After victories in the first two games of their four-game set with the White Sox, the Royals will send rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura to the mound Saturday for his third Major League start.
He'll be opposed by White Sox righty Erik Johnson, who is starting his fifth game.
Ventura is still looking for his first Major League win, without a decision as he posted a 1.59 ERA in his first two starts. He pitched 5 2/3 innings in each outing, and has allowed a combined two runs with nine strikeouts and four walks.
Ventura struck out the side in the first inning his last time out and held the Mariners to one hit and one walk through the first 5 2/3 innings before a walk, wild pitch and an RBI single by Abraham Almonte. Ventura walked the next batter and was replaced by Will Smith.
Johnson took losses in his first two starts, but won his past two. Most recently, he pitched 6 2/3 innings against Detroit on Sunday. He allowed nine hits, but held the Tigers to two runs, one on a Prince Fielder homer and the other on an Austin Jackson sacrifice fly.
"I thought he did a good job," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said after the game. "He's going against a tough lineup. He kind of just stayed out of trouble. When he needed a pitch, he made it. It's pretty good composure for a kid as young as him. He was staying down in the zone, working down there."
Royals: Holland breaks franchise saves record
With a scoreless ninth inning Thursday against the White Sox, Royals closer Greg Holland broke the franchise's single-season saves record. He now has 46, surpassing Dan Quisenberry and Jeff Montgomery.
"Any time you're mentioned with guys that were great, that's pretty special," Holland said afterward. "But when you're out there on the mound, you're just thinking about saving the game for the guys, because they've played their butts off and they've done it all year, so it's been a lot of fun."
Holland, a first-time All-Star, has converted 46 of his 49 save opportunities this season and 39 of his last 40 dating back to May 30. He has allowed just four earned runs in 50 single-inning appearances since May 30 for a 0.72 ERA while recording 75 strikeouts.
White Sox: Club tries to wrap up trying season with wins
With a 6-1 loss Friday, the White Sox dropped to 62-98. It is just the seventh time in franchise history the team has finished with 97 or more losses in a season.
"Nobody wants that," manager Robin Ventura said. "Is it going to be the big difference of going into next year? Probably not. Every game you play you want to win."
The White Sox will also finish under .500 for just the fourth time in 22 years at U.S. Cellular Field.
• Kansas City pitchers have 1,190 strikeouts this season, which established a new franchise record. In the last six seasons, the Royals have recorded the top six strikeout totals in franchise history.
• Chicago has hit 14 home runs over the last 11 games after hitting just four in the previous 12.
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.