Chicago, IL – Wade Davis threw 7 1/3 shutout innings and the Kansas City Royals blanked the Chicago White Sox, 1-0, in the middle test of a three-game series, on Saturday.
Davis (5-9) allowed just four hits and three walks in his outing to pick up his first win since June 16 against the Rays. Coming into the game, he lost each of his previous four starts.
"That's as good as a ballgame as he's pitched all year long ... never really got into any jams," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "Stuff was tremendous, was banging strikes, got hanging action on his fastball. He did it extremely well."
Lorenzo Cain drove in the lone run of the game, a one-out double that scored Eric Hosmer in the top of the sixth. However, he exited the game in the bottom of the eighth with tightness in his left groin.
Kansas City is on a five-game winning streak and one game shy of .500.
Chicago starter Chris Sale (6-10) went nine innings, giving up the lone run on seven hits and a walk, but the lack of run support spoiled an otherwise impressive performance.
"It's not easy but he's learning a tough lesson," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He pitched great tonight, there's no question about it. You can't be perfect, but you can be pretty close."
The White Sox have lost five of their last six games.
The Royals had an opportunity to score early in the contest. With one out in the first, Hosmer hit an infield single and Billy Butler drew a walk. Salvador Perez flew out to right, but Hosmer advanced to third. However, Cain lined out to third to end the frame.
Chicago squandered a chance to score in the bottom of the sixth. Alejandro De Aza hit a leadoff single. Adam Dunn reached first with two outs on a throwing error by Royals catcher Perez and De Aza advanced to third, putting runners at the corners. However, Konerko lined out to center to end the inning.
In the eighth, Davis got Josh Phegley to fly out but allowed an infield single by De Aza. Louis Coleman came out in relief and got Alexei Ramirez to ground into a double play.
Royals closer Greg Holland came out in the ninth. He gave up a leadoff single to Alex Rios and then walked Dunn. Konerko grounded into a fielder's choice, forcing Dunn out at second but allowing Rios to go to third.
Jeff Keppinger hit a line drive to right but right fielder David Lough made a diving catch. Rios did not attempt to advance on the play. Holland struck out Conor Gillaspie to end the game and notch his 26th save.
The White Sox are 21 games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 25, 2007 ... Chicago is 17-20 when their starting pitcher works at least seven innings. White Sox starters own a 2.26 ERA in those outings ... De Aza went 2-for-4. He is hitting .403 over his last 15 games ... Butler went 2-for-3, collecting his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. He is also batting .450 over his last 10 games ... Chicago's Hector Santiago is scheduled to face the undefeated Bruce Chen (4-0, 1.97 ERA) in Sunday's series finale.