* The White Sox averaged 7.8 runs in winning the first five meetings this season against the Royals before totaling six runs in dropping the last two. James Shields pitched six innings in a 14-7 opening-day win over Kansas City on March 29 to improve to 8-2 in 14 career starts against his former team.
* Kansas City dropped two of three at Minnesota after Wednesday’s 8-5 defeat for its 11th loss in 12 games and 23rd in the past 27. The Royals have totaled 11 runs while dropping five straight series openers, and haven’t won more than a one-game series since taking two of three from the Twins May 28-30.
* Carlos Rodon pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning and the White Sox snapped a six-game skid with a 4-0 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday. Chicago’s fourth shutout of the season came after its pitchers posted an 8.57 ERA and allowed 34 walks in 49.1 innings during the losing streak.
* All-Star Salvador Perez’s home run Wednesday was his first since June 10 and gave him six RBI in his last eight games following a career-high stretch of 16 consecutive games without one. He’s 14-for-36 (.389) in his last nine games against the White Sox.
* Omar Narvaez notched his third multi-hit effort in his last four games Wednesday and has hit safely in 10 straight starts. He’s batting .455 (25-for-55) with two home runs and 11 RBI in his past 18 games to raise his average from .170 to .280.
* White Sox relievers are 1-7 with a major league-worst 6.67 ERA in 26 games since June 14 after pitching 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings in the previous eight contests. Chicago’s bullpen has worked four innings or more eight times in that 26-game span.