The Chicago White Sox are just two games above .500, but they're very much in the race for the American League Central Division and the playoff spot that comes with it.
The road got harder when they had to place All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson on the 10-day injured list with a torn ligament in his left hand. He is expected to be out four to six weeks.
The Anderson-less White Sox will face the Kansas City Royals in the third game of a four-game series Wednesday night. The White Sox will send Johnny Cueto (4-5, 2.91 ERA) to the mound to face Kris Bubic (2-6, 5.27).
The clubs split a doubleheader Tuesday. The Royals won the opener 4-2, and the White Sox took the nightcap 3-2.
The second game was carried by a pair of rookies, as Davis Martin earned the win and Lenyn Sosa hit his first big-league home run.
"It was a bomb, too," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said of Sosa's home run. "It was way out. Then the single. He caught the ball nice and relaxed, too. We needed every bit of it. The rookies both won the awards. Davis got it for pitching and Sosa for offensively."
Anderson was put on the injured list between games of the twin bill. He was injured on a check swing during his last at-bat on Saturday night at Texas. He will have surgery on Thursday in Chicago.
Anderson is hitting .301. He missed the opener while finishing a two-game suspension for making contact with an umpire last month.
"The way it was described to me, we expect to have him play before the season is over," La Russa said. "It's up to us to keep winning games so when he gets back, we're contending.
"When anybody gets hurt (it's tough), but the kind of player he is and what he means to the club, it' a really tough break."
Cueto opened his 2022 season against the Royals in May, throwing six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and walking two while striking out seven. That was his first career victory in five starts (1-3, 3.82 ERA) against the team he helped win a World Series title in 2015.
He matched his season high with eight innings pitched against Texas in his last start. He allowed three runs on 11 hits, with no walks and four strikeouts.
"I think I pitched well," Cueto said through an interpreter after the game. "Unfortunately, the offense couldn't support me, but that's part of the game, too. I don't blame them. But I think I pitched a good game."
Bubic has pitched well against the White Sox, though he has yet to earn a victory. He's 0-3 with a 2.91 ERA in six appearances (five starts).
He allowed two runs in six innings and left with the lead against Boston in his last start. The Royals bullpen blew the lead but won the game 7-3.
"It was the classic 'Get better as you go,'" Bubic said. "Obviously I've made a bad habit out of starting games poorly, but I was able to right the ship. The curveball for strikes, especially early on, kind of helped me get the command of the other two (pitches, his fastball and changeup).
"Once the fastball and changeup started clicking, I rolled that combo throughout the rest of the outing."
--Field Level Media