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Melendez’s 2-run homer backs Wacha in Royals' 3-0 shutout over White Sox

White Sox Royals Baseball
Posted at 11:06 PM, Apr 06, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Michael Wacha threw seven innings of two-hit ball and MJ Melendez launched a two-run homer as the Kansas City Royals beat the slumping Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Saturday night.

Wacha (1-0) struck out eight, walked one and allowed just one runner past first base. Royals pitchers have eight quality starts, most in the majors.

“I felt like we had a good mix going,” Wacha said. “We were getting ahead and staying on the attack mode. Working both sides of the plate and getting weak contact at times. We were efficient and on the attack.”

Melendez drove Chris Flexen’s first-pitch fastball through a 30 mph crosswind to straightaway center field, snapping a scoreless tie in the seventh.

“That ball was really hit well,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He got a first-pitch heater and he didn’t miss it.”

Center fielder Dominic Fletcher appeared to tip the ball as it struck the top of the fence, sending it over for Melendez’s second homer of the year and second in three games.

“I really didn’t think anyone would be able to get it out that far, with that wind,” Fletcher said. “Going back, I jumped up, felt it hit my glove, but wasn’t quite sure if it hit the wall first. Just going hard, trying to make a play. It was an unfortunate break for us.”

After the game, White Sox manager Pedro Grifol acknowledged he should have asked for a crew chief review on whether the ball hit the wall first, which would have made it a ground-rule double.

“From our angle it looked like the ball hit the glove and went out,” Grifol said. “So, I didn’t go out there. But after looking at it, I should have.”

Maikel Garcia knocked in another run with an infield single as Kansas City batted around in the inning.

Flexen (0-2) permitted a pair of singles to start the first, then retired 12 straight. He gave up three runs on six hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings, his longest outing since July 4, 2022.

Both starters worked quickly; the first five innings were played in 57 minutes.

Nick Anderson allowed one hit in the eighth and Chris Stratton completed the three-hitter for his first save since July 19 last year with St. Louis.

Garcia and Bobby Witt Jr. each had a pair of singles for Kansas City (5-4), which climbed above .500 for the first time since April 9, 2022.

Chicago (1-7) was shut out for the third time already this season. The White Sox have 13 runs, their fewest through eight games since scoring only eight in 1968.

“We couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Grifol said. “There’s some urgency. A 1-7 start’s not good.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox OF Luis Robert Jr. was placed on the 10-day injured list with a Grade 2 right hip flexor strain.

TRANSACTIONS

Chicago recalled INF Lenyn Sosa from Triple-A Charlotte and traded RHP Alex Speas to Oakland for cash.

UP NEXT

White Sox LHP Garrett Crochet (1-1, 1.38 ERA) faces Royals RHP Alec Marsh (1-0, 1.29) on Sunday.