CHICAGO -- Almost everybody for the White Sox hit and Miguel Gonzalez once again turned in a stellar mound effort, as Chicago cruised to a 12-1 victory over the Royals on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in the three-game series opener.Gonzalez followed his 8 1/3-inning effort at Yankee Stadium
CHICAGO -- Almost everybody for the White Sox hit and Miguel Gonzalez once again turned in a stellar mound effort, as Chicago cruised to a 12-1 victory over the Royals on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in the three-game series opener.
Gonzalez followed his 8 1/3-inning effort at Yankee Stadium with eight innings and one unearned run allowed, striking out five and walking one. The right-hander gave up two hits but was inches away from carrying a potential no-hitter into the seventh on a couple of different levels.
With two outs in the third, Todd Frazier fumbled Whit Merrifield's grounder for an error. Mike Moustakas followed with a low line drive to right on which Avisail Garcia made a diving attempt but came up short. Merrifield came around to score to tie the game at that time. Moustakas' double stands as the only hit allowed out of the infield by Gonzalez in his last two starts, covering six hits. He retired 16 of the last 17 hitters faced Monday.
"He wasn't throwing his curve that much tonight," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "But everything he threw tonight he could throw for strikes."
• Could Hoz's numbers rise by elevating ball?
"Sinker was working good. Cutter obviously away to lefties was huge tonight," said Gonzalez, who threw 73 of his 105 pitches for strikes. "I wasn't doing it that much the last couple outings, and it played well tonight. Sometimes you've got to go out there and change it up a little bit to guys that understand."
As for the offense, everybody in the lineup had at least one hit but catcher Geovany Soto, with the White Sox knocking a season-high 15 as a team. Jason Vargas took his first loss of the season, allowing three earned runs on seven hits over five innings, striking out five. But the White Sox locked this game down by scoring eight in the sixth off of relievers Peter Moylan and Travis Wood. Matt Davidson, Tim Anderson and Leury Garcia had three hits apiece in the game.
The Royals, who have lost five straight, set a franchise record by scoring two runs or fewer in their eighth straight game.
• Cold bats likely putting strain on Royals' arms
"We got two hits," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "There's not much going on right now. I mean, we talk about it every day. You just wait for it to turn."
"That was fun, getting 12 runs as a team, everybody getting hits," Davidson said. "It was really good for all of us."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Welcome back, Matt: After a four-game hiatus, Davidson returned with authority. He homered in the second off of Vargas, giving him four home runs for the season, and then doubled to right-center to spark the huge sixth against Moylan, scoring Avisail Garcia. Davidson added a two-run single off the left-field wall in that same inning, giving him four RBIs, 14 for the season and leaving him a triple short of the cycle. Davidson's three hits were a career high, and his four RBIs matched a career high.
"I'm just trying to stay focused in my approach and really being stingy in what I want to hit, just staying there," said Davidson, who has seven extra-base hits among his 12 knocks. "So far it really just takes one swing. You could look really foolish throughout the at-bat, but if you put one good swing on one good pitch, that's all you really need."
Small ball sparks offense:Tyler Saladino had struck out six straight times, including two times Monday, when he stepped to the plate in the fifth with Leury Garcia on second, Anderson on first and nobody out. Saladino laid down a perfect bunt with two strikes, advancing the runners to second and third, and Melky Cabrera followed with a two-run single to give the White Sox a 4-1 lead over Vargas. Saladino added a two-run triple during the sixth.
"Just get it down," Saladino said. "Just make the third baseman field it. Just make sure to get it over toward the third baseman and make him field that ball there." More >
"I keep thinking, 'Do I need to get them together for a team meeting?' No, because they're a veteran group. They'll bounce back." -- Yost
• Rogers: Soler right hitter to help jolt Royals' offense
"I'll tell you what, it feels a whole lot better being here than in Charlotte, so I'm enjoying every single day. Obviously I want to play, but being here with these guys and being in Chicago is a dream come true."-- Davidson, on whether he should play more frequently after sitting out four games in between starts
ABUNDANCE OF OFFENSE
The eight runs scored by the White Sox in the sixth inning represent their most runs scored in an inning since July 3, 2012, when they scored nine vs. the Rangers in the fifth. The White Sox have scored 18 runs in their last two games after snapping a 23-inning scoreless drought.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Leury Garcia was ruled out on a ground ball to shortstop Alcides Escobar to start the seventh, but White Sox manager Rick Renteria challenged the call at first and it was overturned, giving Garcia his third single.
Due to a pregame technical issue with the replay system, each club was afforded its normal manager challenge, but they both had unlimited crew chief reviews for the entirety of the game.
Royals: Left-hander Danny Duffy (2-0, 1.32 ERA) starts for the Royals in the second game of the three-game series against the White Sox at 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Duffy has gone at least six innings and given up two runs or fewer in all four of his starts -- Kevin Appier holds the club record with seven such starts to open a season, in 1992.
White Sox:Dylan Covey (0-1, 7.84 ERA) makes his third career start and first against Kansas City when he takes the mound for Tuesday's contest. Covey has only two strikeouts and five walks over his 10 1/3 Major League innings.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.