KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — José Abreu hit his 13th home run of the season in the first inning, Yasmani Grandal added a two-run shot, and the Chicago White Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-3 Saturday night behind ace Lucas Giolito.
Abreu leads the majors with 40 RBIs in 40 games and extended his hitting streak to 19 games. His 425-foot, two-run homer pushed him past Baltimore’s Anthony Santander for the longest streak this season.
“He’s our heart and soul,” Giolito said. “It seems like he’s getting that clutch hit almost every single game. Runners in scoring position, two outs, he gets the job done. What he provides for us on a daily basis, he does it all.”
Giolito (4-2) allowed three runs on five hits in six-plus innings. He struck out nine, fanning five of the last seven batters he faced, and walked none. Alex Colome earned his ninth save in 10 tries.
“I really wanted to get through the seventh, or at least get one of those first two guys that I faced,” Giolito said. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The bullpen picked me up.
“It’s kind of what we do. In a close game like that, if one side falls short, the other side is there to pick them up. That’s what the team was able to do in spite of me not being able to get through seven.”
The White Sox (25-15) are now 8-1 against the Royals this season.
Kris Bubic (0-5) took the loss, allowing five runs, two of them earned.
“Great outing. You take that fifth away, or we make a play that didn’t get made in the fifth and that’s a completely different ballgame,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “But still, he gets through that first and really shows no chink in his armor. He just got better as he went.”
An error by Maikel Franco in the top of the fifth led to three unearned runs. Bubic pitched a career-high seven innings and only allowed four hits, with four strikeouts and one walk.
The Royals drew within 2-1 on Bubba Starling’s leadoff home run in the third, his first homer since Sept. 11, 2019 in Chicago against the White Sox.
Tim Anderson’s RBI single drove in James McCann in the fifth, and Grandal followed with his homer.
Franco doubled home Ryan O’Hearn in the seventh to draw the Royals to within 5-2 and send Giolito to the clubhouse. Adalberto Mondesi’s RBI single drove in Franco.
White Sox: Placed LHP Jace Fry on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 3, with back spasms.
Royals: DH Jorge Soler left the game after one at-bat in which he struck out swinging. The 2019 American League home run champion was removed with right oblique soreness. He came out of the game Wednesday and did not play Thursday with an oblique irritation. He was 0 for 5 Friday night. “I could see … something wasn’t right. Trainer made decision to take him out,” Matheny said.
The White Sox purchased the contract of RHP Alex McRae from the Schaumburg training facility and transferred LHP Aaron Bummer to the 45-day injured list. Manager Rick Renteria said the move with Bummer did not signify a delay in his recovery. “He’s on the same throwing program. He’s playing catch.”
The White Sox will send LHP Dallas Keuchel (5-2, 2.70 ERA) to the mound. He faced the Royals July 31 when he allowed two runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He’s 5-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 10 career starts against the Royals.
The Royals will send RHP Matt Harvey (0-2, 14.09 ERA) out for his fourth start. He has yet to get past the third inning in any of his three starts with Kansas City. He allowed two hits in 2/3 inning in his last appearance, against the White Sox, but didn’t yield a run. He’s 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA (16 2/3 innings) in three appearances (two starts) against the White Sox in his career.
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