Chicago White Sox's Alexei Ramirez, left, beats the tag by Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar while sliding back to second on a pickoff-attempt during the fourth inning.
Dayan Viciedo hit his second career grand slam to highlight a five-run inning for the White Sox, and Andre Rienzo picked up his first career win for Chicago by shutting down the punchless Kansas City Royals in a 5-2 victory Wednesday night.
Rienzo (1-0) allowed only a sacrifice fly to Mike Moustakas while cruising through six innings to win for the first time in five starts. The Brazilian right-hander allowed just five hits and two walks in helping the White Sox win their season-best fifth straight game.
Addison Reed worked the ninth for his second save of the series and 33rd on the year.
Viciedo's grand slam off Jeremy Guthrie (12-10) in the fourth followed an RBI single by Adam Dunn that had given the White Sox the lead. Their five runs in the frame matched the number of runs the Royals' woeful offense had mustered in the previous 22 innings.
David Lough drove in another run for the Royals in the sixth, but that was all they managed in another lackluster offensive performance. They finished with six hits on the night.
The Royals were shut out by John Danks and the White Sox bullpen in the series opener, and their inability to get anybody home has been the biggest reason they've lost four straight and seven of their last nine. That calamitous slide has dropped Kansas City from wild-card contention after climbing within four games of the final spot just over a week ago.
On this night, it was Rienzo who took a turn breezing through the Royals.
The 25-year-old from Sao Paulo, one of just two Brazilians in the big leagues, didn't allow a hit until back-to-back singles in the fourth. He allowed another in the fifth and two in the sixth.
Otherwise, he was basically untouchable — just as he had been in the minors.
After rocketing through two levels last season, Rienzo began catching the eye of White Sox brass at Triple-A Charlotte. He was 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA over his last four starts, including a no-hitter on July 25 — just before his call-up to the big league team.
He allowed just one unearned run over six innings his last time out at Minnesota.
Guthrie would have taken a stat line like that Wednesday night.
The Royals' right-hander threw 72 of 100 pitches for strikes, an exceptionally high rate. The problem was that he couldn't make anybody miss. The White Sox pounded out nine hits off him.
After winning four straight, Guthrie has been savagely roughed up in his last three starts. He gave up five runs on 10 hits in a loss to Boston a couple weeks ago, and four runs on a career-high 13 hits at Detroit in another defeat his last time out.