James Shields threw seven shutout innings and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox, 5-1, in the opener of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Shields (5-7), who bounced back from a loss against Detroit on Sunday, allowed eight hits and a pair of walks.
David Lough had a home run and two RBI. Miguel Tejada, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas drove in a run for the Royals, who have won four straight and six of their last eight since the All-Star break. They are also just two games shy of .500 at 49-51.
"We wanted to come in and make a statement ... The confidence is off the roof right now," said Lough.
Chicago starter Jose Quintana (5-3) had a solid outing, surrendering two runs on six hits and a walk over seven frames, but the lack of run support tagged him his first loss since May 27 against the Cubs.
Conor Gillaspie's homer in the eighth was the lone score for the White Sox, who have lost four of their last five games.
"Offensively, guys were swinging it, hitting it hard, a lot of chances," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "That's just the way it goes. Unfortunately, that's the way it was and late, it just kind of unravels."
Lough's leadoff homer in the third put the Royals on the board.
Neither team had much success afterwards until the seventh. Salvador Perez doubled to lead off and advanced to third on a ground out by Cain. After Moustakas walked, Tejada hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Perez.
Kansas City had a shutout until Kelvin Herrera gave up a two-out home run to Gillaspie in the eighth. He hammered a 3-2 fastball to right, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
However, the Royals pulled away in the ninth. With Matt Lindstrom pitching for Chicago, Billy Butler walked with one out. Pinch-runner Jarred Dyson then stole second and advanced to third on a single by Perez. Cain then delivered an RBI single to center. Moustakas followed with a base hit to right, scoring Perez.
David Purcey took over on the mound and Lough hit a sac fly to left but Casper Wells couldn't keep the ball in his glove, allowing Lough to get on base.
The Royals are 22-19 in intra-division play but are 22-26 against the rest of the American League ... Lough is on a six-game hitting streak ... The White Sox have committed 71 errors in 100 games this season, surpassing last year's total of 70.