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White Sox’ 12 runs more than plenty for excellent Gonzalez

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 24: Miguel Gonzalez #58 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning on April 24, 2017 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

The White Sox’ pitcher of the month? It has to be right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who pitched eight innings of one-run ball Monday in the Sox’ 12-1 rout of the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The run was unearned, and Gonzalez allowed two hits — one on an excuse-me check swing by Alex Gordon. He struck out five, walked one, retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced and improved to 3-0 while lowering his ERA to 2.00.

Of the six hits allowed by the 32-year-old Gonzalez in his last two starts, five were of the infield variety. He had been good before April, as well. In his last 17 starts dating to July 1 of last season, he owns a 2.53 ERA.

Gonzalez was pleased with his sinker and cutter. A new wrinkle in his plan against the Royals was to work his cutter away to lefties.

“I wasn’t doing it that much the last couple of outings, and it played well tonight,’’ he said.

Hey, it’s Matt Davidson

Designated hitter Matt Davidson, whose sporadic playing time has been a hot topic for manager Rick Renteria, started after four games off against tough right-handers and belted his fourth homer against left-hander Jason Vargas in the second.

Davidson doubled in a run against righty Peter Moylan and singled off the left-field fence against lefty Travis Wood to drive in two more runs in the Sox’ eight-run sixth.

“When you see those barrels and those line drives, that’s what you want to see,’’ Davidson said.

Davidson jacked his RBI total to 14, tying Avisail Garcia for the team lead. His three hits were a career high, and his four RBI matched a career high.

Renteria has slotted Davidson in matchups to help him succeed early on. Vargas was 3-0 with an ERA of 0.44 going in, so that was no piece of cake, left-handed or not.

“He doesn’t have to do more than he’s doing now,’’ Renteria said. “He’s a part of us, and fortunately for us, every time he gets in there, he does something pretty impactful.’’

Breakout

Ranking 14th in the American League in almost all of the significant offensive categories, the Sox (9-9) erupted for a season-high run output. The eight runs in the sixth were the most by the Sox in an inning since they scored nine against the Rangers on July 3, 2012.

Tim Anderson and Leury Garcia matched career highs with three hits apiece.

Putnam day-to-day

Zach Putnam (right elbow) is taking it a day at a time, hoping to avoid a disabled-list stint.

“I really am the definition of day-to-day at this moment,’’ Putnam said.

Putnam, who left the game Saturday against the Indians, has had elbow problems in the past, but this “kind of came on out of nowhere,’’ he said, “but it’s a familiar feeling. I know what to look for, and I know my body better than anybody.’’

Early work

Renteria had all the position players out for early defensive work, with fielders taking “old-school” infield before batting practice. Renteria called it “maintenance” and might do it once or twice on all homestands.

<em>Matt Davidson circles the bases after hitting a home run Monday. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)</em>
Matt Davidson circles the bases after hitting a home run Monday. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

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