CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Rodon struck out a season-high nine over six innings, Adam Eaton doubled twice and scored two runs and the Chicago White Sox beat Kansas City, 7-2, on Friday night to prevent the Royals from gaining ground in the playoff race.
Rodon (7-8) fanned Paulo Orlando with the bases loaded on his 116th pitch to end the sixth inning and move to 5-0 in his last seven starts.
Kendrys Morales had a two-run single in the first inning for Kansas City, which has dropped six of nine and remained four games behind the second wild-card after Detroit beat Baltimore.
Eaton doubled to lead off the first and fifth innings off Yordano Ventura (10-10) and scored each time on Melky Cabrera RBIs. Tyler Saladino had three hits and drove in two runs in Chicago’s third straight win over a playoff contender.
The 23-year-old Rodon struggled early this season and went on the disabled list after he sprained his left wrist slipping on the dugout steps. But the lefty has been sharp since returning.
In his career-high 24th start, Rodon allowed two runs – one earned – and six hits while lowering his ERA to 1.85 ERA in his past seven outings, all quality starts.
Jose Abreu and Justin Morneau added RBI singles as Chicago had 13 hits.
Ventura allowed five runs – four earned – and 10 hits over seven innings in taking his first loss in seven starts.
Dan Jennings got five outs and Tommy Kahnle worked the ninth for the White Sox, who have won five of seven despite slim playoff hopes.
White Sox: Struggling RHP James Shields was cleared to start Saturday after complaining of a sore back in his last outing. Shields hasn’t missed a start since 2007. “I just want to post every five days and throw 200 innings,” Shields said. “I’m obviously not going to get (200 innings) this year for the first time in nine seasons, which is disappointing.”
Abreu went 2 for 4 to improve to 22 for 50 (.440) with 16 RBIs in his past 11 games. Saladino is 6 for 8 in the past two games.
Shields (5-17, 6.07 ERA) will face Royals RHP Edinson Volquez (10-10, 5.02) on Saturday night.
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