- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Jeff Samardzija considers his body of work as a whole this season unsatisfactory. His last two starts, though, are a different story.

Samardzija allowed two runs over seven strong innings as the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Tuesday night.

The only damage the Royals managed off Samardzija came on back-to-back homers by Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales in the sixth inning.

The consecutive homers - Kansas City’s first since July 25, 2014 - snapped Samardzija’s string of 14 scoreless innings.

But for Samardzija (11-13), who has won two straight games after losing nine of his 10 previous starts, allowing two solo shots couldn’t take away from another solid outing.

“Like I’ve said before, you just keep going,” Samardzija said. “It’s a funny game. You never know how it’s going to go or when it’s going to go, but as long as you have faith in what you’re doing and hard work, and faith in your teammates, like we saw tonight, good things happen.”

The White Sox led 3-0 after Adam Eaton drove a two-run homer into the bullpen in right field off Royals starter Johnny Cueto (10-13) in the fifth inning.

Cueto lost for the third time in his four September outings and gave up three runs and eight hits over six innings. He struck out two and walked two as the Royals lost for the fourth time in their last five games.

Kansas City got within 3-2 in the sixth when Hosmer and Morales homered. The two solo shots, which snapped a 17-inning scoreless drought for the Royals, were the only offense Kansas City could muster.

White Sox left fielder Trayce Thompson saved a potential game-tying run in the seventh inning with a full extension diving catch that robbed Ben Zobrist of an extra-base hit that likely would have scored Alcides.

“Every ball off the bat, you have to be ready every single pitch because it’s those balls right at the end of your reach, those are the balls you wait for so you have to be ready every single time,” Thompson said.

The Royals put a runner in scoring position in the eighth, but Chicago third baseman Mike Olt snagged a line drive by Mike Moustakas that appeared headed for left field.

Like with Thompson’s catch, Olt’s play at third prevented the Royals from tying the game.

“They made two great plays that saved them the game,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.

David Robertson pitched the ninth for Chicago - which added a run in the ninth on an RBI double by Alexei Ramirez - and earned his 33rd save in 40 opportunities.

The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Jose Abreu laced a two-out RBI single, scoring Carlos Sanchez, who led off the inning with a walk.

Samardzija, who likely made his last start of the season and who will likely test the free agency market this winter, took care of the rest by finding a rhythm he has been in search of for much of the season.

“As a professional, you’re meant to go out and find that as quick as possible, and a lot of times that’s out on the mound mid-game,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that go into it. Sometimes it’s about just clearing your head and having fun out there, and enjoying what you’re doing instead of putting so much pressure on yourself.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: Morales (bruised right ankle) returned to the starting lineup Tuesday as the DH. Morales did not play Sunday after being hit by a pitch. He pinch-hit on Monday.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.65 ERA) will be looking for his first win since Sept. 8 after losing two of his last three starts. He will face White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (9-10, 3.38 ERA) who has taken no-decisions in his last two starts and who has only surrendered three earned runs in September.


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