Lance Lynn gives up 4 runs in the first on another rough night as the Chicago White Sox lose 9-1 in Kansas City

The Chicago White Sox were on the verge of getting a lead in the first inning when their first two batters, Tim Anderson and Andrew Benintendi, drew walks.

A double play and a strikeout ended the no-run threat.

The Kansas City Royals made the most of their opportunities in the bottom of the first, scoring four runs. The Sox never recovered, falling 9-1 in front of 12,187 on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium.

“We had a chance to put some runs on the board in the first inning and we didn’t,” Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “Then he came out and gave up four. The moment changed right there. The first inning right there was a big inning for us.

“We had the first and the second, no one out. We had them on the ropes there and (Royals star Brad Keller) was able to get out of it. He quit at four and never came back.”

It was another rough night for Lance Lynn (1-5), who allowed seven runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and two walks over five innings.

“He had a good game plan. He’s been good in the bullpen from what I’ve heard from (pitching coach) Ethan (Katz),” Grifol said. “He missed the plate a few times and today was one of those days where they didn’t miss it. He looked strong, the same stuff he had (Friday) in Cincinnati. He made a few mistakes today and they didn’t miss it.”

Lynn’s ERA is 7.51, the highest among qualified pitchers in the majors.

“It could be a little bit of everything,” Lynn said. “Last game I gave up three runs on the softest contact you can get. Right now, when I make a mistake, it hits hard. When I make a good pitch, it’s embedded. I just have to regroup here and make some adjustments and be better. There is no other way to say it.

“You know what you have to do. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way or go your way. You can make good pitches and they get hits. And then you make bad pitches. Right now when I make a bad pitch it costs me runs or it gets hit hard. Sometimes you get away with it and they come up, things like that. Right now it’s not happening.”

On Wednesday, he gave up two homers and gave up 11 this season, fourth most in the majors.

“He also had some good games. He finished a pretty good game in Cincinnati,” Grifol said. “He had a couple first innings where they put (up) some runs … and then he settled down and (was) able to pitch deep into games. But he will understand this. This is who he is. He is a very good competitor.

“He’s been doing it for a long time. He’s going to figure it out and go through a streak here where he’s going to put some quality starts together for us.”

The defense didn’t help much. Trailing 2-0, Lynn got Matt Duffy to pop into shallow right field near the line. Second baseman Elvis Andrus and right fielder Gavin Sheets were in the zone, and the ball went out of Andrus’ glove for a run that scored.

“This is a great internship. It’s misleading, isn’t it?” said Grifol. “I think (Sheets) could have gotten there, too. They seemed to communicate well. And the ball just dropped.”

The Royals added another run in the inning. Lynn said he made a lot of mistakes over the middle of the plate in the first.

“I couldn’t get the ball up when I needed to, and when I tried to get down, it was in the middle of the plate as well,” Lynn said. “A lot of things were up, and they made me pay for it, a lot of shots in a row. He continued somewhat as the game went along with the two homers. It’s just not good.”

It turned into their second straight loss after Monday’s 12-5 loss. The best they can do is salvage a split series on Thursday afternoon.

“All I can say is these guys are going to figure it out,” Grifol said. “(Dylan) Cease (who allowed seven runs Monday) will. In my conversations with him, he says he feels good. He felt strong the other day. He feels like he’s close to making a good road together and the same with Lance.

“There is a lot of baseball left. And these guys are more than capable of putting it together. And I’m looking to see these guys put it together not only as individuals but as a staff. And then give us a chance to do what we did (in 4-2 win on Tuesday).”


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