The Royals' "Zombie Night" promotion seemed apropos, because I imagine they thought they were hosting the walking dead. The White Sox were 0-6 in Kauffman Stadium this season, and had to scratch like hell to get one win at Target Field.
So, of course, the White Sox tied a season high with 12 runs while John Danks came within two batters of a shutout to take the opener of the weekend series.
The Sox handed Kris Medlen his first loss as a Royal by putting three quick runs on the board, but they found a second win in the fourth inning to truly put this game away.
Medlen needed 25 pitches to finish the first, which featured an Avisail Garcia RBI single and a two-run single by Alexei Ramirez. But he completed the second and third on 16 pitches combined to put him back on track. Ramirez, though, started the unraveling by singling with one out, then getting a Lance Johnson Jump on Medlen to steal second. He moved to third on Carlos Sanchez's single, and Sanchez took second when Lorenzo Cain's throw sailed over the cutoff man.
That took the double play out of the equation for Tyler Flowers, but the Sox catcher had bigger things in mind. He locked horns with Medlen, falling behind 1-2, taking a ball, then fouling off three straight pitches. On the eighth pitch, Medlen hung a curve, and Flowers clobbered it out to left center for a three-run homer that broke the game wide open.
Danks, who is to the Royals as Bruce Chen was to the White Sox, might not have needed the extra cushion, but he used the luxury. After Melky Cabrera gunned down Cheslor Cuthbert at home on a Paulo Orlando single to end the second inning, Danks kept the Royals off the board himself by retiring 17 of the next 18, and retiring the lone baserunner on a double play. The Royals did hit some balls hard -- Tyler Saladino made a nifty sliding play on a hot grounder -- but not with enough frequency to get the luck to even out.
Three of the seven hits he allowed came in the ninth inning with a 12-0 lead. He gave up three singles to the first four batters to load the bases, and while Trayce Thompson made a spectacular diving catch in left to take an RBI single away from Kendrys Morales, it still counted for a sac fly to spoil a potential second shutout. Danks came back to strike out Jonny Gomes to end the game, so at least he leads the 2015 White Sox in complete games with two.
The Sox made it extra satisfying in the eighth, tacking on a five-spot against Guthrie with a pair of homers. First, Adam Eaton followed a Saladino RBI single with a three-run shot to right. Jose Abreu then made it a back-to-back affair by hitting a monster blast over the second wall in center for his 25th of the year.
*Eaton and Ramirez racked up four hits apiece.
*Adam LaRoche was the only White Sox starter without a hit (0-for-4), but even he reached base with a walk.
*Danks is now 10-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 21 career starts against Kansas City.
Record: 63-70 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights