Gee solid in first victory as a Royals starter

Right-hander strikes out five to help KC pin down White Sox

Gee solid in first victory as a Royals starter

CHICAGO -- It had been a while since Royals right-hander Dillon Gee earned a win as a starter -- until Friday night's 4-1 victory against the White Sox,

In fact, the last time Gee earned a victory as a starter was Sept. 12, 2014, when he went 5 1/3 innings for the Mets against the Nationals. That fact, however, didn't seem to change his feelings on the issue.

"I'm glad the team won," Gee said. "That's all that matters."

Gee, it seems, isn't one to get worked up over personal statistics. Despite spending the majority of his career as a starter, Gee began this season by making seven appearances out of the bullpen. In just his second start, Gee went five solid innings, giving up one run on four hits and one walk with five strikeouts. But being a starter or a reliever, Gee said his mindset is mostly the same.

"Just try to prepare and help us win every game, whether I'm a starter or reliever, to eat as many innings as possible, and give us a good shot to win," Gee said.

That calm, task-oriented mentality came in handy on Friday. The White Sox put runners in scoring position in three different innings against Gee, but he allowed only a sacrifice fly by Austin Jackson in the second.

"I was in quite a few jams, but we were able to pitch our way out of it," Gee said. "I executed some pitches when I needed to, and that's the difference between a good game and a bad game."

Gee's lockdown performance was also needed against White Sox starter Jose Quintana, who entered the game with the best ERA in the American League.

"You know going in against Quintana it's going to be a low-scoring game," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You know you got to hold the fort right there, and he did. Our plan was to take [Gee] to 95 pitches, and we pulled him at 92. They battled to some deep counts, but he did a great job of containing the damage and only giving up one run."

Gee didn't go as many innings as he would have liked to, but he went far enough, and he came away with a reward he hadn't received in quite some time.

"Yeah, I felt pretty good," Gee said. "I threw more pitches than I would have liked to. Would have liked to get deeper in the game, but with a bullpen like ours, they can come in and shut it down."

Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.