CHICAGO -- Catcher Alex Avila hit his first two home runs with the White Sox, who hit a season-high four homers altogether in a 7-5 win Friday night over the reeling Royals, who lost their eighth straight for the first time since May 2013.Left-hander Chris Sale went six-plus innings and
CHICAGO -- Catcher Alex Avila hit his first two home runs with the White Sox, who hit a season-high four homers altogether in a 7-5 win Friday night over the reeling Royals, who lost their eighth straight for the first time since May 2013.
Left-hander Chris Sale went six-plus innings and gave up 11 hits and five runs, but earned his American League-leading 10th win of the season. He struck out eight and walked one as the White Sox snapped a nine-game losing streak against AL Central opponents.
"[The Royals] are tough," Sale said. "They're grinders. They're not going to give it to you. They never give in. I think it's more important getting the win today, starting the series right, and hopefully grind the next couple games and get some wins."
Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy gave up seven runs in 5 2/3 innings and surrendered four homers in a game for the first time in his career.
"This place doesn't help you if you're a fly-ball pitcher," Kennedy said. "But I didn't make very good pitches."
In the first inning, Eric Hosmer hit the first homer off Sale from a left-handed hitter since Brennan Boesch of the Tigers on Sept. 2, 2012, breaking a streak of 518 left-handed batters Sale had faced without surrendering a home run. Hosmer homered again in the fourth. Salvador Perez also homered off Sale in the sixth.
"Now that the offense is going, hopefully the offense is going," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We got five tonight. We had [four] in the previous six games. We just got to put the two together, the pitching and offense."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Welcome to the show: Tim Anderson, Chicago's No. 2 prospect, came through in his first Major League at-bat. Anderson pulled a 1-2 inside fastball on the ground down the left-field line for a double. His first career hit also sparked a two-out rally for the White Sox, when Jose Abreu singled to drive in Anderson, and Melky Cabrera homered to cap a three-run inning. Anderson finished 2-for-3.
"I think he's just at that point where it's time to see what he can do," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Again, he's not coming up here timid; he's ready to play. It's a nice way to start it off, spark a little rally for us. I think later on he probably won't remember a whole lot of it, but it was just nice. He looked comfortable out there." More >
Oppo thump: Hosmer's two-homer game was the fourth of his career, and his first since June 24, 2013, against Baltimore. Both of Hosmer's homers went to the opposite field. Hosmer also had a sacrifice fly in the seventh. The three RBIs were his first on this road trip that started June 2. More >
Back to back: For the second time this season, the White Sox hit back-to-back home runs (Cabrera and Todd Frazier did it on May 27 vs. K.C.). Brett Lawrie and Avila each homered to left field off Kennedy in the fourth. It was Avila's first home run with the White Sox, and he homered again in the sixth.
"Just one of those nights, for us, we don't want to see them hit anything in the air, and we want to hit everything in the air," Ventura said. "Alex had a nice night offensively, a couple homers that turned out to be pretty big."
RISP blues: The Royals plated their first run with a runner in scoring position with a base hit since last Saturday, when Alcides Escobar singled in a runner from third in the seventh. The Royals also had runners on first and second in that inning with one out, but Kendry Morales and Perez struck out. They had a chance in the fourth after Hosmer's second homer to do some damage off Sale. Lorenzo Cain and Perez singled with one out, but Paulo Orlando and Cheslor Cuthbert both struck out on pitches out of the zone.
"My thoughts were that the first one wasn't even close. The second one was a little bit closer. You had one of our bigger guys at the plate in a crucial situation and don't get the call." -- Yost, on hitting coach Dale Sveum getting ejected for the 14th time in his career after arguing when two Perez checked swings were ruled swings.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The White Sox victory also snapped a streak of eight losses in games started by Sale and Jose Quintana.
The Royals challenged a safe call in the seventh when Jose Abreu tried to advance to third on a flyout to left fielder Whit Merrifield. It was originally ruled that Cuthbert at third missed the tag. After 50 seconds, the call was overturned. It was a call that cost the White Sox a run as Frazier followed with a single.
Royals: Left-hander Danny Duffy (1-1, 3.35 ERA) will get the start on Saturday at 2:10 p.m. CT in place of right-hander Chris Young, who now will start Tuesday in Kansas City. Duffy gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings in his last start against Baltimore while striking out nine.
White Sox: Left-hander Jose Quintana will look for his first win in his past five starts Saturday against a Royals team he historically struggles against. Quintana is 1-7 with a 4.34 ERA in 19 career starts against Kansas City.
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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.
Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.