KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hector Santiago shut down the Royals’ punchless offense for a career-best eight innings, and the White Sox roughed up Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie in a 9-1 rout Friday night.
Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer and Alejandro de Aza added a two-run shot for the Sox, who snapped a three-game skid with their best offensive output in nearly two weeks.
They scored twice in the first inning and five times in the third, when they chased Guthrie (7-5) from the game. De Aza’s homer came off reliever Bruce Chen in the sixth.
Most of that offense turned out to be moot the way Santiago (3-5) was pitching.
The left-hander gave up just three hits and a walk, and Eric Hosmer’s homer in the sixth represented the only run Santiago has allowed to the Royals in 19 1-3 career innings.
The replacement for injured starter Gavin Floyd, Santiago delivered easily his best performance since going seven scoreless innings May 7 against the New York Mets. It also helped the Sox get back on a winning track after losing 17 of 22 and dropping a season-high 12 games below .500.
It surely helped Santiago’s confidence that the Sox staked him to an early lead.
On a warm, windy night at Kauffman Stadium, Guthrie walked three of the first five batters he faced, and the bases-loaded free pass that he issued to Paul Konerko brought in the game’s first run. Conor Gillaspie added a sacrifice fly later in the first inning to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.
The real trouble for Guthrie came in the third, when Alexei Ramirez led off with a single and Alex Rios doubled over the head of Alex Gordon in left field. Adam Dunn’s single drove in another run, and Gillaspie’s single knocked Guthrie from the game.
Viciedo greeted Chen with a three-run shot to give the Sox a 7-0 lead.
Guthrie wound up allowing six runs on five hits and three walks in 2 1-3 innings, his shortest start since going the same distance for the Orioles on July 7, 2009. It was his second straight shaky outing, too – he allowed five runs over seven innings Saturday night at Tampa Bay.
All the more puzzling is that Guthrie had been having success against the Sox. Since joining the Royals last year, the right-hander had been 3-0 in six starts against their AL Central rivals, giving up just two earned runs in 44 2-3 innings.
Guthrie had given up that many Friday night before escaping the first inning.
De Aza’s two-run homer in the sixth made it 9-0, the most runs that the Royals’ stingy pitching staff had allowed since an 11-6 loss to the New York Yankees on May 10. It was also the most runs the White Sox had scored since beating Toronto 10-6 on June 10.
Tyler Flowers was the only member of the Sox starting lineup without a hit.
Notes: The Sox recalled RHP Brian Omogross from Triple-A Charlotte before the game. ... Major League Baseball announced the Royals will make up their May 2 game against Tampa Bay that was snowed out on Aug. 26 at Kauffman Stadium. The first pitch will be at 1:10 p.m. CT. ... LHP Jose Quintana takes the mound Saturday against Royals RHP Wade Davis.