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Chicago White Sox Team Report - April 17th

From The Sports Network

(Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox try to gain some ground in the American League Central and become the first team to win back-to-back games versus a streaking Kansas City squad this afternoon as they wrap up a three- game set with the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field.

On Wednesday the Sox, amidst heightened security following another fan-related incident on the field on Tuesday, posted a 4-3 come back win as Tony Graffanino scored on a sacrifice fly by Frank Thomas in the bottom of the ninth.

Tom Gordon threw two scoreless innings to notch the victory for Chicago, which has won two of its last three games and beat the Royals for the first time in five meetings this season.

Magglio Ordonez extended his hitting streak to 12 games while White Sox starter Jon Garland allowed just one run during a seven-inning outing.

The White Sox will pin their hopes on red hot veteran Esteban Loaiza this afternoon. Loaiza has won both of first two starts, including a victory over Detroit last week. The 31-year-old Mexican twirled eight scoreless innings against the Tigers, allowing just two hits and striking out three.

Loaiza hasn't had his best outings against the Royals in his career, as he has posted a 2-3 record with a 7.98 ERA. The journeyman has surrendered 44 hits and 26 runs over 29 1/3 innings of work versus Kansas City.

While the Royals may have the best pitching staff in the league early on, Chicago's group of hurlers are not that far behind with a combined ERA of just 3.39.

Former AL MVP Thomas has started off a bit slow in 2003, hitting just .220, with a pair of home runs and six RBI, although he does have one of the best on-base percentages (.433) on the squad thanks to his 14 walks.

04/17 13:06:53 ET

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