KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kendrys Morales started the season scuffling to get his average above .200. He’s finishing up a lot better.
Morales homered for his 1,000th career hit and drove in four runs, Danny Duffy pitched effectively into the eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 10-3 Sunday.
“First and foremost, I didn’t even know I had 999 hits,” Morales said with catching coach Pedro Grifol as his translator.
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.
“Obviously, I didn’t have a good start, but the season is a very long season,” Morales said. “I was able to get back on track and finish strong.”
Duffy (12-2) picked up his first victory since Aug. 21. He struck out eight and gave up three runs.
“Again, it sounds boring, but it’s a simple mindset,” Duffy said. “I trust my fastball and everything else plays off of it. That’s probably why I don’t try to nibble with it.”
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 a 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.
Todd Frazier hit his 37th homer, a White Sox record for a third baseman.
Jose Quintana (12-11) was removed after four innings. He faced 24 batters, giving up 10 hits and three walks.
“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. We didn’t do much offensively against Duffy. He was throwing it pretty good. But, you know, just a rare one for Q.”
Quintana’s career record against the Royals dropped to 1-9.
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 was 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. “He’s getting better,” Ventura said. “There’s nothing mechanically wrong in there. He’s just sore and you just have to treat it.” … 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.