Morales has huge day to lead Royals over White Sox

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[September 19, 2016]  KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Danny Duffy pitched well enough Sunday to break back into the win column, but he preferred to talk about his offense.

Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon homered as the Kansas City Royals cruised to a 10-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Morales drove in four runs with a two-run homer in the sixth, a single in the first and a double in the fourth. His home run off reliever Chris Beck was his 1,000th career hit.

Duffy (12-2) was the beneficiary of the Royals' offensive splurge. He allowed three runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out eight in seven-plus innings.

"What really impressed me was our offense, honestly," Duffy said. "We put some runs on the board against a really, really good starting pitcher (Jose Quintana). He should be up for the Cy Young for sure and we did a really good job of hurting him when he made mistakes."

Morales did the most damage.

"He is a very smart professional hitter," Duffy said. "People don't use the word great a lot in this game, but he's a great hitter. He knows what he's doing. He knows what he's going out there looking for. He's got a great approach. The guy's got it figured out. If you eliminate the first month and half of the season, the dude's hitting .300 and has got 85 RBIs right now. He's very important to our lineup."

Royals manager Ned Yost praised Duffy's outing.

"Seven really strong innings," Yost said. "He did really great job of eliminating his mistakes. He really did a great job of commanding his pitch count. I think his strike-to ball-ratio was 2-to-1. He had a really good breaking ball, a really good change up and spotted his fastball really well."

Quintana (12-11) was pulled after 80 pitches and four ineffective innings, charged with six runs on 10 hits and three walks.

"It was a bad day for me," Quintana said. "I think I fight too much with my delivery, especially the first innings and I was behind in the count. That happens sometimes but I'll come back."

Paulo Orlando had two doubles, walked, was hit by a pitch and scored three times. Eric Hosmer had two RBIs to increase his total to 94, which is his single-season high.

The Royals scored a run on three hits in the first. It could have been a bigger inning, but Whit Merrifield was thrown out stealing second after leading off with a single. Orlando doubled to left and scored on Morales' two-out single up the middle.

Gordon caught up with Quintana's 90 mph first-pitch fastball in the second inning and deposited it into the right-field fountains for his 16th home run, snapping an 0-for-21 skid.

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Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales (25) hits a one run double in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals added two more runs in the inning, which included an unusual double-barrel 4-minute, 25-second delay with both teams asking the umpires to review the same play. Merrifield's single scored Alcides Escobar for the first run.

With the bases loaded and one out, Hosmer hit a ground ball to Carlos Sanchez, who threw to shortstop Tim Anderson covering second, forcing out Orlando. Yost asked for a review, saying Anderson was not on the bag. White Sox manager Robin Ventura challenged that Orlando slid out of the base paths.

The call on the field was reversed with Orlando ruled save and it was determined he did not slide out of the base paths.

"We're going back to what the rule was made for, to protect the guy at second base or the player that's around second base," Ventura said. "So, you never know if you're going to win those because it's vague."

Todd Frazier cut the Royals' lead to 4-2 in the fourth when he homered -- his 37th -- with Melky Cabrera along for the ride. Frazier hit a Duffy pitch out to left-center. He entered the game 1-for-11 off Duffy.

Avisail Garcia's eighth-inning single scored Adam Eaton for the third Chicago run.

NOTES: White Sox C Kevan Smith singled in the fifth inning Saturday for his first major-league hit. He joins five other White Sox who collected their initial hit in 2016: Tim Anderson, Charlie Tilson, Jason Coats, Omar Narvaez and Anthony Ranaudo. ... The Royals have already clinched the season series against Detroit, Minnesota and the White Sox and sport a 41-22 against AL Central clubs. ... Chicago INF Tyler Saladino, who is hitting .417 in September, was not in the lineup for the second straight game with a left calf injury. White Sox DH Justin Morneau has not played in six games because of a neck injury. ... White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon and Royals RHP Yordano Ventura are the probables Monday for the series finale. The game is a makeup from a May 26 rainout.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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