KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Once Reynaldo López went one pitch at a time, things worked out fine.
Following three consecutive poor outings, López pitched six effective innings against Kansas City on Sunday. And backed by a 471-foot homer from Eloy Jiménez, the Chicago White Sox defeated the Royals 5-2.
"The biggest difference was that I was able to clear my mind and be focused on the pitches I needed to execute," López said through a translator. "In the past, I was thinking about other pitches in the game, or my mechanics."
"I was able to clear my and stay focused all through the game," he said.
A day after Lucas Giolito shut down the Royals in a 2-0 victory, López (4-6) allowed one run and four hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out eight.
López had been struggling recently, giving up 19 earned runs in his last 13 1/3 innings over his previous three starts.
"All my pitches were good today," he said. "I was able to command, execute and finish all my pitches the way I know I can do it.
"I know that this team needs me, and I need to perform at my best every time I'm out there. We're fighting every day and we want to win every time we're on the field. Today was a step forward to that purpose," he said.
His manager appreciated the difference.
"He threw very, very well," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "His curveball was working very well, and his slider was working well. He was using it for punchouts. He commanded his fastball a little better. All in all, much better in catching the strike zone and mixing in his secondary pitches."
Yoán Moncada had four hits and an RBI for the White Sox, who lost the series opener but had back-to-back solid pitching performances to take the last two games.
The Royals are 0-6 in rubber games in 2019, continuing a streak that started early last season. Kansas City has lost 14 straight rubber games, dating to May 30, 2018, and is now 0-14-2 in its last 16 series.