Edwin Encarnación hit a three-run homer, Dallas Keuchel threw five scoreless innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 8-2 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep.
Keuchel (6-2) left the game with lower back stiffness after throwing a few warmup pitches before the sixth inning. He threw 49 pitches, allowed two hits and struck out two.
“He irritated it a little bit,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “It didn’t make sense to keep him going. So we had to make the move there. Right now he’s day to day. He’s been managing it the whole season.”
The AL Central-leading White Sox went ahead 5-0 in the seventh inning against reliever Josh Staumont. Encarnación hit a 448-foot blast into the second deck of the fountains beyond the wall in left-center to score Yasmani Grandal and Jose Abreu, who had singled to extend his hitting streak to 20 games.
“He continues to chip away and that’s what he does,” Renteria said of Encarnación. “He got a pitch he could handle and put it in the water. He’s a professional. I don’t have to worry about Edwin. He’s going to continue to do what he does.”
Royals starter Matt Harvey (0-3) was yanked after throwing 40 pitches. He went 2 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and one run.
“I thought Matt did what we needed him to do,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said.
Tim Anderson had three hits for the White Sox.
Yolmer Sanchez, making his second start of the season, led off the third inning with a double to left-center and scored on a single by Grandal.
“It feels really good. When you have the opportunity when the guys need a day off, you have to do your best,” Sanchez said. “I don’t try to do too much. I think I had a really good plan today in the box.”
With two outs in the sixth, Luis Robert walked and stole second, and Nomar Mazara doubled to the gap in left-center to put the White Sox ahead 2-0.
Edward Olivares hit his first home run as a Royal, a two-run blast into the left-field bullpen off Steve Cishek that got Kansas City within 5-2 in the seventh.
“Go out there and compete and that’s my mindset,” Olivares said.
Grandal, Encarnación and Abreu drove in runs in the eighth for Chicago.
Royals: RHP Carlos Hernandez left the game with a stomach contusion after he was struck by Danny Mendick’s line drive.
White Sox: After a day off Monday, Chicago begins a two-game series at Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Royals: Begin a four-game series at Cleveland on Monday. RHP Brad Keller (3-1, 1.93 ERA) will face RHP Zach Plesac (2-1, 1.33), who allowed one run in six innings against the Royals in his last start.