Holland's strong start helps White Sox trounce Royals 8-3

- Derek Holland scattered three hits while pitching into the seventh inning, Jose Abreu and Matt Davidson went deep off Ian Kennedy and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 8-3 Thursday to split their four-game series.

Holland (3-2) exited with two outs in the seventh after giving up two runs, only one of them earned. He also struck out seven with only one walk in his latest dominant start for Chicago.

The left-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in his first six outings this season.

Kennedy (0-3) surrendered five runs on six hits and a walk before leaving with a strained right hamstring with one out in the fifth. The Royals said that Kennedy will be evaluated Friday to determine the severity of the injury.

Kennedy struggled from the onset, giving up a one-out single to Melky Cabrera and a 427-foot homer to Abreu in the first. Davidson added his solo shot into the fountains in left in the second.

In the fourth, Kennedy was victimized by an error, hit a batter and committed a balk before giving up back-to-back hits. He also walked a batter as the White Sox pushed two more runs across.

That was more than enough for Holland, who retired the first 10 batters he faced.

Mixing his fastball and sinker, Holland kept the punchless Royals guessing most of the afternoon, silencing a Kauffman Stadium crowd filled with kids who had turned out for "School Day at the K." He only allowed two doubles before the seventh inning, when the Royals finally managed to coax two runs across.

The White Sox had already tacked on two of their own in the seventh off the Kansas City bullpen.

RECORD-SETTING WELT

Royals OF Alex Gordon was plunked by a pitch with one out in the seventh, the 79th time he's been hit by a pitch. That set a franchise record that Gordon had shared with Mike Macfarlane.

SCRATCH AND SNIFF

White Sox 3B Todd Frazier was a late scratch due to back stiffness, though the timing of the move -- right before first pitch -- had some on social media sniffing about trades. Frazier has been linked to the Red Sox, who are in desperate need of help at the position.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox RHP Nate Jones went on the 10-day DL with elbow inflammation and LHP David Holmberg's contract was purchased from Triple-A Charlotte before the game. GM Rick Hahn said he believes Jones will be able to pitch again in a couple weeks. To make roster space for Holmberg, the White Sox transferred LHP Carlos Rodon to the 60-day DL. He's been out with left biceps bursitis.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez starts the series opener at Baltimore on Friday night.

Royals: RHP Jason Hammel gets the nod to open a three-game set with Cleveland on Friday night.

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