KANSAS CITY — This was the Eric Skoglund the Royals’ coaching staff raved about in Spring Training, so much so that he was somewhat of a surprise addition to the 25-man roster.
After three so-so starts in the regular season, Skoglund, a left-hander, put together his best game in the Major Leagues, holding the White Sox to two hits over a career-high seven innings in the Royals’ 5-2 win over the White Sox in Game 2 of a doubleheader Saturday night.
Skoglund retired 15 consecutive hitters and struck out a career-high nine.
The Royals’ offense, which has been going through a nightmarish stretch of inability to hit with runners in scoring position, finally came through in those situations. Abraham Almonte got an RBI single with the bases loaded in the first inning, and Alex Gordon followed with a two-run single.
Almonte’s single ended a stretch of 18 consecutive hitless at-bats for the Royals with RISP. The Royals only have four hits all season with the bases loaded — Almonte, who hit a grand slam in Detroit, now owns two of them.
Gordon also had an RBI double.
The game was briefly interrupted in the bottom of the first when Royals catcher Salvador Perez reached second base as a baserunner and exchanged words with White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, who had homered to lead off the game. Both benches and dugouts cleared as Perez and Anderson had a heated exchange. No punches were thrown from either side.