The Royals snapped an 11-game losing streak on Friday by defeating the Chicago White Sox 6-2 in the first game of a doubleheader. They dropped the evening contest 3-1 and are now 17-21 on the season.
The Royals were able to get in the win column for the first time in nearly two weeks with timely hitting and a solid start from Brad Keller. The right-hander was a bit shaky in the first, walking Tim Anderson to lead the game off and giving up a single to Yoan Moncada. Jose Abreu would drive Anderson home on a sac fly to make it 1-0 White Sox. Keller would walk Yermin Mercedes, but after a mound visit, he retired Yasmani Grandal to escape the inning without any further damage.
There was a scary incident in the second when two large men - Hunter Dozier and Jose Abreu - violently collided into each other when Abreu pursued Dozier’s pop up.
Dozier would leave the game with a quad contusion and neck discomfort and is considered day-to-day. He was placed on the 7-day Injured List with concussion symptoms. Abreu suffered a facial contusion and laceration with a bruised knee.
The Royals would get the bats to awaken in the second inning when Michael Taylor smashed a two-run home run, his third of the season, to give them a 2-1 lead. in the third, it was up to the three most competent hitters in the lineup this season to produce more runs. Carlos Santana drew a one-out walk, followed by a single by the red-hot Andrew Benintendi. Salvador Perez lofted a lazy fly ball that carried over the right field wall for a three-run home run to make it 5-1.
That would be all Brad Keller would really need, as he had one of his best starts of the season. He would exit after five innings and just two runs allowed with three walks and a season-high seven strikeouts. Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont combined to strike out four of the six batters they faced, and in a seven-inning game, that’s all the Royals needed to snap their 11-game losing streak.
In the nightcap, the White Sox hit starter Jakob Junis hard early on, with Adam Eaton leading off the second with a double. Andrew Vaughn laced his second home run of the season to make it 2-0, and Zack Collins followed up with a double. Manager Mike Matheny would pull Junis after just 37 pitches and 1 1⁄3 innings. Tyler Zuber would walk Danny Mendick and Nick Madrigal would reach base on a Hanser Alberto error to load the bases. Jake Brentz relieved Zuber and walked in a run to make it 3-0 White Sox before whiffing Yermin Mercedes to end the threat.
The Royals got on the board with a solo home run from Carlos Santana in the third, his seventh of the year, second on the team to Salvy. But the Royals managed just four hits against Michael Kopech, Cody Heuer, Aaron Bummer, and Liam Hendriks, and fell in a final score of 3-1. The Royals are averaging just 3.08 runs-per-game in their last 13 games.
Our long regional nightmare is over, as the Royals manage to have just the fourth-longest losing streak in club history. But they still need to turn this season and keep from getting buried with a successful weekend against the White Sox. The Royals face the White Sox again tomorrow evening at 6:10 CT with Mike Minor taking on lefty Carlos Rodon.