Cease leads White Sox to 6-2 win in doubleheader opener, sending Royals to 101st loss
CHICAGO (AP) — Dylan Cease won consecutive decisions for just the third time this season, and the White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 in a doubleheader opener Tuesday to end a strange run of losses when Chicago pitchers struck out 14 or more.
Cease (7-7) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and one walk. Bryan Shaw struck out three over 1 2/3 innings, Lane Ramsey one and Gregory Santos two in a perfect ninth for his fifth save in nine chances.
“Today was solid,” Cease said. “I thought I commanded the ball well and mixed it up good and the defense and offense played well.”
Chicago had been 0-11 this year when its pitchers struck out 14 or more.
Cease’s only other consecutive winning decisions this year were April 5 and 10, and May 23 and July 16 — with eight no-decisions in between.
Kansas City lost its fifth straight game and dropped to a major league-worst 44-101. The Royals have lost at least 100 games for the third time in six seasons and with 17 games left could break the team record of 106, set in 2005.
Chicago took a 5-0 lead in the first against Brady Singer (8-11), who dropped to 0-3 in his last four starts. In a 36-pitch inning, Eloy Jiménez and Yoán Moncada hit RBI singles, Gavin Sheets had a two-run single and Elvis Andrus grounded into a run-scoring forceout.
“I just struggled there in the first,” Singer said. “Command was pretty bad.
“Quite a bit of damage there.”
Bobby Witt was 3 for 3, his 15th game this year of three or more hits for the Royals. Edward Olivares had an RBI double in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth.
Andrus added an RBI single.
In the second game of a doubleheader necessitated by Monday’s rainout, Jordan Lyles (4-16) was to start for the Royals and Touki Toussaint (3-7) for the White Sox. Lyles leads the major leagues in losses.
Logan Porter, a 28-year-old catcher, was to make his major league debut in the second game.
Royals: LHP Austin Cox has a torn left ACL and a damaged MCL, and will need surgery. ... C Freddy Fermin had season-ending surgery Tuesday on his left middle finger.
White Sox: Jiménez will be used only as a designated hitter in the final days of the season, manager Pedro Grifol said. Sheets, Trayce Thompson and Zach Remillard will get opportunities to start in right field.
RHP Mike Clevinger (7-7, 3.64 ERA) starts Wednesday night’s series finale for the White Sox.
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