By Jeffrey Flanagan and Cody Stavenhagen
CHICAGO -- Left-hander Danny Duffy struck out a career-high 10 batters through six scoreless innings, and rookie Cheslor Cuthbert had his first career two-homer game as the Royals snapped a season-high eight-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the White Sox on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Am I relieved?" Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I mean, it's great to get a win. We've had a rough road trip. [Jose Quintana] is an unbelievable pitcher, but we just find ways to win against him [1-8 career against Royals]. I don't know how we do it.
"The home runs were definitely key for us today. We didn't have to string three or four hits together because you're not going to do that very often against him."
Duffy gave up three singles and walked two.
Quintana went eight innings for the White Sox and gave up six hits and three runs. He struck out 10, the seventh time in his career he has struck out 10 or more, but still lost for the sixth time in a row.
"I feel frustrated, but I don't have control over that," Quintana said. "I'll try to come back tomorrow and start a new preparation for my next start, and that's it."
Cuthbert homered to right field in the third inning and to left-center in the eighth, giving him four on the season. Kendrys Morales hit his seventh homer in the fifth.
"It feels really good," Cuthbert said. "But I think the win feels a lot better."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Royals are Hans Solo of baseball: A day after the Royals clubbed three homers in a 7-5 loss to the White Sox, the Royals came back with three more. Like the home runs on Friday, all three on Saturday were solo shots. The Royals now have hit eight straight solo homers. The last homer that wasn't was on June 2, when Drew Butera hit a two-run shot in Cleveland.
Odd choice: The first two White Sox batters of the day reached against Duffy -- Adam Eaton on a walk and Jose Abreu on a single. Melky Cabrera then bunted down the first-base line despite entering the plate appearance 8-for-15 on the homestand. The sacrifice put both runners in scoring position, but Todd Frazier struck out on three pitches, and Brett Lawrie flied out to end the inning, setting the tone for a tough offensive day.
"He decided to do that on his own," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's up there sensing the situation, and I think he thought we could get on the board early by getting them over. It's something that you look at either way. But he decided to do on his own." More >
Working out of trouble: Duffy also was in a jam in the third, when the White Sox put runners on first and second with two out. But Duffy won another battle with Lawrie, striking him out with a breaking ball in the dirt.
"I've never, in my whole career, tried to pitch around somebody," Duffy said. "I've always just gone right after people, and I just feel like my command is at the point where I can start to do that. I can throw a pitch in a spot where it might not be a strike, but they might swing at it." More >
More tough luck: Quintana again registered a quality start and struck out 10 batters for the second time this season, but took the loss. The three homers marred what was an otherwise great outing for Quintana, who has lost six straight games, the longest losing streak of his career. He has received no more than one run of support in each of those starts.
"I wish we had an explanation for it, to be honest with you," Eaton said. "It's frustrating. ... We're almost apologizing to the guy because it's been so difficult to score him runs, and we don't understand why."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Royals rookie Whit Merrifield's streak of reaching base in 18 straight starts to open his career -- a franchise record -- came to end as he went 0-for-4.
BIG LEAGUE DEBUT
White Sox right-hander Tyler Danish was called up from Double-A Birmingham on Thursday and came in for his Major League debut with one out in the ninth inning. Danish struggled through the inning, allowing one run on three hits and a walk. He got out of a bases-loaded jam when Christian Colon flied out to end the frame.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Right-hander Yordano Ventura (4-4, 5.32 ERA) takes the mound for the series finale. Ventura was ejected in his last outing Tuesday against the Orioles and is facing a nine-game suspension, which he has appealed.
White Sox:Carlos Rodon returns from the neck soreness that caused him to miss his latest scheduled start, facing the Royals on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Rodon is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two career starts against the Royals.