KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)Dallas Keuchel had another rocky outing for the AL Central-leading White Sox, allowing six runs in three innings in Chicago’s 7-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, has a 7.26 ERA in his past 11 starts after giving up five earned runs, seven hits and two walks with one strikeout. He went one inning and allowed five earned runs in his previous start, then admitted to being ”the weakest starter in the rotation for much of the year.”
”I think he’s searching,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. ”I know he’s not going to quit, and he’ll figure something out.”
Chicago remained 9 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland for the division lead, and Keuchel is battling to show he’s worth a postseason roster spot.
Michael A. Taylor had three RBIs and Adalberto Mondesi drove in two more for Kansas City. Carlos Hernandez (5-1) was solid again, pitching six innings with two runs, five hits, three walks and three strikeouts.
”He’s able to throw all four of his pitches and got them going early,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. ”He’s stayed focused and attacked the strike zone. He continues to take steps forward and he’s getting better.”
Hernandez has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of eight appearances, including seven starts.
”It’s great,” Hernandez said. ”I’ve just been working every time and attack every hitter.”
Kansas City scored the first run of the game on a groundout by Taylor that plated Edward Olivares. Andrew Benintendi tripled in Carlos Santana to give the Royals a 2-0 lead in the second.
In the third, Mondesi hit a two-run single that scored Nicky Lopez and Salvador Perez. Olivares also scored on an error by Luis Robert to make it 5-0 Kansas City. Taylor singled Mondesi in on the next at-bat.
Taylor did it again in the fifth, scoring Perez on a single.
”I think it’s big to bounce back against a good team,” Taylor said. ”With two strikes I was just looking to battle and find a pitch that I can swing at.”
The White Sox scored two runs in the sixth on RBIs by Leury Garcia and Gavin Sheets.
Yoan Moncada had a base hit in the third inning, extending his career-best 17-game hitting streak, the longest active run in the majors.
The game started two hours late due to a rain delay.
White Sox: Placed RHP Lucas Giolito (strained left hamstring) on the 10-day IL and recalled RHP Ryan Burr.
Royals: Perez left the game in the seventh inning (neck contusion). He’s considered day-to-day.
The White Sox will start Reynaldo Lopez (3-1, 1.59) against the Royals’ Daniel Lynch (4-3, 4.47) Saturday night.
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