White Sox win nightcap to earn split with KC

White Sox win nightcap to earn split with KC

CHICAGO -- John Danks continued his career-long mastery of the Royals, hurling six-plus scoreless innings Friday night, as the White Sox claimed a 2-0 victory over Kansas City. That victory gave the two teams a split of the day-night doubleheader, with the Royals claiming the afternoon matchup by a 4-2 margin.

Danks struck out four, walked four and allowed four hits in improving to 9-1 lifetime against the Royals and 5-0 over eight career home starts against Kansas City. Jake Petricka, Zach Duke and David Robertson completed the shutout as the White Sox bullpen ran its scoreless streak to 19 1/3 innings.

Danks' scoreless start

"I don't have any idea. I really don't," said Danks of his success against the Royals. "For whatever reason, I think lefties have a little more success, and fortunately, I've been able to throw the ball well against them, catch the breaks. At this point, we need all the wins we can get. Hopefully, we can get them tomorrow and we'll go from there."

Edinson Volquez yielded two runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. Tyler Flowers singled home a run in the second and Volquez sent Melky Cabrera home in the sixth on a wild pitch. Cabrera opened the frame with a double.

Melky scores on wild pitch

Two-out offense: After Volquez retired Jose Abreu and Adam LaRoche rather easily to start the second, the White Sox strung together two hits to score their first run. Avisail Garcia tripled and Flowers singled to left.

Quality control: Volquez picked up his first loss since June 5 despite securing his ninth quality start. The right-hander allowed more than six hits for the third time this season, and for a rare time, struggled with runners in scoring position. He entered Friday night holding opponents to a .190 batting average with RISP, but the White Sox finished 2-for-3 against him.

"I thought he threw the ball really well," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He got us into the seventh inning and into the game." More >

Volquez hit for second time

Three pitchers, no runs: Danks issued a leadoff walk to Alex Rios to open the seventh, marking the Royals' fourth leadoff hitter to reach base. Petricka replaced Danks and retired Paulo Orlando on a grounder back to the mound, and Duke then set down Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar on infield grounders to end the inning.

"When you walk that leadoff guy, you're starting to look at the bullpen, and we had those guys that hadn't thrown in the first game," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of the bullpen maneuvers. "Just the matchup with Moustakas and you knew Hosmer was coming up there so you knew you wanted to give Dukie a chance to get those guys. If you're going to put your main lefty in there, you want him to at least facing some of their lefties and make it tougher on them." More >

Surviving the seventh: The Royals kept the game close thanks, once again, to their bullpen. After Volquez allowed a single to lead off the seventh, reliever Franklin Morales picked up a groundout before he gave up a walk. Kansas City's defense was unable to come down with Gordon Beckham's bloop single, loading the bases, but Morales struck out Cabrera and forced Abreu into a groundout to strand the runners on base.

Morales escapes trouble

"It's never good when you win the first one and lose the second. If you lose the first one and win the second you feel a lot better. It's just one of those things." -- Yost, on splitting the doubleheader

"You feel good with those guys going in there, but you also want to put them in the right spots and give them the right guys to face. I know for Petricka, he usually goes out there and he's a workhorse. Tonight, it was one guy. He got what he needed and Dukie did the rest." -- Ventura, on his dominant bullpen

Tyler Saladino nearly beat another throw to first base, but he couldn't do it again on Friday night. White Sox manager Robin Ventura challenged the ruling that Saladino was out at first on a bunt attempt. Though Eric Hosmer bobbled the ball, the throw arrived in time and the call on the field was confirmed. Saladino was still credited with a sacrifice on the play, moving Carlos Sanchez over to second.

Saladino out after review

Royals: In search of his fourth straight quality start, Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday against the White Sox. Guthrie has allowed seven runs in that span, but the Royals have won all three games. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT.

White Sox: Jose Quintana takes the mound for his first start of the second half. The southpaw is in search of his 10th straight quality start but has a 0-6 career record with a 4.50 ERA against the Royals.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.