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Quiet bats lead to 5th straight loss to White Sox

Oaks pounded strike zone in debut, saved arms for nightcap
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- The Major League debut for Royals right-hander Trevor Oaks was humming along rather smoothly through four innings of one-run ball.

But Oaks struggled in the fifth, giving up four runs and four hits, and the Royals lost their fifth straight, 8-0, to the White Sox on Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Major League debut for Royals right-hander Trevor Oaks was humming along rather smoothly through four innings of one-run ball.

But Oaks struggled in the fifth, giving up four runs and four hits, and the Royals lost their fifth straight, 8-0, to the White Sox on Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

The Royals' 5-20 start matches their worst in franchise history, previously done in 1992 and 2006.

Oaks left after five innings having given up 12 hits and five runs. He walked one and struck out four.

"A little bit [of butterflies] out there," Oaks said. "Obviously, a lot of excitement and adrenaline. Didn't exactly go the way I wanted it to, but it's fun being here. Excited for the opportunity.

"I got out of some jams. But some weak-contact hits kind of killed me a little bit. ... I'm going to learn from a lot of this. It's a good first start. I'm going to do my best to get back up here, for sure."

Royals manager Ned Yost said Oaks had some positive moments.

"When he was down [in the zone], he was pretty good," Yost said. "When he was up, they saw him pretty good. Something to work on. Pretty good action on his pitches."

Video: CWS@KC: Yost on Oaks' debut in loss to Chicago

The Royals' offense, meanwhile, remained stuck in its season-long slump. The Royals, 29th in baseball in average with runners in scoring position, were 0-for-6 in the first game Saturday and are four for their last 44 (.091).

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Royals had a chance to crawl back in the game in the fifth when Alcides Escobar walked to lead off, and Alex Gordon followed with a single to center. But Drew Butera popped out and Whit Merrifield grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Video: CWS@KC: Fulmer gets double play to escape 5th inning

SOUND SMART
With his first-inning walk, Royals outfielder Jorge Soler became the first Royal to walk in eight straight games since Mike Sweeney in 2000.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
You don't see it often, but Yost got caught assuming the White Sox were pinch-hitting for rookie Daniel Palka with two on and one out in the seventh. Right-handed hitting Trayce Thompson came to the White Sox on-deck circle, which prompted Yost to replace his left-handed reliever, Eric Stout, with right-hander Burch Smith. But Thompson was never officially announced as the pinch-hitter, and Palka got the at-bat against Smith and promptly belted a three-run home run.

"That was my fault," Yost said. "What happened was I saw the pinch-hitter, and we had Burch Smith ready for [Tim Anderson]. ... I sent [Butera] out there to buy some time… by the time I went out there, I just took for granted they had announced [Thompson], and they hadn't."

HE SAID IT
"I had a lot of family and friends, coaches from college, here. It was awesome having their support. It's an accomplishment for them, too. They've had my back for a long time. A lot of work went in to help develop me as a player." -- Oaks on his Major League debut

UP NEXT
Left-hander Eric Skoglund (0-2, 8.59 ERA) gets the start for the Royals in game two of the doubleheader with the White Sox at 7:15 p.m. CT. Skoglund, who will be making his fourth start this season, gave up four runs over five innings in his last start in Detroit. After Game 1, the Royals called up right-hander Scott Barlow and optioned Stout back to Omaha. Dylan Covey was called up from Triple-A to start for the White Sox.

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

Kansas City Royals, Trevor Oaks