KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dylan Covey made two costly mistakes on Monday night and it was more than the White Sox could make up.
The Rule 5 pitcher allowed two home runs and his offense couldn’t break through as the Kansas City Royals snapped a nine-game losing streak by downing the White Sox 6-1 in front of 20,148 at Kauffman Stadium. Jacob May — who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after the game — singled in a run for the White Sox, who fell to 2-2 on the trip with a second straight loss. Covey allowed six earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.
“I feel like I’m getting better every day,” Covey said. “Obviously it’s frustrating that the results aren’t there. But I feel like I got better from my last start today. Threw some quality pitches to get out of some jams. Just obviously a couple of home runs. Felt good with my stuff overall, the results just weren’t there.”
The majority of Kansas City’s offense had been out of commission for the team’s first 23 games. The Royals entered with 63 runs scored, 24 fewer than the second-worst team in baseball (San Francisco) and with 107 less than the MLB-leading Washington Nationals. The White Sox had 98 runs entering Monday.
But Jorge Bonifacio awakened KC’s offense with a two-run bolt in the fourth inning that put his team ahead for good. Covey hung a 78-mph curveball and Bonifacio deposited it 432 feet away to give the Royals a 2-1 edge.
An inning later, Covey ran into bad luck after he loaded the bases on singles by Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas and a walk to Lorenzo Cain. Covey struck out Eric Hosmer and looked as if he might escape the jam when Salvador Perez’s hard grounder bounced off third base and over the head of Matt Davidson for a two-run double.
“Threw a good pitch to Sal Perez and it kicked off the bag and that’s, I don’t know what you want to call that, but I got the result I wanted,” Covey said.
Off to his worst start in years, Hosmer ended another rough night with a two-run homer off Covey in the seventh inning. Not only did Hosmer, who entered hitting .225 with one homer, strike out, he also grounded into a double play in the first inning after a nice diving stop by Davidson.
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Covey allowed nine hits and six earned runs in a career-high 6 2/3 innings.
“I thought he was keeping us in the ballgame,” manager Rick Renteria said. “The one ball with two outs it ended up hitting the bag. It gave them a couple of more runs in that particular inning. Hosmer got him but he kept pitching. He kept working. I thought he was a little better tonight. Obviously he was attacking the strike zone, kept himself in a much better position to continue in the game.”
The Avisail Garcia-less White Sox used a patient approach against Jason Vargas that ran up his pitch count and resulted in his exit after six innings. But the White Sox didn’t manage to do enough damage to the left-hander. They stranded a pair of runners in the second, third and fourth innings against Vargas, who allowed five hits and walked three.
Had it not been for May’s two-out RBI single in the fourth, the White Sox would have gone scoreless for the first time since they were shutout in consecutive games on April 21-22. The team had scored 49 runs in its previous seven games, including 46 during a six-game winning streak that ended on Sunday.