The Kansas City Royals were recently eliminated from postseason contention.
The Chicago White Sox have been out for a much longer time.
Their first two matchups turned into pitchers' duels, but Sale and Shields haven't squared off since May 6.
Sale (11-13, 2.97 ERA) pitched 7 2-3 scoreless innings and Tyler Flowers homered off Shields in Chicago's 1-0 victory over the Royals on opening day.
On May 6, Shields (12-9, 3.21) tossed two-hit ball over eight scoreless innings, but the White Sox tied it in the ninth and won 2-1 in the 11th.
Sale has allowed two runs in 24 innings against Kansas City this year.
Shields is not far behind with a 2.18 ERA over five 2013 starts against Chicago.
Both pitchers have been outstanding of late.
Shields has won eight of his last 12 starts, posting a 3.15 ERA.
He fell short in his bid to win a third straight start Sunday despite pitching eight scoreless innings against Texas. The Royals were held off the scoreboard until Justin Maxwell 's 10th-inning walkoff grand slam.
Shields' start was particularly impressive, given the liner he absorbed from David Murphy in the second inning.
"You can probably see the big bump in my elbow," Shields said. "I had a hard time feeling the baseball the whole rest of the game. It's just one of those games, one of those moments where I wasn't coming out of the game."
Sale limited Detroit to four hits with seven strikeouts in 7 2-3 scoreless innings Saturday, but the White Sox blew a six-run lead in the ninth before falling 7-6 in 12.
The left-hander is 5-2 with a 3.09 ERA in his last nine starts, with 14 of the 25 runs he allowed during that span coming in the two losses.
Sale has been susceptible to the home run lately, serving up nine in his last 43 2-3 innings after offering up eight in his previous 125 1-3.
Shields and Sale will both pitch to slumping lineups.
The White Sox (62-97) have scored eight runs over three straight losses, including a 3-2 defeat to the Royals Thursday. Five of those runs came via the solo home run.
Chicago, which has dropped 21 of 27, needs one win in its remaining three games to avoid finishing with 100 losses for the first time since 1970.
"You don't want to lose 100," said Paul Konerko , who homered Thursday. "You don't want to put that on a team next year."
The Royals (84-75) have slumped as well, batting .202 with three homers over their last seven games.
One night after picking up their 84th win for the first time since 1993, the Royals seek their 85th victory for the first time since 1989."The first time in 20 years we've won this many games, that's pretty good, too," manager Ned Yost said. "They're all pushing. They all want to finish strong."
|Alejandro De Aza||10||.200||2||0||1||1||1||.273||.473||.200|
|Kansas City Royals|
|September 17, 2013||Carlos Pena||60-Day DL||Appendectomy|
|September 16, 2013||Danny Duffy||Day-to-Day||Flexor tendon inflammation|
|September 08, 2013||Danny Duffy||15-Day DL||Strained left forearm|
|September 05, 2013||Salvador Perez||Day-to-Day||Concussion|
|September 03, 2013||Noel Arguelles||60-Day DL||Left shoulder|
|August 13, 2013||Mike Moustakas||Day-to-Day||Strained left calf|
|Chicago White Sox|
|September 24, 2013||Jeff Keppinger||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder surgery|
|September 20, 2013||Andre Rienzo||Day-to-Day||Blister right hand|
|September 08, 2013||Avisail Garcia||Day-to-Day||Pulled teeth|
|September 02, 2013||Tyler Flowers||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder surgery - out for season|
|September 02, 2013||Tyler Flowers||60-Day DL||Right shoulder surgery - out for season|
|August 20, 2013||Jeff Keppinger||Day-to-Day||Stiff lower back|
CHICAGO (AP) -- It was a night of individual achievements for the Kansas City Royals and another step closer to a dubious distinction for the Chicago White Sox on Friday.
Royals pitcher James Shields struck out 10 and scattered four hits over seven innings for his 100th career win, and the Royals beat Chicago 6-1 to ensure the White Sox of their worst record since 1970.
Shields (13-9) gave up just one run and walked one as Chicago lost its fourth straight.
"I'm really excited I got my 100th win today," Shields said. "I'm just proud of my season this year. A hundred wins in the big leagues is a pretty special moment."
Also receiving accolades was Royals third baseman Jamey Carroll , whose fourth-inning double was the 1,000th hit of his major league career.
"It's something one day you can look back and have a lot of pride in, when your kids are asking what that ball's for or what that jersey is all about," Carroll said, adding with a laugh, "only 22 more years to 3,000."
Carroll's teammates put a bottle of 1,000 Island salad dressing in his locker as a memento of his achievement.
The mood in the White Sox locker room was more somber.
At 62-98 and with two games remaining, the White Sox will finish with the second-most losses in franchise history, ahead of only the team that went 56-106 more than four decades ago.
"Nobody wants that," manager Robin Ventura said before the game of reaching 100 losses. "Is it going to be the big difference going into next year? Probably not, but nobody wants that."
The White Sox will finish last in their division for the first time since 1989 (69-92), and will end the season with a losing record against every team in the American League.
Billy Butler led the Royals with three hits and two RBIs, while Emilio Bonifacio drove in two runs with two hits.
The Royals' 85th win is their most since 1989 when they were 92-70.
The Royals took a 3-0 lead in the first off White Sox starter Chris Sale (11-14).
Bonifacio walked and stole second, moved to third on Eric Hosmer 's single, and both scored on Butler's double. Butler scored on Lorenzo Cain 's single.
"To give Shields a 3-0 lead in the first, it's quite comforting," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's given us not only No. 1 starter stuff, he's provided great leadership, has been a great example for our guys. He's a big part of our season and why we're at 85 wins now."
Kansas City, which has won 21 of its last 31, made it 4-0 in the fourth on Carroll's milestone double and scored on Bonifacio's single.
Sale was lifted with one out in the top of the sixth. He gave up four runs and nine hits, walked one and struck out five. He also hit a batter.
"I think that's a reoccurring theme every year: My last (start is) always a bad one," Sale said. "Hopefully, I can fix that next year. I just didn't have it tonight."
Sale's replacement, Jacob Petricka, promptly gave up two runs. Alcides Escobar singled and scored on Alex Gordon 's double. Gordon scored on another single by Bonifacio.
Chicago's run came on Gordon Beckham 's fifth home run of the season in the sixth. The following batter, Alexei Ramirez , appeared to follow with another homer, but Gordon grabbed the ball at the fence in left field.
NOTES: Having fallen out of the wild card race, the Royals are playing out the string this weekend. But Yost is proud of what his team accomplished in the second half of the season: "We have more wins than anybody in the American League since the All-Star break except Detroit, and they're tied with us (coming into Friday). We feel like our organization has made great progress. We got to experience what it was like playing deep into September in a playoff race and it was great experience." . White Sox INF Jeff Keppinger had a successful debridement procedure on his right shoulder Thursday. Recovery will be two to three months. Keppinger should be back to full strength by the start of spring training. . White Sox 1B Paul Konerko , who will not make a decision on whether he'll retire or return for one more season for at least a month, needs just six bases to break Frank Thomas ' team record for total bases (3,949).