Royals Win Streak is Pushed to Three

Danny Duffy pitched strong six innings and ended a nine-start winless skid, and Jorge Soler and Nicky Lopez hit back-to-back RBI singles twice as the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 7-5 on Wednesday night.

Duffy (4-5) who took a liner off his throwing hand against Detroit in his last start Friday, scattered six hits and struck out five in sending Chicago to its season-worst sixth straight loss.

Duffy’s strong start followed Jakob Junis’ seven innings of one-run ball Monday and Glenn Sparkman’s complete game shutout Tuesday.

The second of Soler and Lopez’s consecutive two-out, RBI hits put Kansas City up 6-0 and gave Duffy some run support. The Royals had scored just 15 runs over Duffy’s last eight outings.

A.J. Reed hit a three-run homer, his first, with two outs in the ninth inning off Wily Peralta. Ian Kennedy entered the game and completed the one-out save, his 15th in 18 opportunities..

Ivan Nova (4-9) lasted just 4 2/3 innings and struggled with his command. He allowed six runs and six hits with five walks. White Sox starters have struggled over the last three weeks, going 4-8 with a 5.11 ERA in the last 17 games. The last White Sox starter to throw more than six innings was Lucas Giolito on June 8.

Ryan Goins homered in his first major league game this season, a two-run shot into the Royals’ bullpen in the sixth inning. That snapped a 15-inning scoring drought for the White Sox that dating to Monday’s game.

The White Sox have scored just 18 runs in their last eight games and scored more than three runs for the first time since Independence Day. In six games since the All-Star break, Chicago has been outscored 44-12.

The Royals have come roaring out of the All-Star break, winning five of six, for their best stretch of the season. Kansas City has also won two consecutive series for the first time this season.

Soler and Lopez also slapped RBI singles in the first inning, the fourth time in six games since the All-Star break Kansas City has scored in the opening frame.

Whit Merrifield had three more hits and was on base five times, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. He also increased his league-leading hit total to 128. During the streak, Merrifield is hitting .410 (25-61).