Sparkman shuts down White Sox in Royals’ 11-0 win

Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JULY 16: Starting pitcher Glenn Sparkman (right) of the Kansas City Royals is doused with Gatorade by Jakob Junis (left) and Danny Duffy after pitching a complete-game shutout against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on July 16, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals won 11-0. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Glenn Sparkman pitched a five-hitter for his first career complete game, Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier both had three hits including a home run, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White sox 11-0 Tuesday night.

Sparkman (3-5) walked one and had a career-high eight strikeouts in the Royals’ first complete-game shutout since June 2, 2017, when Jason Vargas beat Cleveland 4-0.

Kansas City improved to 4-1 since the All-Star break and dropped the White Sox to 0-5.

Merrifield, hitting .379 (22 for 58) in a 14-game hitting streak, raced to an inside-the-park homer down the right-field line in the fourth inning after Cam Gallagher doubled. Plate umpire Tom Hallion initially called Merrifield out on the play at home, but it was overturned after a quick replay review. That made the score 6-0 and gave Merrifield the 100th inside-the-park homer in Royals history.

Dozier hit a two-run, 447-foot homer to left field in the eighth inning to cap a four-run inning and finish the scoring.

Chicago starter Dylan Cease (1-1) gave up six runs – four earned – and eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out seven.

The White Sox had a rocky first inning as the Royals scored twice. Merrifield led off with long fly that was caught by center fielder Charlie Tilson as he collided with left fielder Eloy Jimenez who went down in pain next to the wall. Jimenez was taken out with a sore right elbow.

Adalberto Mondesi followed with a single, and took second on Cease’s errant pickoff attempt. Mondesi then stole third and continued home when Yoan Moncada missed catcher James McCann’s throw. Alex Gordon followed with a single and scored on Hunter Dozier’s triple to right for a 2-0 lead.

A third White Sox error contributed to the Royals’ two-run third inning. After Mondesi singled, shortstop Leury Garcia fielded Gordon’s grounder, but threw wildly past second base, allowing Mondesi to score and Gordon to advance to third. Gordon was thrown out at the plate by second baseman Yolmer Sanchez but Bubba Starling’s single drove in Jorge Soler to push the lead to 4-0.

ROYALS CATCHING PLANS

Manager Ned Yost says plans to use both Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria in relatively equal parts after the trade that sent Martin Maldonado to the Cubs for pitcher Mike Montgomery. Gallagher, who started 25 games as Maldonado’s backup, was in the lineup against the White Sox on Tuesday night while Viloria just arrived from Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

“We’ll just kind of mix it up,” Yost said. “But I think on average, one will play four games one week and the other will play four games a week the next.”

Last year Viloria jumped from Class-A Wilmington to the majors on Sept. 1 and played 10 games, including seven starts as catcher.

“To be able to handle himself the way he did at the big league level behind the plate was pretty impressive,” Yost said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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