KANSAS CITY -- White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana dazzled with eight scoreless innings, tossing his third straight quality start in a 6-0 win over the reeling Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Quintana, who also beat the Royals last Wednesday in Chicago, gave up four hits, while walking two and striking out seven. Geovany Soto had two hits and two RBIs, while Avisail Garcia reached base four times, including an RBI single to left in the third.
"Tonight, [Quintana] did a good job pitching up in the zone," Royals left fielder Whit Merrifield said. "It looks good coming in, but you can't get the barrel to it when his command is as sharp as it is tonight."
"I'm happy when you can produce some runs for a pitcher like Quintana, and you can win the game," said White Sox second baseman Yolmer Sanchez, who matched a career high with three hits. "Every time that he's going to the mound, he's going to give you a chance to win."
The White Sox moved back into first place in the American League Central, winning for the seventh time in nine games after starting 7-9. They peppered left-hander Danny Duffy for eight hits and four runs in the first three innings. Duffy went five-plus innings, giving up six earned runs on 10 hits.
"I just wasn't putting anyone away," said Duffy, as the Royals lost for the 10th time in 11 games. "I seemingly got two strikes on everyone and didn't put them away. I've just got to be better. I take all the responsibility."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Two is enough: Quintana doesn't usually get a ton of run support, but two was enough on Tuesday. The White Sox scored twice in the second and twice in the third off Duffy. Soto singled home a run in the second, and then plated another in the third with a sacrifice fly.
"Sometimes when you get a lot of runs early, it makes you relax," Quintana said. "You try and get aggressive, and throw the ball wherever the catcher calls and keep going. Don't pay attention to the score and just try and get your outs."
The Colon misplay: The normally stout defense of the Royals was less than stellar again. In the sixth, second baseman Christian Colon misplayed a chance to get a potential inning-ending double play. With runners on first and third and one out, Leury Garcia sent a sharp grounder to Colon, who instead of going for a double play, fired to home where catcher Drew Butera was several feet from the plate and had no chance to tag the runner coming home. The White Sox then added another run on Sanchez's single, extending the lead to 6-0.
"It was absolutely the right play," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We had the infield in ... to try to keep it at 4-0. He chose to cut the run off. Drew being Drew, hustling his [butt] off, went to cover first."
"Every time you want to throw a shutout game, if it's possible. But I think that's enough for tonight, and I understand." -- Quintana, on exiting after 102 pitches
WE'RE GOING STREAKING
White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier extended his hitting streak to nine games. He has six extra-base hits and nine RBIs during that stretch. Anthony Swarzak, who pitched the ninth for the White Sox, extended his scoreless-innings streak to 13 1/3 to start the season.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox:Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 5.00 ERA) makes his third start of the season and second on the road since arriving from Triple-A Charlotte against the Royals on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. CT. The right-hander is 1-4 with a 6.51 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) against the Royals.
Royals: Right-hander Nathan Karns (0-2, 6.26 ERA) takes the hill for the Royals in the third game of the series against the White Sox on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. CT. Karns faced the White Sox last Wednesday in Chicago and gave up four runs over six innings.