Andrew Vaughn’s two-run in second inning provided all the runs the Chicago White Sox needed in their 3-1 win over the visiting Kansas City Royals to split a double-header on Friday. The Royals won the opener 6-2.
The White Sox, whose six-game winning streak ended in the opener, still have the best record by winning percentage in the American League.
The Royals managed only four hits off four White Sox pitchers.
Codi Heuer (3-1) picked up the win with an inning of scoreless relief. Liam Hendriks earned his eighth save in 10 chances.
White Sox starter Michael Kopech was effective, but he didn’t last long enough to earn the win. He blended a high-90s fastball with a changeup that kept the Royals off-balance. He allowed one run on two hits in four innings, with two walks and five strikeouts.
Losing pitcher Jakob Junis (1-3) surrendered three runs (two earned) on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. He struck out one and didn’t walk a batter. All four of his hits went for extra bases.
Five Kansas City relievers allowed two hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings. They struck out eight.
The White Sox got to Junis in the second on Vaughn’s home run. He hit a 3-2 fastball 421 feet into the seats in left. The rookie’s second home run of the season scored Adam Eaton, who led off the second with a double off the top of the wall in right.
Zack Collins followed with a double to right center. When Billy Hamilton lined out to first base, Junis’ night was done.
Tyler Zuber relieved Junis and promptly walked Danny Mendick. Nick Madrigal then hit a drive to third baseman Hanser Alberto, who dropped it for an error that loaded the bases.
Zuber struck out Leury Garcia for the second out, but new reliever Jake Brentz walked Yoan Moncada to force in an unearned run.
Carlos Santana drew the Royals within 3-1 with a solo shot in the third. He turned around a 97-mph fastball from Kopech and sent it 407 feet to the bleachers in right center.
–Field Level Media