Another strong performance by Dylan Cease went to waste due to a lack of offense. The Chicago White Sox produced 14 hits but just three runs in a 5-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon. The South Siders lost the four-game series in Kansas City and fell 3.5 games behind the Cleveland Guardians in the AL Central.
Dylan Cease set another MLB record with his 14th consecutive start of allowing one earned run or less. The righty allowed three hits and two walks to go with eight strikeouts. His only blemish on the day was a second-inning solo homer he surrendered to Vinnie Pasquantino. Cease’s 2022 ERA sits at a paltry 1.96.
Royals' hurler Zack Greinke was just as good in his start, if not better. Thanks to the lackluster Sox offense, the righty recorded 19 outs allowing no runs, and no walks, while fanning five. All nine hits he allowed were singles.
The White Sox offense added another abysmal performance to a lifeless 2022 season. The visitors failed to score in the second after getting runners on first and second with no outs. In the third, they loaded the bases with no outs and failed to score. The Sox didn’t fare any better in the sixth when they put runners on first and third with no outs.
Joe Kelly came on in relief of Dylan Cease in the seventh. Kelly walked Hunter Dozier and surrendered single to Nick Pratto in a rocky start to his short outing. He induced a groundout off the bat of Michael A. Taylor before leaving the game due to lightheadedness.
Jose Ruiz came on in relief and quickly allowed a two-run single to Nicky Lopez. MJ Melendez plated Lopez with a single of his own. The Royals added their fifth and final run in the eighth when Taylor drove in Bobby Witt Jr. Witt, who had reached on a single and stole second.
Too Little Too Late
The White Sox mounted a partial rally in the eighth with a two-run homer from Yasmani Grandal.
Andrew Vaughn added a solo homer in the ninth for the final White Sox run.
The White Sox are 8-8 in the first 16 contests of their 19-game stretch against teams below .500.
AJ Pollock was out of the lineup again after fouling a ball off his foot Tuesday.
The Royals won back-to-back four-game series for the first time since Aug. 11-18, 2014. Kansas City took three of four at Boston before doing the same to the White Sox this time around.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Chicago White Sox open a three-game series at home against the Detroit Tigers on Friday. Michael Kopech will take the mound for the South Siders against Tigers' lefty Daniel Norris. NBC Sports Chicago will air the game at 6:10 PM CT.