White Sox blow early lead, fall to Royals 7-5 for worst start in 7 years



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KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer to put the Chicago White Sox ahead early. They could not hold it.

The White Sox could not score off the Kansas City bullpen and Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in the eighth to lift the Royals to a 7-5 victory. Chicago is 0-2 for the first time since 2008.

"Things are not really going our way yet," Flowers said. "We did a good job of stringing together some hits. They just did a better job than we did with timely hitting. We just have to play a more complete game.

"You definitely don't want to start that way, but a lot of good things happened for us. A lot of good things happened, even though some bad things happened, too. They just capitalized on the last one and we didn't."

Cain, who was by a pitch Monday and then again in the first inning Wednesday, homered off Zach Putnam (0-1), the fourth White Sox pitcher, after Alcides Escobar led off the inning with a single for his third hit.

The game was tied at 5 after six innings.

"It was a great game, going back and forth, guys battling," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We scrambled back into it, but we've got to withstand it all. Our guys battled. We got out of some tough spots. We kept tying it up but couldn't get that one to get out in front of them."

Wade Davis (1-0) struck out two in a scoreless eighth. Greg Holland, who had 46 saves last year, worked the ninth for his first save. Royals relievers Jason Frasor, Kelvin Herrera, Davis and Holland combined for four scoreless innings, striking out five, after Danny Duffy exited.

"You can only hit a guy so many times before trouble develops," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I can't judge intent on either side, but guys can only stand for a guy getting hitting so much. Two times in two nights is getting to be little too much for Lorenzo."

Eric Hosmer hit a three-run homer in the third for the Royals. Hosmer homered after Mike Moustakas was hit by a pitch and Cain singled.

Flowers homered with two outs in the second with Adam LaRoche and Gordon Beckham aboard to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead.

White Sox starter Jose Quintana yielded five runs on nine hits, a walk and two hit batters. Duffy went five-plus innings, permitting five runs on eight hits.

"They have a pretty good lineup," Quintana said. "They had a lot of contact. It was one pitch, Hosmer's home run, it changed my game."

The White Sox have lost 13 of their past 16 games to the Royals and have been outscored 86-43.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: LHP Chris Sale, who broke his right foot in spring training, said he is set to start Sunday against the Twins. "I was hurt. I'm not hurt anymore," Sale said. "I think it's time to take blinders off and run the race." ... White Sox RHP Jake Petricka, on the disabled list with an upper back strain, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and could come off the disabled list next week.

Royals: LF Alex Gordon, who had right wrist surgery in December, will likely be rested Thursday. Manager Ned Yost said Gordon experienced wrist soreness in spring training when he played a day game after a night game and "we sat him three days" after that. Yost said rookie OF Paulo Orlando would start in left.

SPEEDY PEREZ

Perez swiped second base on a delayed steal in the fifth inning. It was his second career stolen base. The other was April 4, 2014, also against the White Sox.

BECKHAM'S MILESTONE

Beckham's fourth inning single brought his total bases to 1,000 on 654 hits.

UP NEXT

White Sox: LHP John Danks is 7-0 with a 2.43 ERA in 16 career starts against the Royals. He is 4-0 with a 1.73 ERA in 10 career outings at Kauffman Stadium.

Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez makes his KC debut after signing as a free agent on Dec. 29.

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