James Shields pitched 6 2/3 effective innings and the Chicago White Sox held off a late rally to defeat the visiting Kansas City Royals 9-6 Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Jose Abreu, Leury Garcia and Omar Narvaez hit home runs for the White Sox, who won consecutive games for the first time since taking three in a row from June 24-27. The Royals lost for the 12th time in their past 13 games and dropped to 5-30 since June 3.
The veteran right-hander Shields (4-10) allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Joakim Soria struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth for his 14th save of the season.
Shields allowed only two hits through the first six innings before the Royals put together a rally in the seventh.
Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield singled with two outs. Jorge Bonifacio’s two-run double to left field ended Shields’ night. Left-hander Luis Avilan came on to face Mike Moustakas, but hit the Royals slugger with a 3-2 pitch to bring the potential tying run to the plate and White Sox manager Rick Renteria out of the dugout for another pitching change. Right-hander Juan Minaya got Salvador Perez to fly out to right field to end the inning.
The Royals got two more runs in the eighth to pull within 7-6, but Narvaez hit a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning, his third of the season, to cap the scoring.
Royals rookie right-hander Brad Keller (2-4) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked four and struck out one.
The White Sox scored three runs in the bottom of the first after Keller walked the first two batters. Daniel Palka lined a run-scoring single to left and Garcia added a two-run double.
The Royals rebounded with two unearned runs in the top of the third.
But the White Sox scored twice more in the bottom of the inning to regain the three-run cushion on run-scoring singles by Narvaez and Ryan LaMarre.
Abreu led off the sixth with a home run to center field, his 13th, off Heath Fillmyer. A pitching change and an out later, Garcia homered to center, his fourth, off Tim Hill, for a 7-2 lead.
–Field Level Media