KANSAS CITY — Glenn Sparkman pitched the first shutout of his career as the host Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 11-0 Tuesday. He became the first Royals right-hander to throw a shutout since Johnny Cueto did it in his Kansas City home debut in 2015.
Sparkman (3-5) previously went seven innings twice this season before his career-longest start on Tuesday. His eight strikeouts were also a career high, and all five hits he allowed were singles. Sparkman walked one.
Whit Merrifield led the offense with his first career inside-the-park home run, the 100th in Royals history. He finished a triple short of a cycle.
The victory may be overshadowed by a left shoulder injury sustained by Adalberto Mondesi, who was hurt diving for a foul ball hit by Yolmer Sanchez. The Royals announced after the game that Mondesi would undergo an MRI exam on Wednesday to evaluate the extent of the injury.
The White Sox also lost a key player. Prized rookie Eloy Jimenez had to leave with right elbow soreness in the first inning when he collided with center fielder Charlie Tilson on a flyout. After the game, the team announced that Jimenez was headed back to Chicago for an MRI exam.
Dylan Cease (1-1) took the loss in his second major league start. He gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
The Royals jumped on Cease early.
Mondesi started a first-inning rally with a one-out single. A wild pickoff throw by Cease allowed Mondesi to advance to second. Mondesi promptly stole third and scored on a wild throw by catcher James McCann. Alex Gordon singled, and Hunter Dozier followed with an RBI triple off the wall in right center.
The Royals got two more in the third inning, thanks again to Chicago’s porous defense.
Mondesi led off the inning with a single. Gordon followed with a grounder to short, but a wild throw from Leury Garcia allowed Mondesi to score and Gordon to race to third. Another run scored in the inning on Bubba Starling’s RBI single.
In the fourth inning, the Royals’ Cam Gallagher stroked a one-out double to center. Merrifield then hit his inside-the-park home run down the right field line to give Kansas City a 6-0 lead.
The Royals got another run in the seventh and four more in the eighth, including two on a 447-foot home run by Dozier.
LATE HOMERS LIFT YANKEES OVER RAYS
Aaron Judge slugged a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Didi Gregorius hit a grand slam four batters later as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
The game featured a brief benches-clearing incident in the sixth inning.
Judge gave the Yankees their only lead of the night when he hammered a 3-2 fastball from left-hander reliever Colin Poche (2-3) into the right-center field seats. Judge’s 10th homer occurred one pitch after he hooked a ball inches foul down the right field line.
Gregorius subsequently hit his fourth career grand slam, sending a 1-2 fastball into the right field seats. It was the shortstop’s second hit in his past 27 at-bats.
The late homers occurred two innings after benches briefly emptied after New York left-hander CC Sabathia fanned Avisail Garcia with two on and two outs.
After the strikeout, Garcia and Sabathia began jawing at each other. Sabathia continued yelling as he walked off the mound, and Garcia inched closer to Sabathia, who was restrained by Gregorius. At that point, the benches cleared and relievers raced from the bullpens. After a few minutes, order was restored and nobody was ejected.
Yandy Diaz homered in the fourth inning and delivered an RBI double in the sixth for the Rays, who are 5-10 in the season series. Austin Meadows homered in the second inning for the Rays, who lost for the second time in their past eight games overall.
Edwin Encarnacion homered in the second inning and DJ LeMahieu went deep in the sixth for the Yankees, who are 19-6 in their past 25 games.
Tampa Bay’s Ryne Stanek allowed a run in two innings while being used as the opener for the 27th time.
Sabathia, who was ejected for yelling at former Tampa Bay catcher Jesus Sucre last September and also yelled at Meadows on May 17, allowed three runs on five hits in six innings. — Reuters