Early, win: White Sox rough up Royals for second straight night

SHARE Early, win: White Sox rough up Royals for second straight night

Todd Frazier had a couple of opportunities to extend Sox rallies Friday, bot no dice. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

The White Sox took early infield practice for a second consecutive day, hitting the field around 4 p.m. for a spring-training-type workout.

“I think it’s good for us,’’ Todd Frazier said. “It’s basically 25-30 ground balls [for each infielder], and it gets everyone into it. It gets everybody involved. We get a little chatter going, like spring training. Twenty-five ground balls a day is not going to kill you.’’

It’s not wiping out the Sox, who, while ranking second in the majors in defensive efficiency ratio, enjoyed their second straight offensive outburst in a 10-5 win Tuesday over the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was the first time the Sox scored in double digits in consecutive games since May 26-27, 2012, against the Indians, a breakout no one saw coming.

The Sox clobbered left-hander Danny Duffy, who entered with a 2-0 record and 1.32 ERA, for six runs and nine hits over 4‰ innings.

The victory improved their record to 10-9 and dropped the Royals, who lost their sixth in a row, to 7-13.

Frazier, finding a rhythm at the plate after dealing with finger, oblique and flu issues for a good portion of April, contributed a sacrifice fly, two RBI doubles and a walk as manager Rick Renteria’s designated hitter. Jose Abreu, also finding a groove after a horrendous road trip, had the fourth multihit game in his last six.

Center fielder Leury Garcia singled twice and doubled his first three times up for his second straight three-hit night, driving in two runs and hiking his average to .318. Catcher Omar Narvaez started a two-run rally in the fourth with a double on the 10th pitch of an at-bat against Duffy and later singled in two runs, and Avisail Garcia went 3-for-5 with an RBI double, hiking his average to .380 after going through a 2-for-14 lull in his torrid April.

“Putting up 10 runs the last games, phenomenal,’’ Frazier said. “We’ve got to put the pressure on them and watch the stats go up. It has been fun to watch.’’

Starter Dylan Covey got through four innings with 86 pitches, leaving with a 4-2 lead and putting left-hander Dan Jennings (2-0) in position to earn a victory. Anthony Swarzak (0.00 ERA), while seeing his streak of 18 consecutive batters retired end, struck out three of the five he faced. The only damage done against the Sox’ hot bullpen came on two meaningless homers against Chris Beck, called up from Class AAA Charlotte earlier in the day, in the ninth.

The customary pregame routine for most teams is to take ground balls during batting practice while a coach simultaneously hits fungoes between pitches. Doing it the Sox’ way this week required players to be on the field earlier than normal, but, so far, everyone is cool with it, Frazier said.

“We’re too young to not be,’’ Frazier said. “If you’re going to complain about that, my locker is right down the street. Come talk to me.’’

Frazier likes it because it keeps everyone on the same page.

“Some days it will be mandatory; some days it won’t,’’ he said. “It keeps morale up a little bit — maybe it’s something we got going on; you saw how we hit.’’

Renteria said the coaches polled the players, and it went over well.

“The guys actually liked . . . doing the ground-ball drills and some of the other work before hitting, and they kind of seemed to gravitate toward it a little bit,’’ Renteria said. “Their response was very positive. So we figured we’ll do it again and see if they want to continue to do it.

“They’re the ones preparing . . . and anything we can give them to make it easier and more comfortable, we’re going to do. If they want to switch it up as we move forward, we can.’’

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com


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