- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago White Sox know they need to do better at the plate. They’re far from panicking.

Lorenzo Cain hit a solo home run and five Kansas City pitchers combined to allow seven hits in the Royals’ 2-1 victory over the slumping White Sox on Saturday.

Danny Duffy and Peter Moylan combined for six scoreless innings. Joakim Soria (2-1) worked out of a seventh-inning jam and Wade Davis pitched a hitless ninth for his 11th save in Kansas City’s second straight win over the AL Central leaders.

Chicago has lost eight of 10. The White Sox have scored fewer than three runs in each of their last three games.

“It’s our first real kind of test in the division, and the Royals are doing their job and we basically are not,” White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier said. “As hitters, we have to keep coming prepared. I’ve got to start studying a little more seeing these new guys I’m facing and get ready to go.”

Cain’s leadoff shot to center in the sixth off Miguel Gonzalez (0-1) made it 2-0 after Eric Hosmer’s first-inning sacrifice fly.

The Royals won for the sixth time in eight games despite needing bullpen help with Duffy on a pitch limit. He allowed four hits in 4 1/3 innings.

“We win on pitching and defense, and this was another good example of it,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, activated off the disabled list after missing more than two weeks with a left thumb injury, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and misplayed a bunt to load the bases with nobody out in the seventh.

The White Sox snapped a 13-inning scoreless streak on Jose Abreu’s bases-loaded double-play grounder in the seventh.

Soria replaced Brian Flynn and induced Abreu’s double play, then got Frazier to ground to third.

“It’s a little frustrating,” Frazier said. “You get one opportunity and that sometimes is all you get during a game. I had a chance to drive in a run there, maybe two, and just didn’t get the job done.”

Soria worked a perfect eighth in his first two-inning stint since 2011.

“I felt good and I was hitting my spots,” Soria said.

Not even more lineup tinkering by manager Robin Ventura could get the White Sox out of their offensive funk.

Jerry Sands played first base and hit cleanup, with Melky Cabrera moved to fifth. Abreu hit second for the second straight day and was the DH and Tyler Saladino was again at shortstop in place of struggling Jimmy Rollins.

Rollins struck out pinch-hitting for Sands in the eighth for Chicago, which has scored four runs in three games.

“Pitchers have been doing great,” Frazier said. “There’s nothing bad you can say about these guys, keeping us in games, giving up less than two or three runs a game. If we can’t find a way to win, then somebody else needs to come in and do it.”

Gonzalez allowed six hits, struck out eight and didn’t walk a hitter over six innings in his third start since being called up from Triple-A.

“After the first inning, he was great,” Ventura said. “He had a nice little cutter and a nice split to go with it. He got some guys chasing on that.”


Royals: To make room for Moustakas, 3B Cheslor Cuthbert was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, where Yost said he’ll play second and third. . Yost said needing to stretch out Duffy while he was in the rotation is why they elected to keep 13 pitchers.

White Sox: RHP Jake Petricka (hip) is not ready to come off the disabled list. “He still feels a little something there,” Ventura said.


Abreu is in a 1-for-11 slump and batting .243 this season.

“I don’t know if he gets a day off or not, but we’ll be there for him,” Ventura said.


The White Sox announced RHP Erik Johnson will be recalled from Triple-A Charlotte and start the second game of Monday’s doubleheader against Cleveland.


Royals RHP Yordano Ventura (4-2, 4.85 ERA) faces LHP Carlos Rondon (1-4, 4.73) in Sunday’s series finale.

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