KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lucas Giolito worked into the eighth inning and had a career-high 11 strikeouts to win his seventh consecutive start, outdueling Brad Keller as the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 2-0 on Saturday.
Giolito (9-1) allowed three hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.28. He has allowed no more than one run in six of his seven straight wins. Giolito went 10-13 with a 6.13 ERA in 2018, his first full season.
Rookie Eloy Jiménez hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Keller (3-8), who otherwise was nearly as good as Giolito. Jiménez’s blast snapped a 42-inning homerless streak for Keller, who worked eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Keller walked one and struck out four.
Alex Colome pitched the ninth for his 13th save in as many chances.
Giolito recorded eight consecutive outs via strikeout from the start of the second inning until he retired Nicky Lopez on a foul pop to end the fourth. Then he struck out the side again in a perfect fifth.
The Royals reached double figures in strikeouts for the 10th time in their last 15 games. They have 149 Ks over that span. Ryan O’Hearn fanned in his first two at-bats, extending his streak of games with multiple strikeouts to five.
Royals manager Ned Yost was ejected for arguing a strike call to Alex Gordon in the sixth inning.
LHP Danny Duffy, who was hit by a line drive in Thursday’s start against Boston, is on track to make his next start against Detroit. “He’s feeling better. He’ll get an extra day because of the off day on Monday, but we’ll make the determination when we get closer,” manager Ned Yost said.
The White Sox will send RHP Reynaldo Lopez (3-6, 6.62 ERA) to the mound in Sunday’s series finale. RHP Glenn Sparkman (1-1, 3.77), who was ejected in the second inning on May 29 against Chicago when he hit shortstop Tim Anderson in the head with a change-up, starts for Kansas City. The Royals will try to win the rubber game of a series for the first time since May 30, 2018 — an 0-13 skid in that situation.