By Scott Merkin and Cody Stavenhagen
MLB.com |@scottmerkin |
CHICAGO -- Lorenzo Cain hit a go-ahead RBI double in a three-run sixth as the Royals rallied for a 4-1 victory over the White Sox on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field in the first meeting this season between the division rivals. The victory improved Kansas City to 22-7 over its last 29 games played on the South Side of Chicago.
"We play good against those guys over there," Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar said. "We won again tonight. [We will] try to win again tomorrow and win this series."
Jose Quintana took the loss, after allowing one Salvador Perez single and facing the minimum 15 over five innings. Quintana gave up four runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings, marking the first time in nine starts this season he has allowed more than two earned runs. He struck out five and didn't issue a walk in 91 pitches.
"They just kept getting good swings at him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "For him, that's the one inning that bit him tonight. Early on he battled, but these guys are tough once they get it going."
Paulo Orlando, the one-time White Sox Minor Leaguer, drove in two runs with a double and a single and went 3-for-4. Kendrys Morales added a run-scoring single in support of Dillon Gee, who gave up one run on four hits in five innings. The White Sox fanned 10 times against five Royals pitchers, with eight of them looking at the third strike.
Matt Purke made his Major League debut for the White Sox with two out in the eighth inning. He allowed Perez's single, but then struck out Alex Gordon to end the frame and threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. The White Sox lost for the seventh time in nine games and moved into a tie in the loss column with the Indians atop the American League Central.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Owning Quintana: This was the first time all season Quintana surrendered more than two earned runs in a game, and it's fitting it came against the Royals. Quintana had retired 11 straight batters before Infante's double sparked the sixth-inning rally, and Quintana never recovered. He moved to 1-7 in 19 career starts vs. the Royals, and went at least five innings in all of those games.
"Our games that we play him are always tight," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They're always very closely contested. Two years ago, it started. It just seemed like every game we were going to go up against him was like a dogfight. It was just tough to score runs, and they've all been very low-scoring affairs, and he's tough. He's an excellent pitcher."
Don't forget the other shortstop: White Sox shortstop Tyler Saladino had his share of gems, but Escobar might have made the most important defensive play of the night. With two on and one out in the seventh, the White Sox were threatening. Cleanup man Todd Frazier lined a ball to Escobar's backhand side and seemingly into left field. But Escobar made a leaping, twisting catch and swiftly threw back to second to double up Adam Eaton and end the inning. More >
"He's pretty good," Yost said. "He's very athletic. ... He's a Gold-Glover for a reason."
Saladino shows some glove work: On the first pitch of the game, Saladino showed he was ready defensively. Saladino robbed Escobar of a base by going deep into the hole between short and third, and making a perfect one-hop throw to first baseman Jose Abreu. Saladino made three solid defensive plays in the game.
Abreu keeps Sox alive: The Royals were one step from blowing the game open with the bases loaded and one out against Zach Putnam in the seventh, already leading 4-1. But Abreu snared Cain's line drive and doubled off Escobar with the unassisted tag to end the threat.
"It was probably a little wide today. I think both sides were doing that." -- Ventura, on Hunter Wendelstedt's strike zone, which resulted in Adam Eaton being ejected after taking a called third strike to end the game
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Gee earned his first win as a starter since Sept. 12, 2014, when he gave up three earned runs over 5 1/3 innings for the Mets in a victory against the Nationals. More >
Eaton took a called third strike from Royals closer Wade Davis on the final pitch of the game and had a few words for home-plate umpire Wendelstedt. At that point, Wendelstedt turned toward the official scorer and indicated an ejection. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Left-hander Danny Duffy (0-0, 2.57 ERA) will be on a 60-pitch limit as he makes his second start of the season against the White Sox on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Duffy threw 48 pitches and three scoreless innings in his first start against the Braves last Sunday.
White Sox: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (0-0, 5.17) makes his fourth start as part of the White Sox rotation in Sunday's middle game, but he's still looking for his first decision. Gonzalez will be making his first start at home, but is 1-3 with 5.09 ERA career vs. the Royals.