Saturday, June 14, 2014
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Royals 7, White Sox 2

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[June 14, 2014]  By Brian Hedger, The Sports Xchange
 CHICAGO -- The Kansas City Royals gave Jeremy Guthrie some early run support Friday night, and it helped the right-hander end an 11-game winless streak.

Handed a five-run lead to start the game at U.S. Cellular Field, Guthrie allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings to earn his first win since April 9 in the Royals' 7-2 victory against the Chicago White Sox.

It was the start of a three-game weekend series between the American League Central rivals, moving Kansas City (34-32) within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Detroit Tigers in the division and two games ahead of the White Sox (33-35).

The Royals scored five runs in the first off left-hander Jose Quintana (3-7), who took the loss, and added solo runs in the second and seventh for their fifth straight win and eighth in the past 10 games.

Guthrie allowed a run in each of the first two innings, but that was the lone damage against him. He gave up six hits and walked four, but struck out a season-high nine in the outing.

Dating back to April 16, the Royals averaged just 2.59 runs in support of Guthrie, which was the lowest mark for pitchers in the American League and fourth-lowest in the major leagues.

After he left the game, four relievers stymied Chicago in the remaining 3 1/3 innings, including right-hander Aaron Crow using just one pitch to end the sixth on a pop up by second baseman Gordon Beckham with two runners on base.

Right fielder Norichika Aoki (2-for-4) and second baseman Omar Infante (3-for-5) each scored twice for Kansas City, while designated hitter Billy Butler (2-for-5), first baseman Eric Hosmer (1-for-2) and center fielder Lorenzo Cain (1-for-5) each drove in two runs.

Quintana, who lost his third straight start, saved the White Sox's bullpen by salvaging six innings despite the rough first. He allowed six runs (all earned), eight hits and a walk, and he struck out six. Quintana has won only once in his past five outings.

As for the White Sox, it was their second straight defeat after beating the Tigers in back-to-back games of the previous series to climb even at 33-33. Chicago got shut out by Detroit in the finale of that series Thursday, and has scored only two runs in the past 18 innings.

A day after a pitcher's duel between White Sox left-hander Chris Sale and Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer, the starting pitchers for Chicago and Kansas City allowed eight runs combined in the first two innings.

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The Royals took a 5-0 lead against Quintana in the first on six hits, including four straight singles to start the game and run-scoring doubles by left fielder Alex Gordon and Cain.

The Royals tacked on another run in the second, when Aoki doubled, advanced to third on a fly ball and scored on a sacrifice flies.

Chicago scored off Guthrie in each of the first two innings to make it 6-2 only 12 outs into the game.

Guthrie and Quintana both settled down afterward, with neither allowing a run through the next three innings.

NOTES: The White Sox acquired their third veteran minor-leaguer in a week, signing RHP Henry Rodriguez and putting him on the disabled list at Triple-A Charlotte. Rodriguez, 27, has made 150 career relief appearances in six major-league seasons between four organizations. ... Injured RF Avisail Garcia (labrum surgery) played light catch before the game during his recovery, but he isn't expected to return this season for Chicago. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen, recovering from a bulging disk in his lower back, was scheduled to start Friday for Triple-A Omaha during his injury rehab stint.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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