Kansas City 8, Chi. White Sox 6
When: 2:15 PM ET, Saturday, March 30, 2019
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Ron Kulpa, 1B -
Marty Foster, 2B -
Gabe Morales, 3B -
The Kansas City Royals spent the offseason focusing on starting pitching and team speed. It showed on Saturday, as the Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-6 in rainy and cold Kansas City.
Jakob Junis (1-0) had five shutout innings before faltering in the sixth and allowing a three-run home run to Jose Abreu. He finished with six hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out six.
Ian Kennedy pitched the ninth for the first save of his career.
Jorge Soler went 3-for-3 with three RBIs for Kansas City. Billy Hamilton also had three hits and scored twice.
The game was delayed by 30 minutes because of rain. When the first pitch was thrown, the temperature was 38 degrees and the wind chill was 28 with 18-mph winds. One of the biggest cheers of the game was when the sun made its first appearance of the season in the bottom of the second inning.
The Royals (2-0) speed certainly seemed to rattle right-hander Reynaldo Lopez. In the third, Hamilton led off with a single and drew repeated throws to first. He tagged on a flyout to medium depth right field and advanced to second, where he drew additional interest. With one out, Adalberto Mondesi singled to right field, scoring Hamilton.
Lopez then hit Alex Gordon with a pitch. Mondesi and Gordon had lengthy leads, and after Soler dropped a doink into short left, Ryan O'Hearn rolled a single up the middle to score Mondesi and Gordon.
After a scoreless fourth, Lopez walked Gordon leading off the fourth. Soler doubled down the left-field line, scoring Gordon to make it 4-0 and chasing Lopez (0-1).
The White Sox (0-2) finally got to Junis in the sixth. Yolmer Sanchez led off with a single. With one out, Yoan Moncada hit a single and Abreu then sent a 1-1 pitch into the left-field bullpen.
The Royals answered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back singles by Martin Maldonado and Hamilton put two runners on with no outs. They advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Whit Merrifield's two-run single. The hit extended Merrifield's hitting streak to 22 games dating back to last season. Gordon then walked again, and both runners scored on Soler's second double.
The White Sox then got three runs back in the seventh. Leury Garcia drove home Tim Anderson with a double, then scored on Moncada's home run to right. Moncada had three hits.
Prized White Sox rookie Eloy Jimenez picked up his first major league hit on a grounder through the hole at second with Chris Owings shifted to the third-base side of the bag. He finished the day 2-for-4 after going 0-for-3 in his debut Thursday. He has four strikeouts in his first two games.
--Field Level Media
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