Danny Duffy continued Kansas City's recent pitching dominance as the Royals defeated the visiting Chicago White Sox 7-5 on Wednesday.
The Royals have won the first three games of the four-game series, and they are 5-1 since the All-Star break. The White Sox are 0-6 since the break.
Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler, Nicky Lopez and Alex Gordon combined to go 9-for-14 for Kansas City. Soler had three RBIs and Lopez had two.
Duffy (4-5), who entered the game with a string of 14 2/3 scoreless innings against the White Sox, didn't allow a run until Ryan Goins launched a no-out, two-run home run in the sixth. He wound up yielding two runs on six hits in six innings. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter.
Ian Kennedy got the final out for his 15th save in 18 chances.
The last three scheduled starting pitchers for Kansas City (not counting a substitute after Homer Bailey got traded an hour before Sunday's first pitch) had given up just two runs in 24 innings with 25 strikeouts and just three walks. Adding Duffy's outing, and the starters have combined for a 1.20 ERA in those four starts.
Ivan Nova (4-9) took the loss after giving up six runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out two, but his downfall was five walks.
For the second straight game, the Royals scored twice in the bottom of the first. Gordon stroked a two-out, ground-rule double to left, and Hunter Dozier followed with a walk. Soler looped a single to left, scoring Gordon. Lopez then lined a single back to center, scoring Dozier.
Nova settled down, retiring 11 of the next 12, before trouble arrived with two outs in the fifth. Merrifield reached with a single, and Nova then walked Cheslor Cuthbert, Gordon and Dozier, with Dozier driving in a run. Soler singled in two runs, and Nova's night was done. Lopez then drove in Dozier with a single.
Merrifield drove home a run with his third hit in the eigth. AJ Reed's pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth off Wily Peralta drew the Sox within two. Kennedy then entered and set down Yolmer Sanchez on a lineout to end the game.
--Field Level Media