CHICAGO -- Nicky Delmonico did the job with his bat and glove on Friday night during a 9-3 White Sox victory over the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. Chicago picked up its third straight win, all against American League Central clubs, and improved to 45-76 overall.
Delmonico logged a career-high five RBIs, capped off by a three-run home run off Jason Adam with the White Sox holding a 6-3 lead in the seventh. It was the culminating blast of a seven-run seventh, coming off a first-pitch fastball from the right-hander. Delmonico also took away a hit from Alex Gordon in the first, making a four-star catch, according to Statcast™, by going 76 feet in five seconds in left field before crashing into the wall.
"I liked the catch against Gordon because he's got me a few times. He robbed a home run from me and took away hits. I really liked getting him back," said Delmonico, who homered for the first time since July 28 against the Blue Jays. "I felt good today. I felt like I'm starting to get my rhythm back. I'm not trying to do too much."
Also in that seven-run seventh, marking a single-season high scored by the White Sox in one frame, Jose Abreu moved another step closer to a milestone. The White Sox trailed, 3-2, when Yoan Moncada singled to left off reliever Tim Hill and Yolmer Sanchez reached on an error by shortstop Alcides Escobar.
The Royals brought in Adam, and Abreu hit the first pitch for a three-run blast to left, also coming on a first-pitch fastball. Abreu's drive gave him 22 home runs and 76 RBIs, as he tries to join Joe DiMaggio and Jose Pujols as the only players to hit at least 25 home runs and drive in 100 runs in each of their first five Major League seasons.
Abreu's home run had an exit velocity of 104.7 mph and traveled a projected 418 feet, according to Statcast™. Delmonico's had an exit velocity of 105.8 mph and covered 405 feet.
James Shields earned the victory in his 400th career appearance and 398th start. He had been receiving a 3.74 run support average as a starter, marking the ninth lowest mark in the AL, but Abreu almost matched that total with one swing. Shields worked at least six innings for the 19th time in his last 22 starts and 21st time overall, allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking two.
"The boys have been playing pretty good baseball the last few games," said Shields, who won for the first time since July 13 against the Royals, and has three of his five wins this season against his former club. " I hung in there long enough for them to get to [Junis] and get to the bullpen a little bit. Clutch hitting by them."
Kansas City scored three in the third to take an early lead, but the White Sox chipped away with one run in the fourth and one in the sixth, both driven home by Delmonico. Tim Anderson, who finished a home run shy of the cycle, scored in the fourth and sixth, and he added a run-scoring single in the seventh.
Anderson was given the day off on Wednesday against the Tigers and he then benefited from Thursday's team off-day as well. He reached base four times, scored three runs and picked up his 23rd and 24th stolen bases.
"Body felt good," Anderson said. "I used those two days good and really got some rest."
AVI EXITS EARLY
Avisail Garcia flied out to right to strand runners on first and third to end the first inning against Junis. He played defense in the second, but Garcia was then removed prior to the start of the top of the third, and replaced by Leury Garcia, who was activated off the disabled list prior to the game. Avisail Garcia was taken out due to a manager's decision.
Renteria explained he didn't think Garcia gave him a good effort on what the skipper termed the "Texas leaguer" caught by Jorge Bonifacio. Renteria also acknowledged that Garcia is playing with a painful right knee, an injury Garcia said after the game will be cleaned up surgically during the offseason.
"I told him you certainly looked like something was bothering you. He said, 'I felt it click when I came out of the box,'" Renteria said. "I said you understand you can still give me a better effort out of the box. He said, 'Yes, I understand that. I'm feeling this.' We addressed it a little bit. He'll be back in there tomorrow. He realizes he still feels he can give us a little better effort.
"He doesn't want to come out of the lineup. He says he can play every day, he says, 'I can manage this, I can play through this, I'll be fine.' I said then give me a little more effort on some of those plays. If you can give it to me at a particular time. I get it that you may feel it, but if you feel it, just explain to me what's going on and we can manage it that way."
Despite hearing that click after making contact, Garcia agreed with Renteria's decision to pull him.
"Even if I felt a click, I can do a better effort if I want to play, and I want to play," said Garcia, who is mired in a 4-for-45 slump. "That's why they took me out. I felt a click and I was a little bit scared about it, but I'm OK."
HE SAID IT
"It's really nice to look at as a longevity thing. That's something I've really prided myself on my whole entire career is to stay healthy and post up. I've got a couple more starts before I get my 400th start, but I'm really proud of my career so far." -- Shields, on his 400th career appearance
White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (4-9, 6.06 ERA) is scheduled to make his 17th start of the season, 10th at home and third vs. the Royals at 6:10 p.m. CT on Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Rookie righty Brad Keller (5-5, 3.40 ERA) will start for Kansas City. Covey is 1-8 with an 8.94 ERA, with nine homers allowed in 46 1/3 innings, a .308 opponents average and a 1.83 WHIP over his previous 10 starts.