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Royals 6, White Sox 0: Offense remains ice-cold in lopsided loss

The losing streak hits eight, as the South Siders opened the homestand with a clunker.

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
Diamond in the rough: Yasmani Grandal delivered a productive performance, as he went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk.
David Berding/Getty Images

The hard times continued for the White Sox (6-10), who did not do much right during Tuesday evening’s game. As a result, they fell to the Royals (6-9) by a score of 6-0.

Dallas Keuchel took the ball for the White Sox, and things started off smoothly for him. Keuchel retired all three he faced in the first inning, capping off the strong frame by striking out Salvador Pérez.

The second inning was a bit troublesome for Keuchel, who started having trouble finding the strike zone. Keuchel issued two walks that inning, and with two outs, a wild pitch put runners on second and third. Fortunately, Michael A. Taylor grounded out on a 3-0 changeup, and that ended Kansas City’s scoring threat.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth, when the White Sox suffered from sloppy play. Pérez led off with a grounder to shortstop that should have been out No. 1, but José Abreu could not handle Tim Anderson’s throw. That brought up Carlos Santana, who drew the third Royals walk of the evening. With no outs and runners on first and second, Hunter Dozier grounded out, but his soft grounder advanced Pérez and Santana 90 feet to put two in scoring position.

Bobby Witt Jr. came up to bat with an RBI opportunity, and he hit a soft ground ball to third. It was a tough play for Jake Burger, who could not find the ears on the ball, and everyone was safe. Pérez scored, Santana advanced to third, and the Royals had a 1-0 lead. The next batter was Adalberto Mondesi, who also drove in a run with a soft infield ground ball. Mondesi’s ground out to first, which left the bat at only 57.2 mph, was enough to drive Santana in from third.

The Royals nearly broke the game wide open that inning, as Taylor and Nicky Lopez drew back-to-back walks. The walk to Lopez was the fifth one Keuchel issued, and it loaded the bases for Whit Merrifield. On a 3-2 pitch to Merrifield, Keuchel missed the zone with a cutter, but Merrifield swung at ball four to end the inning.

The White Sox offense finally showed signs of life in the bottom of the fourth, when Yasmani Grandal led off with a double down the right-field line. Then, with one out, Jake Burger launched a deep drive to left-center that appeared to be on its way over the wall. But left fielder Andrew Benintendi corralled it on the warning track, and the score remained 2-0.

Keuchel’s outing ended after allowing a leadoff single to Benintendi in the fifth. His final line was four-plus innings, two runs (zero earned), two hits, five walks, and two strikeouts. While Keuchel’s ERA was perfect, his FIP was 6.07 due to the many walks he issued. Going forward, Keuchel will need to have better control, as only 42 of his 88 pitches tonight were strikes.

While reliever Reynaldo López pitched a perfect fifth after inheriting a baserunner from Keuchel, he struggled immensely in the sixth. Witt Jr. led off with a double, and Mondesi singled on another soft grounder. Taylor added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to the warning track, and the Royals were not done.

After a wild pitch and a walk, Kyle Crick replaced López on the mound. Crick immediately issued a walk to Merrifield to load the bases for Benintendi, who hit a soft fly ball to left. Andrew Vaughn appeared to have a chance to make a play, but he could not make the catch. While Vaughn threw to third in time to get an out at third base, Edward Olivares scored on the play. Then, Crick walked Pérez to load the bases once again, and Santana added an exclamation point with a two-run single to make it 6-0. The remainder of the game was basically garbage time, with the Royals’ win probability remaining better than 97% the rest of the way.

The White Sox will be back in action tomorrow against the Royals, and that game has been moved up from its original night time, scheduled to begin at 1:10 p.m. CST. As usual, NBC Sports Chicago will televise the game, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage.