CHICAGO - Rookie Kyle Isbel hit a two-run single in Kansas City’s three-run 10th inning, and the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Thursday.
Whit Merrifield scored the go-ahead run in the 10th when White Sox catcher Reese McGuire was charged with a passed ball with the bases loaded and two out. Then Isbel, who was promoted from Triple-A Omaha before the game, got his hit off left-hander Aaron Bummer (0-1).
"A big stress relief after the (passed ball)," Isbel said. "I was just happy to come through."
Chicago was held to three hits through the first seven innings, but tied it in the eighth off reliever Josh Staumont on singles by Yasmani Grandal and Jake Burger and a sacrifice fly by AJ Pollock.
That wiped out an exceptional performance by Royals starter Brad Keller, who induced 12 groundball outs and didn’t throw more than 15 pitches in any of his seven innings. Keller, who lowered his ERA to 2.19, has received three runs of support in his 24 2/3 innings.
"That was complete-game stuff," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "We give him a little bit more offense, and he’s finishing that game."
Andrew Benintendi hit an RBI double in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, and in the fifth, his sacrifice fly scored Cam Gallagher to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.
But the Royals missed opportunities in the sixth and eighth, and Benintendi’s feeble throw from left field enabled pinch-runner Josh Harrison to score the tying run.
Scott Barlow (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth, and Taylor Clarke earned his first save since April 20, 2019, which came against the Cubs at Wrigley Field as a member of the Diamondbacks.
The Royals have won two of their last three games, while the Sox have dropped nine of their last 10.
"It is cruel, I think," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "You have bases loaded, two outs, lefty against lefty, and you think ‘Wow, we get this out, and we can score a run and win.’ All of a sudden, there’s three on the board. This game will drive you nuts."
Chicago didn’t advance a runner past first base until Leury Garcia hit a home run with two out in the sixth for his first RBI of the season. Garcia had been 4 for 42 (.095) before going deep.
White Sox starter Michael Kopech pitched five innings for the third consecutive start but was pulled after throwing a career-high 94 pitches. Kopech walked two during a 31-pitch first and issued a season-high four walks.
"I just didn’t have my sharpest stuff," Kopech said. "I didn’t execute what I did have early on. I had to fight through what I had."
Sox rookie reliever Tanner Banks threw two scoreless innings; he hasn’t been scored upon in 12 innings.
Royals slugger Salvador Perez went 0 for 5 and is hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
Royals: Placed INF Adalberto Mondesi (left knee) on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 27. ... RHP Brady Singer was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. "The best thing is for him (Singer) to pitch," Matheny said. Singer, who made 27 starts in 2021, has a 6.35 ERA in 5 2/3 innings. ... Isbel and INF Emmanuel Rivera were called up from Omaha.
White Sox: INF Yoan Moncada (oblique strain) will report Friday to Triple-A Charlotte to start a minor-league rehab assignment. ... OF Luis Robert (groin strain) is expected to return Friday, La Russa said. Robert missed his sixth consecutive game. ... RHP Lance Lynn (right knee) has accelerated his throwing program and could return before the end of May, La Russa said.
Royals LHP Kris Bubic (0-1, 14.14) will face the Yankees in Friday’s series opener. Bubic allowed five runs in two-plus innings Saturday in a 13-7 loss to the Mariners.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (0-0, 1.13) will oppose the Angels on Friday night. Giolito allowed one run in four innings in a 6-4 loss to the Twins.