Kimbrel, Bummer, Hendriks preserve White Sox victory

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals All-Star Salvador Perez came up to bat in the seventh inning, representing the tying run with two outs.

This time the White Sox had All-Star right-hander Craig Kimbrel waiting for him.

After hitting his 39th and 40th homers of the season against Reynaldo Lopez and Michael Kopech and driving in five runs, Perez was no match for Kimbrel, called on by manager Tony La Russa an inning or two earlier than usual. The timing was good with the Royals’ top of the order coming up.

“If somebody gets on base, Perez is up and Craig had to be the guy to face him,” La Russa said. “So, a lot of theater to that inning.”

Kimbrel, who struck out Sebastian Rivero and Royals leadoff man Whit Merrifield before Nicky Lopez reached first with a half-swing single to left field, got Perez to chase three breaking balls for swinging strikes. Aaron Bummer and Liam Hendriks followed with perfect eighth and ninth innings, respectively, and the Sox nailed down a 10-7 victory Saturday at Kauffman Stadium.

“We were going to make sure he wasn’t going to beat us,” catcher Yasmani Grandal said of Perez. “We used his aggressiveness to get him out and it was a huge out.”

After Kimbrel held the Royals in check, Andrew Vaughn knocked in a run with a single to give the 10-plus runs for the 15th time this season and fourth time in the last eight games.

Kimbrel was credited with the win and Hendriks notched his career-best 32nd save.

Luis Robert had the second four-hit game of his career, starting it with a 452-foot homer in the first inning and adding three singles, raising his average to .343 and scoring three runs.

Grandal was 3-for-3 including a homer in the first and four RBI. Grandal is 12-for-22 with five homers and 15 RBI since coming off the injured list.

Kopech gives up two homers

Michael Kopech recorded four outs and gave up four runs on four hits including homers to Perez and Santana. Kopech has allowed multiple runs in three of his last six relief outings, including four Saturday, five in one inning at Toronto Aug. 26 and two in one inning against the Athletics Aug. 19. His ERA climbed from 2.72 to 4.00.

Lopez goes four

Lopez pitched four innings, allowing three runs on three hits. Lopez, who pitched one inning of relief against the Pirates Wednesday, threw 65 pitches. Lopez’ string of 25 straight batters retired, going back to two previous outings.

No. 500 for Abreu

Jose Abreu’s RBI double off the center field wall in the fourth was his 500th career extra-base hit. Abreu singled and another double in the eighth inning.

Moncada sits, Gonzalez gets first start

Yoan Moncada, who has a sore wrist that can get aggravated when he swings right-handed, didn’t start against Royals lefty Daniel Lynch. Romy Gonzalez, who made his debut off the bench in a 7-2 loss Friday, started at third base and collected his first career RBI on a groundout.

Lambert in the mix

Triple-A Charlotte right-hander Jimmy Lambert is with the team and could factor in plans for a needed pitcher Tuesday in Oakland. A bullpen game is a possibility.

“Jimmy is very likely to be activated for that game,” La Russa said.

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