CHICAGO (AP) — Rookie right-hander Lucas Giolito pitched seven strong innings and Avisail Garcia drove in three runs with his 18th homer and a double to lead the Chicago White Sox past the fading Kansas City Royals, 8-1, on Sunday.
Kevan Smith had a solo homer and a single for two RBIs as Chicago took two of three from the Royals and dropped them 5½ games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card. Kansas City has seven games left.
Lorenzo Cain’s homer in the fourth was the only run off Giolito (3-3).
One of the top prospects for the rebuilding White Sox, the 23-year-old Giolito allowed five hits while striking out five and walking none in his 11th career start. He has given up just four runs over 20 innings in his last three outings.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy (4-13) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings as he lost his seventh straight decision. The right-hander hasn’t won since July 26 at Detroit.
Chicago’s Tim Anderson singled twice to extend his career-high hitting streak to 15 games.
Garcia hit a two-run shot to right-center in the first to give Chicago a 2-0 lead.
Cain led off the fourth a drive into the bullpen in left to cut it to 2-1, but Smith lofted a solo shot in the bottom half.
Yolmer Sanchez doubled home Adam Engel in the fifth to make it 4-1. Smith singled in Anderson from second in the sixth.
The White Sox broke it open with three runs in the seventh. Garcia’s double to the corner in right drove in the first one. Mike Moustakas’ error at third base allowed two more to score.
FIVE AND COUNTING
Kennedy rejoined the team Saturday after being away for the birth of his fifth child, Isaac — the first boy for Kennedy and his wife, Allison.
White Sox: 1B/DH Jose Abreu didn’t start due to sore a left shin and is day to day. The slugger was the DH on Saturday when he drove in two runs to reach the 100-RBI mark for the fourth straight season. Abreu is just the third major leaguer to begin his career with four straight seasons of at least 25 homers and 100 RBIs, joining Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols.
Royals: Rookie RHP Jakob Junis (8-2, 4.05 ERA) faces Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (12-5, 3.81) in New York for an afternoon game that’s a makeup of a May 25 rainout. The Royals return to Kansas City to open a three-game series with Detroit on Tuesday.
White Sox: RHP James Shields (4-7, 5.40) starts Monday night against Angels righty Ricky Nolasco (6-14, 5.06) to begin a four-game series.
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