Mondi's 3-hit game not enough to lift Royals

September 5th, 2020

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals’ struggles against the White Sox continued on Friday as Chicago gave up an early lead then stormed back for a 7-4 victory at Kauffman Stadium.

The White Sox now have won seven of eight against Kansas City this season.

The Royals came back from 3-1 down, to tie it in the fourth. But the White Sox took the lead in the fifth on a wild pitch, and then went up, 6-3, in the sixth on José Abreu’s two-run double.

Here are three ups and three downs from Friday’s game:

UP

Mondesi breaks out: Royals fans all know the struggles of shortstop , who entered the game hitting .179 with one home run and three RBIs despite starting every game but one. The gruesome numbers included going 0-for-his-last-22 and hitting .083 (3-for-36) with no extra-base hits with runners in scoring position. To be fair, Mondesi has had a few hard-hit outs lately. And in the second inning, Mondesi tagged an RBI liner into right field, scoring from third base -- the exit velocity was 105 mph. Mondesi also delivered an RBI single in the fourth and another single in the eighth.

Mondesi got a huge welcome in the dugout after each hit.

“There’s no doubt these guys have been hurting for him,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “They know the person, not just the player. They feel the pain of each at-bat, knowing he wants to do so much to help this team. These guys care for each other, and that will pay off for us in the long run.”

Franco guts it out: Royals third baseman took a body blow from a 108-mph grounder off the bat of Abreu in the first inning and still threw out Abreu at first, perhaps saving a big inning -- the White Sox wound up with one run.

Later in the fourth inning, Franco drew a walk and then hustled to third on Gordon’s single to right. Franco clearly was hobbling a bit. Moments later, Franco hobbled toward home on an infield grounder and beat the throw to the plate, scoring the Royals’ second run of the night. Franco also made a diving stop and throw to get James McCann out in the fifth, saving a run.

“He’s really making good plays in the field,” Matheny said. “He’s just getting better.”

Gordon’s OBP: On a night that Royals left fielder received his seventh American League Gold Glove Award, he also showed he can still be a factor offensively, too. Gordon walked three times, singled and scored two runs.

DOWN

Poor bunt: Royals second baseman couldn’t get a bunt down in the fourth inning and it likely cost the Royals a run. With runners on first and second and none out, Lopez popped up his bunt attempt for an out. A successful bunt would have put two runners in scoring position for Mondesi’s single, which scored one run, not two.

Bad luck: The Royals could have had a big inning in that fourth. With two outs and the bases loaded in a 3-3 game, was ahead in the count 3-0. After fouling off a pitch, Dozier lifted a fly ball down the right-field line that dropped foul by a foot -- had it been fair, it easily would have cleared the bases and given the Royals a 6-3 lead.

The Brady bunch: Royals rookie right-hander clearly didn’t have his best stuff as the White Sox bunched (get it?) together 10 hits, the most Singer has allowed this season. But all 10 hits were singles against a lineup loaded with power. And Singer managed to grind through 5 2/3 innings while allowing five runs. Singer struck out five but threw two wild pitches, both of which led to runs. He threw 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.

“I thought that was one of his better games,” Matheny said. “He’s continuing to improve his fastball location. When you see all those singles, it’s an indication he’s using the lower part of the zone more often. We saw some of his better sliders today, too. I saw a lot of good things from Brady.”

Added Singer, “Obviously it didn’t go the way I wanted it to go. But I felt I made really good pitches. They found some holes. Give up 10 singles? It’s kind of crazy. That’s the game, however. I felt like I competed well.”