KANSAS CITY, Mo. — — MJ Melendez homered and drove in four runs, Nick Pratto had a three-run double during an eight-run sixth inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 12-5 on Monday night.
Melendez hit a 431-foot, two-run shot in the fourth against Dylan Cease and then had a two-run single in the sixth as the Royals turned a 4-4 game into a rout. Kansas City had its highest-scoring game this season and won consecutive home games for the first time since winning four straight at Kauffman Stadium last Sept. 20-23.
“I was saying it early when we weren’t scoring runs,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “The process was great the whole time. I’m happy for the guys that they’re having that success, but I’m more happy they haven’t changed their work or thought process.
“I’m really happy for them, because we’ve struggled to win games. It takes belief that you can do it.”
Jose Cuas (2-0) relieved Zack Greinke with two out in the sixth and retired the only batter he faced, then watched as Kansas City’s offense handed him the victory.
The Royals are averaging nearly 7 1/2 runs per game in May.
“Balls are starting to fall,” Melendez said. “Earlier this season we had some games where we hit the ball really hard, just right at people. You can see how it affects the whole game.”
Cease (2-2) gave up seven runs on nine hits in five-plus innings as his ERA rose from 4.58 to 5.58. The right-hander had a 2.20 ERA in 32 starts last season, when he finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting.
“Just got to keep feeling the process,” Cease said. “The results are disappointing. Honestly, today was better than the last couple of starts. I was throwing in the zone much better. Just working through some things right now but I think it’s close. Just got to keep going.”
Gavin Sheets homered for the White Sox, a 423-foot drive to center off Greinke in the sixth that tied the game at 4-4. Andrew Vaughn had a two-run double for Chicago in the third that made it 3-1.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had a two-run double in the sixth for the Royals and finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
“It feels good, any way you can help the team,” Bradley said. “I’ve still got a lot to improve on.”
Cease gave up a single, a hit batter and a walk to start the sixth. Reliever Aaron Bummer allowed an RBI single by Michael Massey, followed by Bradley’s double. After two outs and a walk, Melendez came through with his big hit to chase Bummer. Jimmy Lambert came on, issued a walk and gave up Pratto’s bases-clearing double.
“One quality at-bat after the other,” Quatraro said. “Massey got the big hit to start it and Jackie extended it.”
Royals: Placed LHP Ryan Yarbrough on the 15-day injured list with broken bones in his face after he took a 106-mph line drive off the bat of Oakland’s Ryan Yoda on Sunday. Quatraro said Yarbrough had three non-displaced fractures in different spots around his right eye. Yarbrough never lost consciousness and was responding well to treatment. He was released from the hospital Monday night and will have further tests on Tuesday. … Recalled RHP Jose Cuas from Triple-A Omaha. … Acquired RHP James McArthur from the Phillies for minor league INF Junior Marin. McArthur was assigned to Omaha.
White Sox 3B Yoan Moncada may rejoin the team during this series, but it will more likely be when Chicago returns home to host Houston on Friday. Moncada, who has been on the 10-day IL with back tightness, is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte.
Royals INF Nicky Lopez resumed light activity after going on the 10-day IL for an appendectomy on May 2. … LHP Daniel Lynch threw 3 1/3 innings in a rehab start with Omaha on Sunday. He is scheduled to make one more rehab start.
The teams continue their four-game series on Tuesday night with Chicago’s Lucas Giolito (1-2, 3.67 ERA) opposing Kansas City’s Jordan Lyles (0-5, 6.69).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP–Sports