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Royals score 8 runs in 7th and beat White Sox 10-1 behind Velázquez, Melendez and Lugo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nelson Velázquez and MJ Melendez each homered and drove in two runs, leading Seth Lugo and the Kansas City Royals to a 10-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

Right fielder Hunter Renfroe threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the sixth inning before Kansas City broke it open with eight runs in the seventh.

Velázquez drove in the first two runs of the game with a single and a homer.

“I was just trying to make contact,” he said. “I’m feeling good, trusting in everything we have been working on since spring training.”

Lugo (1-0) allowed one run and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings for his first win with the Royals. It was the latest quality outing by one of Kansas City's starters, who have a 1.43 ERA.

“Seth attacked from the beginning,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He threw a ton of strikes and mixed in all his pitches. He gets a lot of groundballs.”

Lugo struck out three and walked two. Angel Zerpa retired Andrew Benintendi with a runner on second to end the seventh, preserving a one-run lead.

“I thought I made some good pitches,” Lugo said. “They had some soft hits.”

Michael Soroka (0-1) gave up two runs and six hits over six innings in his second start for the White Sox.

Kansas City scored in the second on an RBI single by Velázquez.

The White Sox loaded the bases with one out in the third on a pair of singles and an error by shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., but Witt redeemed himself by turning an inning-ending double play.

“Ironically, before the game we were looking at it, we had only turned one double play prior to tonight," Quatraro said. "I don’t know how many it was tonight, three or four, but that was the key in keeping out of trouble along with throwing out the run at the plate.”

Velázquez made it 2-0 in the fourth with a 429-foot homer into the fountains in left-center.

Chicago got a run off Lugo in the sixth, snapping a scoreless streak of 25 innings. Andrew Vaughn lined a single to score Yoán Moncada. Lugo escaped further damage when Braden Shewmake flied out and Renfroe cut down Gavin Sheets at the plate tagging up from third.

The Royals busted it open in the seventh. Deivi García issued a pair of one-out walks and a single to pinch-hitter Adam Frazier. Kyle Isbel drove in two runs with a single and Maikel Garcia drove in another, chasing García. Dominic Leone walked Witt before a two-out error by Shewmake at shortstop scored three more.

“(The walks) really opened up the floodgates,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “Anytime you walk two guys, you’re asking for trouble. It’s just one inning of baseball that got away from us. We made a couple of mistakes, both fundamentally and physically, that we’ve got to clean up.”

Melendez then smacked his first homer of the season, a two-run shot.

“It was a good ballgame until the seventh inning and we let it get away from us there," Grifol said. "Crooked numbers, they always have a walk in there somewhere. Walks will kill you.”

TRANSACTIONS

Chicago signed RHP Mike Clevinger to a $3 million, one-year contract and optioned him to the minors. To make room on the 40-man roster, INF José Rodríguez was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT

The teams play the second game of a four-game series Friday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb