KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jose Quintana entered September in the AL Cy Young Award conversation with an 11-9 record and a 2.77 ERA.
A trio of lackluster starts has taken him out of it.
Quintana allowed six runs over four innings and the Chicago White Sox lost to the Kansas City Royals 10-3 on Sunday.
Quintana (12-11) faced 24 batters, gave up a season-high 10 hits and three walks. It was his shortest outing since April 19, 2015 at Detroit.
“It’s just a bad day.” Quintana said. “They hit me good, early, and that’s all. That changed the game for me.”
Aside from a dominant outing last time out against Cleveland, Quintana has been lousy this month. He’s 1-2 with a 6.85 ERA in four September starts after going 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA in his previous eight outings. Quintana’s career record against the Royals dropped to 1-9.
“It wasn’t the normal stuff, the stuff you expect from him,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “They hit him pretty hard, too. He just wasn’t locating the way he usually does. It was just an off day for him.”
Todd Frazier hit his 37th homer, a White Sox record for a third baseman.
“It would be real nice,” Frazier said about getting to 40. “Always got to round the numbers up. We talk about that all the time, trying to get a couple here, a couple there. And there are a lot of opportunities. The more the guys get on base, there’s more opportunity for me.”
Kendrys Morales homered for his 1,000th career hit and drove in four runs, and Royals starter Danny Duffy pitched effectively into the eighth inning.
Morales was hitting .191 on June 5, but in his past 20 games he is hitting .359 with a .705 slugging percentage, bringing his season total to .261 with 38 home runs and 85 RBIs.
Duffy (12-2) picked up his first victory since Aug. 21. He struck out eight and gave up three runs.
Morales homered in the sixth with Paulo Orlando aboard. Orlando reached base four times — two doubles, a walk and hit by pitch — and scored three runs.
Morales contributed an RBI single in the first and doubled home Eric Hosmer in the fourth.
Hosmer drove in three runs, giving him a career-best 95 RBIs. Whit Merrifield had three hits and two RBIs.
Alex Gordon ended an 0-for-21 drought with his 16th home run, which splashed into the upper right-field fountain.
The third inning included a 4-minute, 25-second review that included both managers making a challenge on the same play. Ned Yost of the Royals claimed shortstop Tim Anderson did not touch second base before throwing to first on Hosmer’s grounder. White Sox manager Robin Ventura challenged that Orlando violated the slide rule. After the review, the call on the field was overturned with Orlando ruled safe and the slide deemed legal.
“We felt like when you slide and you can’t reach the bag that’s enough for me to feel like it’s not a real slide or a bona fide slide,” Ventura said. “Again, that stuff is written in a way that it could go either way.”
White Sox: INF Tyler Saladino was out for the second straight game with a left calf issue. … DH Justin Morneau missed his sixth straight game with neck discomfort.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon, who is 5-1 with a 2.77 ERA in his past eight starts, will start the series finale.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura has allowed at least 11 baserunners in each of his past three starts with 12 walks and 23 hits.