Royals’ struggles continue with 6-3 loss to White Sox

Danny Duffy allowed five runs over 6 1/3 innings in the Royals' loss to the White Sox on Friday.
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CHICAGO — Some of the prized players in the Chicago White Sox’s from-the-bottom-up rebuilding effort are starting to show why they’re so highly regarded.

Tim Anderson hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run, seventh-inning rally, Reynaldo Lopez pitched six strong innings in his White Sox debut and Chicago won its fourth straight, 6-3 over the sliding Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

Adam Engel’s second triple of the game drove in the tiebreaking run in the seventh. Yolmer Sanchez had two RBIs and Kevan Smith doubled in a run as the AL-worst White Sox kept rolling following a three-game sweep of league-leading Houston.

“I feel the team chemistry,” said Anderson, who hit his 12th homer. “We’re definitely having fun, you know, coming together as brothers and having fun with it.”

Mike Moustakas belted a pair of deep solo shots — the only runs allowed by Lopez — to give him 34 homers, but the Royals lost their fifth straight and 10th in 12. Lopez, a 23-year-old right-hander, permitted four hits and struck out six after being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte earlier in the day.

“I was focused all the game and I was able to command all my pitches,” Lopez said through a translator. “I felt very, very comfortable with all my pitches.”

Lopez was acquired by Chicago from Washington in December 2016 with right-handers Lucas Giolito and Dane Dunning for outfielder Adam Eaton.

Aaron Bummer (1-2) pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth to earn his first major league win. Kansas City starter Danny Duffy (7-8) allowed five runs and seven hits in his second straight loss.

Tyler Clippard got the final two outs for his third save in eight chances as Kansas City scored its third run on a wild pitch.

The Royals slipped back below .500 at 57-58 and are fading in the race for the second AL wild card.

“Nobody likes to go through these streaks,” manager Ned Yost said. “This team, over the years, has always, after a streak like this, put together a nice winning streak. That can start any day.”

Moustakas’ first homer, with one out in the fourth, was the first hit Lopez allowed.

“That guy’s got some good stuff and was throwing hard,” Moustakas said. “I was trying to make good contact and stay on something.”

The White Sox jumped out 1-0 in the first when Smith lined a double to the left-center gap and drove in Anderson. Engel tripled off the right-center wall, then scored on Sanchez’s grounder in the second to make it 2-0.

After Moustakas cut it to 2-1 with one out in the fourth, Cheslor Cuthbert and Alcides Escobar followed with sharp singles. But following a mound conference with pitching coach Don Cooper, Lopez settled down and got the next two outs.

Moustakas’ second homer tied it at 2-all in the sixth.

DOUBLE-TRIPLE

Engel became the first White Sox player to triple twice in a game since Alejandro De Aza did it in August 2011.

MINOR MOVES

To make room for Lopez, the White Sox optioned LHP David Holmberg to Charlotte. … Chicago acquired minor league RHP Ryan Burr from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday for international signing bonus pool money.

STREAKING

Chicago INF/OF Nicky Delmonico beat out an infield hit in the fifth and has reached base safely in his first 10 games since being called up from Charlotte on Aug. 1. Delmonico, who has an eight-game hitting streak, is the first White Sox player to reach base in his first 10 games since Larry Rosenthal in 1936.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: RHP Trevor Cahill, placed on the 10-day on Thursday with right shoulder soreness, said he was relieved to learn there was no structural damage, but did not know how long he would be sidelined. Cahill was unable to throw for 10 days after the same injury last season. … Royals CF Lorenzo Cain hit the wall awkwardly tracking Engel’s triple in the second. Cain sprawled on the warning track for a few moments, but stayed in the game.

White Sox: OF Avisail Garcia got the day off to “give his legs a break,” according to manager Rick Renteria. Garcia, the White Sox’s lone 2017 All-Star, had played three straight games after missing 12 with a strained ligament in his right thumb.

UP NEXT

A pair of struggling right-handers meet when the Royals’ Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.83) faces Chicago’s James Shields (2-4, 6.03) on Saturday night. Shields is 0-3 with a 8.13 ERA in six starts since his last win on June 29. Kennedy has lost his last two starts, allowing 10 runs in 10 innings.