Eloy Jiménez logged his first big hit of the season, launching a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning that sent the Chicago White Sox over the Kansas City Royals 5-3 Tuesday night.
The 24-year-old slugger, who was the 2019 AL Rookie of the Year and then kept up his power surge during the pandemic-shortened season, tore a pectoral muscle in spring training. He hadn’t played in the majors until going 0 for 4 Monday night.
But Jiménez quickly made up for lost time in his second match. After hitting a single in his first at-bat, he came up in the eighth after a two-out intentional walk to Jose Abreu with Chicago trailing 3-2.
Jiménez connected for a 459-foot drive to left-center off Kyle Zimmer (4-1) to cap a four-run rally.
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The White Sox increased their AL Central lead to 9 1/2 games. They’ve been winning all season despite a lack of power — they started the game next-to-last in the AL with 106 homers, three more than the Royals.
Yoán Moncada had an RBI grounder in the eighth that got Chicago within 3-2.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Kansas City.
Reynaldo Lopez (1-0) picked up the win in relief. Liam Hendriks earned his 25th save.
The Royals wasted a stellar effort by Brad Keller, who permitted one run on four hits over seven innings. He pitched on his birthday for the first time in his professional career as he turned 26.
It was his fourth consecutive quality start after throwing only three in his first 17 starts.
Chicago starter Dylan Cease also had a quality start, giving up two earned runs and six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six.
White Sox right fielder Andrew Vaughn dropped a line drive, helping the Royals score twice in the second.
Gavin Sheets hit solo homer in the fourth, giving the White Sox rookie six home runs in 63 major league at-bats.
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