny

Report: Cowboys could limit DeMarco Murray's touches

Lakers announce Steve Nash to miss season with back issues

Is Mack Brown the best option for SMU?

Jeremy Kerley on new contract: 'Bentleys for everybody'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Buss: Any FA who won’t play with Kobe ‘probably a loser’

NFL to start airing its own anti-domestic violence PSAs

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

NFL teams facing potential must-win scenarios in Week 8

WATCH: Jeremy Lin poses as Adidas employee for prank

WATCH: Peyton screams at fans to 'shut the f- up!'

Father auctioning off infant son's soccer club allegiance

Love thanks T'Wolves fans in essay for not burning his jersey

WATCH: Browns WR 'kicks out' son over favorite player snub

Memorabilia dealer wants Todd Gurley reinstated immediately

Aaron Rodgers gave girlfriend Olivia Munn a 'special ring'?

The 10 college football programs with most to gain in Week 9

Most disappointing potential dynasties of divisional era

WATCH: OHL hockey coach goes off on reporter: ‘F*** you!’

PK Subban as Michael Jackson at Canadiens' Halloween party

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

On Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and embracing newfound roles

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.