The Chicago White Sox began another series on the wrong foot Tuesday.
Lance Lynn surrendered two two-run homers in a 4-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium.
In a season filled with peculiar stats, the Sox continued to struggle in the first game of a series. They are 12-23 in such circumstances.
“Play better,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said.
The Sox benefited from the long ball in Game 2, earning the split with a 3-2 victory.
Lenyn Sosa and Yoán Moncada hit solo home runs for the Sox. Vinnie Pasquantino, who had a two-run homer in Game 1, hit a solo homer in Game 2 for the Royals.
Sosa’s home run in the third was the first of his career. Pasquantino tied the game with his homer in the fourth.
Moncada made a tremendous defensive play, fielding Nate Eaton’s grounder to third and firing to first for the final out of the fifth. Gavin Sheets made a nice scoop at first.
Moncada led off the sixth with the go-ahead homer. Sheets provided an insurance run in the eighth with a double to left that brought home Luis Robert from first.
Sox starter Davis Martin allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 5⅔ innings.
The offense had several hard-hit balls in Tuesday’s opener but came up empty most of the afternoon against Royals starter Brady Singer. The right-hander allowed one run on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks in 7⅓ innings.
“He pitched a good game,” La Russa said. “But we made some hard contact for one run. That’s just baseball.”
The one run against Singer came on Josh Harrison’s homer with one out in the third.
The Royals took the lead on Pasquantino’s two-run homer in the bottom of the third. Nick Pratto hit a two-run homer off Lynn in the sixth.
“Two pitches cost me four runs,” Lynn said.
Lynn allowed four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk in six innings.
“Don’t make two horse(bleep) pitches that cost you four runs,” Lynn said.
Rallies came up short in the eighth and ninth for the Sox.
Trailing 4-1, they brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the eighth. Batting with runners on first and second, Robert lined out to center. Scott Barlow then struck out Eloy Jiménez.
A sacrifice fly to left by Moncada in the ninth cut the deficit to two. The Sox had runners on first and second with one out. Jose Cuas struck out Harrison and got Yasmani Grandal to ground out to first.
After bouncing back in Game 2 for the split, the Sox are 8-6 during their current stretch of 19 consecutive games against teams with sub.-500 records.