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White Sox bats come alive in rout of Royals

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza homered to lead a potent Chicago White Sox offense in a 9-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Viciedo's three-run homer capped a five-run third inning that gave the White Sox a 7-0 lead and drove Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie from the game.

De Aza stroked his 10th homer in the sixth, a two-run shot just inside the right-field foul pole for a 9-0 Chicago lead.

"We've been working on being relaxed against the pitcher all season," De Aza said. "We were relaxed today. It worked in our favor. We'll take it. It's a good thing."

The win snapped Chicago's three-game losing streak and Kansas City dropped its third straight. The Royals' three-game losing streak is their longest since George Brett became the team's hitting coach on May 30.

"This was kind of a sigh of relief," White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn said. "This is a fun team. It's 25 guys who get along. We got some big hits and got a big win. I hope this is the start of something good. Hopefully tonight is kind of a breakout for us."

Hector Santiago (3-5) shut out the Royals until Eric Hosmer's third homer of the season with two out in the sixth. The win was Santiago's first over Kansas City.

"Today I was just focused on how many strikes I can throw and how many guys I can get ahead of," Santiago said. "You want to go out every inning and get them out as quick as you can and get them back in. Every game has been tight. We've been in a lot of close games. To see the crooked numbers up there is nice. The guys come in and hit like that and you want to go out there and throw strikes and get out of the inning so they can hit again."

Santiago worked a career-high eight innings, allowing three hits and one run with one walk and five strikeouts.

"I was getting ahead (of batters)," Santiago said. "They were taking a lot of first pitches for strikes. Mostly we were pounding the fastball in early in the count and then throwing changeups on the corners and away with a few curveballs mixed in there."

"He was throwing strikes and changing speeds," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He threw the ball well."

Guthrie (7-5) allowed six runs, five hits and three walks with one strikeout in 2 1/3 innings before being replaced by Bruce Chen. Guthrie has lost five of his last seven decisions after starting the season 5-0.

"He threw some good pitches we were able to lay off of," Dunn said. "Sometimes you have to let the guy work a little harder."

"Adam and (designated hitter) Paul (Konerko) were patient and had good at-bats, then Dayan hit one out," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who acknowledged he hadn't seen this kind of offensive output yet this year. "Not like tonight, all the way around. We had a lot of stuff on the barrel."

Every White Sox player in the starting lineup except catcher Tyler Flowers had at least one hit and scored or drove in at least one run. Six of Chicago's 11 hits went for extra bases.

"We've played against him so much we knew what he had," White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez said through interpreter Lino Diaz. "He just didn't command it so well today."

Hosmer had two of Kansas City's three hits. He is batting .316 (24-for-76) in June after hitting .261 in the first two months of the season.

The White Sox grabbed a first-inning lead, scoring twice as Guthrie struggled with his control. Guthrie walked three in the 33-pitch inning, including Konerko to drive in Ramirez, who doubled, for the first run. Conor Gillaspie followed with a sacrifice fly to deep right field, scoring Alex Rios.

"I just couldn't find the strike zone and created a mess in the first inning," Guthrie said. "I have confidence you can turn the momentum no matter how bad an inning you have, so I was hoping to definitely have a much longer evening than I did. Then there were a bunch of base hits in the third as well."

Guthrie was driven from the game in the third when four of the first five White Sox batters hit safely, scoring two more runs. Ramirez scored on a double by Rios, who then scored on Dunn's base hit to left center. After Gillaspie singled, Chen replaced Guthrie with Chicago leading 4-0.

"He just didn't have it," Yost said. "It was just one of those nights where he just didn't have much going for him."

"He's had some pretty good outings against us," Ventura said. "It was a tough night for him and a good night for us to get something off him."

Viciedo added the exclamation point to the inning, hitting Chen's second pitch into the seats beyond the left-center field wall for a 7-0 White Sox lead.

"It's been a long time since we've had an easy win like that," Viciedo said via Diaz. "It felt really, really good. We had a lot of good things happen tonight. It should work out for us the rest of the season."

Santiago allowed hits in each of the first two innings but settled down to retire 10 straight. He struck out four against no walks through the first five innings. Santiago entered the game with 11 1/3 scoreless innings in his career against the Royals and has fanned at least six batters in all but one of his eight starts this year.

NOTES: A year after leading the majors with a franchise-record .9883 fielding percentage, the White Sox currently rank 14th at .980. Chicago has made at least two errors 11 times this year and are on pace to commit 118 errors for the season, which would be 48 more than they made in 2012. ... The May 2 game between the Royals and Rays, which was snowed out, has been rescheduled for Monday, August 26, at 1:10 p.m. ... The White Sox had lost seven of their last nine and 13 of their last 18 games at Kauffman Stadium; since 2011, Chicago is 17-26 against Kansas City. ... The Royals' 37 home runs are fewest in the American League and match the Marlins for the fewest in the majors. Kansas City trails Minnesota -- 14th in homers in the American League -- by 26.
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