(AP) -- Chris Sale was the surprising ace of the Chicago White Sox rotation in the first half, but he's labored over the last two months.
Sale will try to avoid a third straight losing start Saturday and help the White Sox end a frustrating six-game skid against the visiting Kansas City Royals.
Central-leading Chicago holds a one-game lead over Detroit and Sale (15-6, 2.93 ERA) is among the biggest reasons why.
The White Sox (74-63) especially need him to regain his form after a 7-5 loss in Friday's series opener. Closer Addison Reed gave up a two-run homer in the ninth to Lorenzo Cain - his second of the game - and Chicago went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
The Royals (62-76) have matched a franchise record with six straight wins against the White Sox, accomplished most recently in 1982.
"They're just as formidable as anybody," Paul Konerko said of Kansas City. "We realize that, and we certainly don't go into games taking them lightly, so it's no surprise to us."