KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Zack Greinke worked out of trouble to hold Chicago scoreless into the seventh inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat Dylan Cease and the White Sox 5-3 on Thursday.
Greinke allowed nine hits but didn't walk a batter, striking out five while throwing 95 pitches in 6 1/3 innings.
Vinnie Pasquantino homered and Nicky Lopez had a two-run single for the Royals, who on back-to-back four-game series for the first time since Aug. 11-18, 2014. Kansas City took three of four from visiting Boston before doing the same to Chicago.
Cease (12-5) allowed three hits and one run — on Pasquatino's homer leading off the second — in six innings as his ERA dropped to 1.96. He has not given up more than one earned run in a game since May 24, a span of 14 starts.
Scott Barlow allowed Andrew Vaughn's homer in the ninth but closed it out for his 18th save in 21 chances.
Pasquantino hit a 3-2 slider into the Royals' bullpen in right field, the 10th homer Cease has allowed this season.
The White Sox loaded the bases with no outs on three straight singles in the third, but Grienke struck out Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu and induced Yasmani Grandal's inning-ending grounder.
Lopez put the Royals ahead 3-0 in the seventh with his single against Jose Ruiz, who came on after Joe Kelly allowed two baserunners.
Grandal hit a two-run homer in the eighth against Jose Cuas to get the White Sox within 4-2. Michael A. Taylor had an RBI single for the Royals in the bottom half.
Chicago OF A.J. Pollock was held out of the lineup again Thursday after fouling a ball off his foot Tuesday. Manager Tony La Russa said Pollock was available if necessary, but he would prefer to wait until Friday when the White Sox host Detroit. ... RHP Kelly left with lightheadedness.
White Sox: Open a weekend series against visiting Detroit on Friday, with RHP Michael Kopech (4-8, 1.98 ERA) facing Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (0-4, 6.90).
Royals: Welcome the major league-best Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series starting Friday. The Dodgers will start RHP Tony Gonsolin (13-1, 2.30), while the Royals will hand the ball to LHP Daniel Lynch (4-7, 4.79).
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