Lance Lynn had a sterling start on the mound and the top five hitters in the White Sox order combined to go 9-20 as Chicago defeated Kansas City 4-1.
Lynn looked nothing like a struggling pitcher early on, retiring the first six batters via four strikeouts and two groundouts on a tidy 24 pitches. Meanwhile, Brady Singer ran into trouble early on, struggling with his location and surrendering a series of solid line drives to center that led to a first inning run for the White Sox. He was on his way to an efficient second inning with two outs and a 1-2 count on Adam Engel when the rain rolled in, delaying the game.
The delay lasted just over an hour (one hour and five minutes by my time). Singer was sent back out, threw two pitches to retire Engel, then went back to the dugout to sit down once again. The delay didn’t do his pitch location any favors. While he wasn’t walking anybody, he was leaving too many hittable pitches over the plate, surrendering 11 hits but nevertheless gutting out six laborious innings. The dagger came in the third, when José Abreu blasted a three-run dinger to give Chicago a 4-0 lead. It looked like Singer’s day would end in the fifth when he surrendered three consecutive singles to load the bases with nobody out, but he escaped by punching out Yoán Moncada and getting a double play off A.J. Pollock.
Lynn was damn near untouchable. He struck out eight Royals and only Michael Massey and Bobby Witt Jr. had any success against him, knocking a couple hits each. Kansas City finally broke through in the sixth when Witt cranked a hanging curveball for a solo homer, but could not manage anything else against the burly White Sox starter.
Chicago’s bullpen took over for Lynn in the seventh and had little trouble disposing of Royals hitters. Jake Diekman, Kendall Graveman, and Liam Hendriks combined for three shutout innings with six strikeouts and just one baserunner allowed. Luke Weaver made his Royals debut and struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning. Royals batters not named Bobby or Michael Massey went a combined 0-27 with a walk and 12 strikeouts.
The loss drops the Royals to 41-64, a half game behind Detroit in the AL Central standings. This is the seventh time in the last nine games that Kansas City has scored two or fewer runs, and they only managed five total runs in this series. The Royals will head home for a four game set against Boston that begins tomorrow night.
Brady Singer - 6 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
Lance Lynn - 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HR
Bobby Witt Jr. - 2-4, HR, RBI, R
José Abreu - 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, R