CHICAGO — Alex Gordon homered, Whit Merrifield drove in three runs and Danny Duffy pitched into the seventh inning to lead the Royals to an 8-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night, keeping Kansas City’s slim playoff hopes alive.
Salvador Perez went 2 for 4 with a pair of run-scoring doubles.
With eight games remaining, the Royals trail Minnesota by 4 1/2 games for the second AL wild card.
Duffy (9-9) allowed two runs on eight hits in six-plus innings for his first win since Aug. 22.
Jose Abreu went 1 for 4 and drove in two runs to reach the 100-RBI mark for the fourth straight season. The Chicago slugger is just the third major leaguer to begin his career with four straight seasons of at least 25 homers and 100 RBIs. Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols are the others.
Tim Anderson went 1 for 4 to extend his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.
Dylan Covey (0-7) allowed three runs on five hits in six innings. The right-hander still is looking for his first major-league win after 17 appearances (11 starts).
Chicago took the lead on Abreu’s RBI single in the first.
Covey allowed just one hit over the first three innings and retired the first two batters in the fourth. But then Eric Hosmer walked, Perez followed with an RBI double and Mike Moustakas singled to drive in Perez for a 2-1 Kansas City lead.
Gordon homered in the fifth. Merrifield’s three-run double in the seventh gave the Royals a 6-1 advantage.
Abreu drove in a run with a groundout in the seventh. Kansas City added a pair in the eighth on RBI doubles by Perez and Brandon Moss.
Royals: C Perez returned after leaving Friday’s game with a sore neck after being struck by a foul tip. He was taken out in the middle of the eighth with the big lead.
White Sox: There’s still no diagnosis for LHP Carlos Rodon beyond shoulder inflammation, but the team is optimistic he’ll be able to go through a normal offseason program and be ready for spring training.
Chicago RHP Lucas Giolito (2-3, 2.58 ERA) faces RHP Ian Kennedy (4-12, 5.39) in the series finale on Sunday. Giolito is 1-2 with a 2.49 ERA in his last four starts. Kennedy rejoined the team on Saturday after being away for the birth of his fifth child.