In his last scheduled start of the season, James Shields will be looking for career win No. 100.
That will be a tall task against White Sox starter Chris Sale who's held the Royals to just two earned runs in his previous three starts.
Shields was dominant in his last outing, going eight scoreless innings against the Rangers on Sunday. He allowed just six hits and a walk while striking out two. He stayed in the game despite getting hit in the elbow with a line drive in the third inning and took a no-decision in the Royals' 4-0, 10th-inning victory.
"Once the stinging went away, he was nails," manager Ned Yost said after the game. "He really lived up to his name today -- Big Game James -- because this is the biggest game in a long, long time for this organization to come into the final [home] game of the season and have it mean something."
Since then, the Royals have fallen out of playoff contention, but their victory Thursday night gave them their best record since 1993.
Shields' latest outing was the latest of an American League-leading 26 quality starts. He also leads the A.L. with 221 2/3 innings through 34 starts.
Sale also didn't factor into the decision in his last start despite holding the Tigers to four hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings on Saturday.
Sale has 221 strikeouts which ranks fifth in franchise history behind Ed Walsh, who holds the four highest single-season totals. Entering his final game he also has a chance to break his own franchise record for strikeouts per nine innings with a current rate of 9.52 which passes last season's 9.0 average.
Royals: Younger players getting some time
Since the Royals were eliminated from the playoffs Wednesday night, manager Ned Yost will take the opportunity to introduce some new faces into the lineup.
"We'll rest some guys now. Salvy [Perez] will get a day off [Thursday]," Yost said. "We'll look at it and get some of the younger guys in some of these games the next four days. Give the guys that have been here and been working hard and haven't had an opportunity to play. We'll mix them in the next four days and see if we can't win some games."
Pedro Ciriaco started at shortstop instead of Alcides Escobar on Thursday and George Kottaras caught in Perez's place. Chris Getz also started his first game at second base since Sept. 3.
White Sox: Ready to move on
With three games left, manager Robin Ventura and the White Sox are ready to move on after a disappointing season.
"Yeah, it's not the season that you wanted, but they all come in and at this point you can't go to the playoffs, so you're ready to end it and get ready for what you're going to do next year," Ventura said.
He added that it's hard to take positives from a season like this.
"I don't know what positives. I think you start getting younger guys and see what they can do," Ventura said. "Those are positives that guys get to come up and kind of make an impression, and you go from there. But I wouldn't look at it as though there were positives you take out of it. When you have a season like this, it's, get it over with and regroup and get ready for Spring Training."
• Greg Holland broke the Royals' single-season saves record by recording his 46th of the year on Thursday.
• The top four innings pitched leaders for the 2013 White Sox all will be left-handed pitchers, made up of Chris Sale (209), Jose Quintana (193), Hector Santiago (149) and John Danks (138 1/3). According to STATS LLC, the 1979 season was the last time the White Sox had four lefties leading in innings in Ken Kravec, Rich Wortham, Ross Baumgarten and Steve Trout.
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.