Royals’ second-inning lead squandered in 7-6 loss
CHICAGO — For many struggling teams, a large early deficit results in a lackluster effort the rest of the way.
The Chicago White Sox, though, keep battling.
Omar Narvaez homered and drove in the go-ahead run with a single, Chicago relievers tossed seven scoreless innings and the White Sox rallied from a six-run deficit for a 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Avisail Garcia and Tim Anderson also homered for Chicago, which has won four of five.
Of Chicago’s 46 wins, 26 have been come-from-behind affairs.
“It says a lot about them because they’re fighting,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Certainly a great team win.”
Yost on keeping Fillmyer in at the start of the fourth inning: “They didn’t mount an offensive attack. It was boom home run, boom home run. By the time I could get somebody up the game was tied.” #Royals pic.twitter.com/tvOs51iZBQ
— FOX Sports Kansas City (@FSKansasCity) August 19, 2018
Ryan O’Hearn, Whit Merrifield and Alex Gordon homered for Kansas City, which dropped to 2-13 in the rubber game of series this season.
White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez needed just 11 pitches to retire the side in order in the first, but was rocked for six runs and three homers (on 46 pitches) in the second. O’Hearn started things with a two-run shot, Merrifield made it 5-0 with a three-run blast and Gordon added a solo shot.
“I wasn’t commanding my pitches,” Lopez said through a translator.
Kansas City starter Heath Fillmyer allowed just one hit in the first three innings, but then suddenly lost it. The right-hander faced six batters in the fourth and didn’t record an out.
Jose Abreu and Daniel Palka had back-to-back singles to start things and Garcia hit a three-run homer to trim the deficit in half. After Nicky Delmonico singled, Anderson homered to make it 6-5. Narvaez followed with a solo blast to tie the score and chase Fillmyer.
“He just couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Second time around, they kind of got on him. Wasn’t a bad pitch to Garcia, but from that point it snowballed on him and other pitches weren’t that great of pitches.
“By the time I could get somebody up, the game was tied.”
In the fifth, Narvaez gave the White Sox a 7-6 lead with a two-out RBI single off Brian Flynn (3-4), scoring Garcia from second base.
Highly touted prospect Michael Kopech will make his major league debut Tuesday night when the White Sox host the Minnesota Twins. The 22-year-old is 7-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 24 starts with Triple-A Charlotte this season, including a 4-0 mark with a 1.84 ERA in his last seven starts. The hard-throwing right-hander has 170 strikeouts in 126 1/3 innings.
“I’m excited to see his progression,” said catcher Kevan Smith, who caught Kopech in Charlotte earlier this season. “His fastball is electric.”
Gordon’s homer was the 169th of his career (all with the Royals), tying Hal McRae for fourth in franchise history.
The White Sox play the Twins in Minneapolis on Monday night in a makeup of one of three games snowed out in April. The teams then play two games in Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It’s an odd thing, for sure,” Renteria said of the one-game road trip. “I’ve never experienced it.”
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (shoulder impingement) threw long toss on Saturday and is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Monday. Yost said Duffy will start at Tampa Bay on Thursday — the day he’s eligible to come off the 10-day DL — if there are no issues.
Royals: RHP Jorge Lopez (0-2, 4.44 ERA) makes his second start of the season on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at Tampa Bay. RHP Ryan Stanek (1-3, 2.74) pitches for the Rays.
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (8-9, 6.15) takes the mound Monday night at Minnesota in the makeup of a game snowed out in April. LHP Stephen Gonsalves (0-0, 0.00) makes his major league debut for the Twins.