White Sox turn triple play, but Royals defeat Chicago 9-2

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Even hitting into a triple play did not slow down the World Series champion Kansas City Royals.

The White Sox turned Tony Cruz's fifth-inning liner into three outs, and Drew Butera hit an inside-the-park home run that capped the Royals' seven-run seventh inning Thursday in a 9-2 win over a Chicago White Sox split squad.

With men on first and second against Scott Carroll in the fifth, the runners went on the pitch and Cruz lined out to Jason Coats. The non-roster left fielder threw to shortstop Jimmy Rollins to double up Reymond Fuentes at second, and Rollins threw to first baseman Mike Olt before Dusty Coleman could get back to the base.

Matt Davidson and Brett Lawrie homered for Chicago.

Ian Kennedy gave up two hits in three innings, including Davidson's homer. White Sox starter Carson Fulmer allowed one run and two hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Danny Duffy, another Royals starter, pitched three innings in relief of Kennedy and picked up the victory. Butera, Jorge Bonifacio and Orlando Calixte drove in two runs each during the Royals' seven-run seventh, in which Chicago made two errors.

STARTERS

Royals: Kennedy has made at least 30 starts in each of the last six seasons, a reason the 31-year-old right-hander was given a $70 million, five-year contract by Kansas City. Kennedy was 9-15 with a 4.28 for San Diego last season.

On Saturday, he gave up one run and four hits in two innings with three strikeouts.

''A little bit longer than last time, where you can make adjustments as you go,'' Kennedy said. ''There was one pitch, I think it was a curveball to Olt. Something clicked mechanically, and it felt a lot better.''

White Sox: Fulmer allowed three runs and five hits over two innings in his previous outing. He threw 52 pitches Thursday.

''Going into this game, I kept the same approach, same pitch sequences for the most part, and made better quality pitches this outing,'' said Fulmer, a first-round pick in the amateur draft out of Vanderbilt. ''Very happy with this outing, and hopefully I'll get more starts.''

GRAY AREA

The Sox played Oakland on Wednesday and Fulmer sought out fellow Commodores pitcher Sonny Gray.

''He's helped me so much. I worked with him a lot at Vandy,'' Fulmer said of Gray, who will face the White Sox in the April 4 opener. ''I kind of modeled my pitching after him a little bit, we kind of have the same mechanics and attributes when we pitch. But he's helped me so much with my mentality, about being able to lock in. I'm really glad to be around him.''

NEXT

Royals: Chris Young is to pitch against Arizona in Surprise.

White Sox: Carlos Rodon is slated to face San Diego in Peoria.

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