CHICAGO - Maikel García hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning after Kansas City wasted a nine-run lead, and the Royals hung on to beat the Chicago White Sox 11-10 on Tuesday night for a doubleheader split.
Chicago took the opener 6-2 as Dylan Cease won consecutive decisions for just the third time and the White Sox ended a strange run of losses when their pitchers struck out 14 or more — Chicago had been 0-11 this year.
Kansas City, a major league-worst 45-101, has lost at least 100 games for the third time in six seasons and with 16 games left could break the team record of 106, set in 2005. The Royals had not lost when leading by nine runs since a 15-13 defeat to Cleveland on Aug. 23, 2006, when Kansas City led 10-1 after the first inning.
"Give our guys credit. When they tied it up there, that’s a really demoralizing inning," Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said. "For them to bounce back and score again … that’s a lot for them to do."
Logan Porter capped a four-run first inning in the second game with an RBI single, Michael Massey hit a three-run homer in a four-run second and Salvador Perez hit his second RBI single of the game in the third as the Royals built a 9-0 lead.
Eloy Jiménez started Chicago’s comeback with a fifth-inning homer against Jordan Lyles, and Gavin Sheets hit a three-run double off Taylor Clarke (3-5) in an eight-run sixth, then tied the score 9-9 when he scored on Lenyn Sosa’s sacrifice fly.
"It was a really good inning for us," Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. "But those are the games we’ve got to close out."
García put the Royals back in front 10-9 with his single off Deivi García (0-1), who made his White Sox debut after he was claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees. Bobby Witt Jr. added a sacrifice fly in the ninth against Michael Kopech.
"We knew that we needed to get to their bullpen and were successful at doing that," García said through a translator after ending an 0-for-20 skid.
Luis Robert hit into a run-scoring forceout in the ninth against Carlos Hernández, who got his fourth save in nine chances when Jiménez hit into a game-ending forceout.
White Sox starter Touki Toussaint gave up eight runs, matching a career high, and six hits while throwing 46 pitches and getting just three outs. Lyles, whose 16 losses top the major leagues, allowed seven runs and seven hits in five innings.
Cease (7-7) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and one walk. Bryan Shaw struck out three over 1 2/3 innings, Lane Ramsey one and Gregory Santos two in a perfect ninth for his fifth save in nine chances.
"Today was solid," Cease said. "I thought I commanded the ball well and mixed it up good and the defense and offense played well."
Cease’s only other consecutive winning decisions this year were April 5 and 10, and May 23 and July 16 — with eight no-decisions in between.
Chicago took a 5-0 lead in the first against Brady Singer (8-11), who dropped to 0-3 in his last four starts. Jiménez and Yoán Moncada hit RBI singles, Sheets had a two-run single and Elvis Andrus grounded into a run-scoring forceout.
"I just struggled there in the first," Singer said. "Command was pretty bad. Quite a bit of damage there."
Witt was 3 for 3, his 15th game this year of three or more hits for the Royals. Edward Olivares had an RBI double in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth.
Andrus added an RBI single.
Logan Porter, a 28-year-old catcher, made his major league debut for the Royals and went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. The ball from his first hit was secured by first base coach Damon Hollins and will probably end up in his man cave, he said.
"I thought the nerves were going to be a little bit higher," Porter said after a dousing from his teammates and a visit with a dozen friends and family. "I was very comfortable and very confident, which was awesome."
Porter was a teen clubhouse attendant at the Royals’ spring training facility Phoenix and worked as a bullpen catcher in the organization before getting the call from Triple-A Omaha on Monday. His wife and parents were among the crew that made the trip to Chicago.
Royals: LHP Austin Cox has a torn left ACL and a damaged MCL, and will need surgery. ... C Freddy Fermin had season-ending surgery Tuesday on his left middle finger.
White Sox: Robert appeared to foul a ball off his left knee in the fourth of the second game but continued the at-bat after a visit from an athletic trainer. … Jiménez will be used only as a designated hitter in the final days of the season, manager Pedro Grifol said. Sheets, Trayce Thompson and Zach Remillard will get opportunities to start in right field.
Royals rookie Steven Cruz (0-0, 7.20 ERA) makes his first career start against fellow RHP Mike Clevinger (7-7, 3.64) in Wednesday night’s series finale.