CHICAGO (AP) - Yordano Ventura and Chicago's sputtering lineup made for a long afternoon for the White Sox.
Jose Abreu homered, but the White Sox managed just five hits in a 3-1 loss to Ventura and the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Chicago has lost seven of nine and 14 of 18. It had two runs, 10 hits and 25 strikeouts in the last two games of the weekend series.
"Some guys have to pick it up," manager Robin Ventura said. "The DH spot's going to rotate somewhat of who you've got in there and who needs a day. But these are the guys we've got and we've got to figure out something."
Yordano Ventura (5-4) struck out a season-high 10 over seven sharp innings in his first win since May 17 against Boston, making the most of Kansas City's run-scoring singles in the first and second. Salvador Perez added a leadoff homer down the left-field line in the ninth.
The 25-year-old Ventura went 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in his previous four starts.
"He's flat-out nasty," White Sox catcher Alex Avila said. "He's got great stuff and when he's able to command his curveball to go along with his fastball and changeup, he's very tough."
It was Ventura's first outing since he was suspended for nine games by Major League Baseball after he hit Baltimore's Manny Machado in the back with a 99 mph fastball in the fifth inning of a 9-1 loss Tuesday, leading to a bench-clearing fight. But the right-hander appealed the punishment and is allowed to pitch until the process is complete.
"For me, I mean, he was totally judged guilty without even a trial, without hearing any of the evidence," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "To me, that wasn't right, but it is what it is."
Chicago put runners on first and third with no outs in the fifth, but J.B. Shuck struck out looking and Yordano Ventura got rookie Tim Anderson to bounce into a double play — one of three on the day for Chicago. After Abreu connected for his eighth homer in the sixth, Ventura struck out Melky Cabrera and Todd Frazier to end the inning.
Kelvin Herrera worked the eighth and Wade Davis finished for his 17th save in 18 chances, helping Yost improve to 500-499 in seven years with Kansas City.
The White Sox dropped to 2-7 against the Royals this season.
"There's no worry," left-hander Carlos Rodon said. "We know we're good enough. We're just going through a rough patch."
Rodon (2-6) shook off a slow start and pitched six effective innings after he was pushed back a couple of days due to a sore neck. He allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked two.
"He threw well," Robin Ventura said. "He got into some binds there and I think he limited his chances. There could have been some big innings there and he bucked up and got out of it."
Kendrys Morales' two-out RBI single got Kansas City on the board in the first, and Whit Merrifield added another run-scoring single in the second.
White Sox right-hander James Shields chatted with Yost when he visited the Royals before the game.
Shields won 27 games over two seasons in Kansas City, helping the Royals reach the 2014 World Series. He signed with San Diego in February 2015 and was traded to the White Sox on June 4.
"He left a big impact here. It's good to see him," Yost said. "I'm glad he's back in the American League."
Shields lasted just two-plus innings in an 11-4 loss to Washington in his White Sox debut on Wednesday. He pitches again on Monday against Detroit.
Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.25 ERA) gets the ball when Kansas City begins a seven-game homestand Monday night against Cleveland. RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-1, 3.48) pitches for the Indians in the opener of a three-game series.
White Sox: Shields (2-8, 5.06 ERA) is 7-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 18 career starts against Detroit. LHP Matt Boyd (0-1, 3.38) goes for the Tigers.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap