CHICAGO – James Shields tossed seven shutout innings and rookie David Lough homered and drove in another run to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 5-1 victory over the White Sox on Friday night.
The Royals (49-51) have won four straight and six of eight since the All-Star break. The Sox (40-60) have lost four of five.
Shields (5-7) allowed eight hits and walked two but faced only one real scoring threat, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning.
The veteran right-hander, in his first season in Kansas City, has pitched better than his won-loss record might indicate. He lowered his ERA to 3.09 and has been especially effective on the road, where he improved to 4-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 12 starts.
Sox starter Jose Quintana (5-3) also pitched well but allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings to pick up the loss.
Lough led off the top of the third inning with a home run into the right-field bullpen to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. That’s where the score stayed until the seventh, when the Royals stretched the lead to 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Tejada that scored Salvador Perez, who led off the inning with a double.
The Sox’s best threat against Shields came in the sixth, when they loaded the bases with two outs. But catcher Josh Phegley grounded into a fielder’s choice to third base on the first pitch to end the inning.
The Sox finally got on the board in the eighth on a solo homer by Conor Gillaspie, but the Royals added three insurance runs in the ninth on run-scoring hits by Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas, and a sacrifice fly by Lough.
NOTES: White Sox RHP Jesse Crain, who has been on the disabled list since July 3 with a right shoulder strain, played catch on Thursday and said afterward, “It definitely wasn’t better today.” Crain, who has a 0.74 ERA in 38 appearances this season, said he will take four or five days off before throwing again next week. . Although he’s not ready to commit to it long-term, Royals manager Ned Yost said he will keep first baseman Eric Hosmer batting second for now. “Traditionally, a situational guy hits second,” Yost said. The slugging Hosmer was hitting .321 with a .519 slugging percentage in July before Friday. . White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham was back in the lineup on Friday after missing five games with a strained left wrist, the same wrist he had surgery on earlier this season. “There’s some soreness but no pain, so it’s go time,” he said. . Royals RHP Wade Davis (4-9) faces LHP Chris Sale (6-9) Saturday night in the second game of the series.