Junis sets new career high in strikeouts as Royals top White Sox 5-2
The Royals beat Lucas Giolito for the first time and thwarted his bid for a 12th victory. The right-hander entered the game 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 previous career starts against Kansas City. After an eight-game winning streak, Giolito is 1-3 with a 6.48 ERA in his last five starts.
Junis (5-8) worked seven innings and gave up one run, James McCann‘s 10th homer of the season.
Whit Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 13 games (.358, 19 for 53) with a bunt single in the seventh. He leads the majors with 122 hits.
Giolito (11-4) was hit on his glove hand by a wicked line drive off the bat of Lopez. The ball ricocheted into right field and Lopez got a double.
The Royals got to Giolito in the fourth inning. Alex Gordon and Hunter Dozier had back-to-back doubles for the Royals’ first run. Dozier advanced on a wild pitch and scored on single by Cheslor Cuthbert, making the score 2-0.
Giolito was removed after the six innings and 94 pitches.
Junis, who entered with a 6.63 first-inning ERA, walked the first batter he faced. But, he got through five scoreless innings.
In the sixth, McCann pounded a 430-foot solo homer to left field. Jon Jay followed with his third of four hits, a double, but Junis got out of the inning.
Royals closer Ian Kennedy worked a scoreless ninth for his 14th save in 17 chances.
Scott Barlow was recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Monday to fill the roster spot vacated by pitcher Homer Bailey. Barlow was on the opening-day roster and made 30 appearances (2-1, one save, 6.19 ERA) before he was sent down July 1. He gave up three runs, including two homers, in his last two games for the Royals. He worked three scoreless outings Omaha. “I think the biggest thing was just being comfortable, just getting a little confidence back,” Barlow said.
Barlow relieved Junis in the eighth and gave up a walk and single before a strikeout. Jake Diekman relieved him and the White Sox scored a run on an error before the lefty pitched out of a bases-loaded jam.
Right-hander Jonathan Bowlan pitched a nine-inning no-hitter for the Royals’ Class A club in Wilmington, Delaware, with nine strikeouts and no walks in a 3-0 win over Carolina. One Carolina batter reached on an error in the second inning. Bowlan was a second-round draft choice in 2018.
RENTERIA VIEW ON DEALS
There’s a different feel as the improving White Sox, who lost 100 games last season, approach the trading deadline, according to manager Rick Renteria. “I think we’re in a different mode … We’re starting to settle down a little bit and starting to turn the corner in terms of who we are, in terms of acquisitions and/or moving players.
“I think they’ve gotten better,” he said. “They’re scratching the surface of where they’re ultimately going to be, which may put us in a better position … as an organization moving forward. But, definitely a different situation.”
The second of the four-game series on Tuesday matches White Sox RHP Dylan Cease (1-0, 5.40 ERA) and Royals RHP Glenn Sparkman (2-5, 5.18 ERA), the first start for each since the All-Star break. “I think it’ll be 12 days in between starts. It’s a long time, but I’m not worried about it by any means,” Cease said. “I’ve been throwing every day, so I’m keeping that feel.”