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Junis surrenders five homers in loss to Chicago

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' team-wide slump finally found its way to their best starting pitcher.

Right-hander Jakob Junis gave up a career-high five home runs, something only two other pitchers in Royals history have done, and Kansas City fell, 6-3, to the White Sox on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' team-wide slump finally found its way to their best starting pitcher.

Right-hander Jakob Junis gave up a career-high five home runs, something only two other pitchers in Royals history have done, and Kansas City fell, 6-3, to the White Sox on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

Two of the home runs came off the bat of Matt Davidson, who homered three times here on Opening Day.

Junis, who entered the game with a 2.03 ERA, lasted 5 2/3 innings and gave up six hits and six runs. Chris Young was the last Royals pitcher to give up five homers in a game, those coming at Yankee Stadium in 2016. Sean O'Sullivan also surrendered five homers at Texas in 2011.

"You give up a couple [of solo] homers and that won't beat you," Junis said. "And maybe even if I don't give up the two-run homer [in the sixth], I would have gotten through six innings with four runs and would have given us a chance to win. But six runs, I didn't really get it done."

The Royals, who came into the game 29th in average with runners in scoring position (.192), were 2-for-15 with RISP. They're now hitting .187 with RISP.

"It's a pretty helpless feeling [as a manager] because there's nothing you can really do," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Especially when you're struggling like this, you know, it's helpless on a couple of different levels. … If you go back and look and see how many runs we've been scoring lately, it hasn't been over three. I don't remember the last time we scored over three runs."

Video: CWS@KC: Yost on lineup struggles against White Sox

The Royals also were 0-for-5 with a runner on third and less than two outs.

"We've got to go out there and score runs, obviously," third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "And right now we're not doing a very good job of that, top to bottom. We've had opportunities … we all know it. We all know we're not producing. I left a bunch of runners out there tonight. It's obviously frustrating. We'll keep fighting and it will come around."

Jorge Soler belted his second home run this season, a two-run shot in the fourth. Soler hit a 1-1 fastball from White Sox starter Lucas Giolito into the left-field bullpen, a projected 369-foot home run, according to Statcast™.

Video: CWS@KC: Soler slams a two-run homer to left

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Of the many missed chances, one early one stood out. Ryan Goins led off the fifth with a double to right-center and moved to third on a groundout by Alcides Escobar. The White Sox, leading 4-2, played the middle infield back, conceding the run. But Jon Jay hit a slow roller to shortstop Tim Anderson and Goins hesitated at third, making sure the ball got past the pitcher. Goins then broke for the plate, but it was too late and Anderson easily threw him out. Abraham Almonte then was called out on strikes.

Video: CWS@KC: Anderson charges grounder, throws out Goins

SOUND SMART
Moustakas had an infield single, the first Royals hit, in the fourth inning. He is tied with Dee Gordon and Jean Segura for the most infield singles in the American League with six. Moustakas also extended his on-base streak to 17 games.

HE SAID IT
"You hear the old adage, solo homers won't beat you. But I guess when they hit four of them they might." -- Yost, on the White Sox power display

UP NEXT
Left-hander Danny Duffy (0-3, 5.26 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals in the second game of the series on Friday at 7:15 p.m. CT. Duffy took the loss on Saturday in Detroit, getting roughed up for 10 hits and six runs over 4 2/3 innings. This will be Duffy's first night start of 2018 -- he was 8-5 with a 3.46 ERA in night games in 2017. The White Sox will counter with Reynaldo Lopez.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Jakob Junis