Dylan Cease extends record streak to 14 games, but White Sox lose series to Royals

Dylan Cease had his 14th straight start of one or no earned runs allowed Thursday.

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White Sox starter Dylan Cease pitched six innings of one-run ball Thursday.

White Sox starter Dylan Cease pitched six innings of one-run ball Thursday.

Colin E. Braley/AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dylan Cease had his 14th consecutive start with one or no earned runs allowed Thursday, extending his major-league record since the earned run became an official statistic in 1913.

Cease exited the White Sox’ 5-3 loss after six innings trailing 1-0. The Sox had numerous big chances against Kansas City starter Zack Greinke but failed to score.

To wit, here is how the Sox, who lost three of four games to the Royals and fell back to .500, failed to score with runners in scoring position:

u Runners on first and second with no outs in the second inning.

u Bases loaded, no outs in the third.

u First and third, no outs in the sixth.

The Sox also loaded the bases in the eighth inning with two outs after closing the deficit to 4-2 on Yasmani Grandal’s home run against Jose Cuas, but Luis Robert lined out to left field.

In the third, Andrew Vaughn singled to right with Seby Zavala on second and Robert on first, but Zavala didn’t read the blooper as it fell near the foul line and had to hold at third base. Greinke then struck out Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu on pitches out of the strike zone, and Grandal grounded out.

It was the third time this season the Sox had the bases loaded with no outs and didn’t score.

They out-hit the Royals 14-8, but 12 of the hits were singles, and they were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base.

Cease, meanwhile, lowered his ERA two decimal points to 1.96. He gave up three hits, including a homer to Vinnie Pasquantino in the second inning, and walked two. He struck out eight batters, seven of them in his last four innings. He threw 94 pitches.

“Definitely a tough loss,” said Cease, who tried his best to give the Sox a split against a team that is 19 games under .500.

“It’s not ideal, but we’re not hanging our heads,” Cease said. “We’ve battled all year, so we pretty much just have to keep battling and not get emotionally negative in any way. Just give it everything we’ve got.”

Kelly leaves with light-headedness

Right-hander Joe Kelly relieved Cease to start the seventh inning and walked off the field with training staff after facing three batters and throwing 16 pitches. He was feeling light-headed.

Before being relieved by Jose Ruiz, Kelly gave up a walk and bloop single and got one out and was charged with two of the Royals’ three runs in the inning. Nicky Lopez singled home two runs against Ruiz to give the Royals a 4-0 lead.

Kelly’s streaks of 12 straight scoreless appearances and 12 straight batters retired were halted.

Grandal homers, finally

Grandal’s homer, a two-run shot, was his first since May 16. It was the third hit and fifth in two games for Grandal, raising his average to .204.

Vaughn homered leading off the ninth to cut the deficit to 5-3, but Scott Barlow retired Jimenez, Abreu and Grandal in order to end the game.

Anderson has surgery

Tim Anderson had surgery Thursday morning in Chicago to repair a sagittal band tear on the middle finger of his left hand. His expected return to the active roster remains approximately six weeks.

TIGERS AT SOX

Friday: Daniel Norris (0-4, 6.90 ERA) vs. Michael Kopech (4-8, 3.38), 6:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 1000-AM.

Saturday: Matt Manning (0-0, 2.25) vs. Lucas Giolito (8-6, 4.91), 6:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 1000-AM.

Sunday: Tyler Alexander (2-6, 3.83) vs. Lance Lynn (2-5, 5.88), 1:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 1000-AM.

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