|7:10 PM PT8:10 PM MT9:10 PM CT10:10 PM ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 PM MST9:10 PM EST9:40 PM VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 PM CT, September 13, 2019
T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 17,255
White Sox's Palka seeking hits vs. Mariners
Daniel Palka knows all about a sophomore slump.
Last season, the Chicago White Sox rookie hit 27 home runs. This season, he's batting .035.
He collected only his second hit in 57 at-bats Thursday in a 6-3 loss to the visiting Kansas City Royals. The infield single snapped an 0-for-21 slump.
Palka will try to improve on that mark when he and the White Sox open a three-game series against the Mariners on Friday night at Seattle.
Palka admitted he gets a reminder of his average every time he walks to the plate.
"You have these (huge) scoreboards now. It's kind of hard to miss it," Palka told MLB.com. "It's in the back of your mind. But realistically, every at-bat is a new start for me right now. That's really all you can do."
Palka has spent most of the season at Triple-A Charlotte, where he hit .263 with 27 homers and 72 RBIs.
"It's a crazy-bad stretch, but I sit there and look at it, and know what I can do, what I can contribute, and I mean, regardless, I'm going to look back and be, like, 50 at-bats made me a better player than what I was before," Palka said. "As corny as it sounds, it's 100 percent true. I like playing every day, but I also like the role I've had here. I just enjoy being on the team."
White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Palka has been pressing.
"Probably wanting to do too much, trying to reassess and prove to everybody that he's what he was last year," Renteria said. "He hasn't had the success that he's looking for. But those are the things that he's trying to do, and ultimately, bat to ball, when he gets it, he can get a pretty good swing on it, put a charge in it and hit it out of the ballpark."
The White Sox are scheduled to face Mariners rookie left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (6-9, 5.24 ERA) in the series opener. Kikuchi has pitched better of late, going 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA over his past four starts, including a two-hit shutout Aug. 18 against the Blue Jays at Toronto.
Kikuchi has faced the White Sox just once -- on April 5 in Chicago. He didn't get a decision despite allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings.
Kikuchi held the Houston Astros to one run on five hits over five innings on Saturday, his most recent outing.
"Yusei threw the ball great against a quality opponent," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He's made some really nice adjustments. He's relaxed. I like where he's at. I've said all along this was going to be a learning year. We've seen some really good outings, we've seen him struggle a little bit. But I like where he's headed right now."
Chicago will counter with right-hander Dylan Covey (1-8, 7.69), who is 0-4 with a 14.26 ERA in eight second-half appearances (four starts).
Covey is 1-7 with an 8.14 ERA in 11 starts this season. He's 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners, including pitching 8 2/3 scoreless innings on July 21, 2018, in Seattle while allowing two hits.
The Mariners lost 11-5 to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday despite Kyle Lewis homering for the third consecutive game to start his major league career.
--Field Level Media
Updated September 13, 2019