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— In a dim season for the last-place Kansas City Royals Gordie Howe Jersey , rookie Brad Keller has been one of the few bright spots.
Keller pitched five solid innings, Alex Gordon homered and Jorge Bonifacio had a go-ahead RBI single in the decisive sixth inning for the Royals, who rallied past the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on Saturday night.
Nicky Delmonico homered in the second inning off Keller (6-5), driving a changeup over the right-center field fence. That was the only blemish against the 6-foot-5 right-hander, who allowed seven hits, struck out five and walked none.
“This was a battle game, honestly,” said the 23-year-old Keller, who has the only winning record on the staff. “I felt like I made my pitches. It was one of the games where you needed to keep the team in it.”
The Royals won for the third time in their past nine games. The White Sox had their win streak stopped at three.
Chicago had five hits combined in the fourth and fifth innings, but Keller got out of the jams.
“He did a great job of really limiting the damage Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey ,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He made huge pitches when he needed to.”
Dylan Covey (4-10) returned to the form he had displayed the first 2½ months of the season but remained winless in five starts since July 21. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Covey entered the game with a 1-8 record and 8.94 ERA in his last 10 starts. He was 0-5 with a 6.34 ERA versus Kansas City in his career.
“Overall, I threw the ball pretty well,” Covey said. “Just the mistake to Gordon, and then even the pitch to Bonifacio was a pretty good pitch.”
After Whit Merrifield opened the game with a single, Covey didn’t allow another hit until Gordon homered with one out in the sixth. One out later, Lucas Duda doubled and scored on Bonifacio’s hit to left field.
Alcides Escobar provided an insurance run with a two-out RBI single off Juan Minaya in the ninth.
“Keller did a good job of keeping us in the game,” Gordon said. “All we needed was a run to get us over.”
Five Royals relievers combined for four scoreless innings. The last, Wily Peralta, worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save in as many tries.
HEAVEN HELP THEM
Sister Mary Jo Sobieck, of Marian Catholic High School in suburban Chicago Heights Authentic Andrew Luck Jersey , dropped jaws with an impressive ceremonial first pitch.
“I said, ‘Can you play for us?'” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “She said, ‘Sure.’ Seems to be a really nice lady.”
NEWBIE IN THE HOUSE
Kansas City promoted RHP Jake Newberry from Omaha and optioned RHP Jason Adam to the Triple-A club. The 37th-round draft pick from 2012 is in line to become the lowest-round selection to debut for the team since OF Jarrod Dyson (50th, 2010).
RHP Blaine Boyer cleared waivers and became a free agent. The veteran has a 12.05 ERA in 21 relief appearances.
Royals: OF Brett Phillips (lower-body fatigue) returned to the lineup after a two-game absence.
White Sox: OF Avisail Garcia will try to work through a balky right knee that’s likely to require surgery after the season. “He’s just going to have to deal with it and continue to move forward. And I think he’ll be able to,” Renteria said. … RHP Nate Jones (strained right arm) “is throwing the ball well and feeling good,” Renteria said, but there still is no timetable for his return. His last appearance came on June 12.
Royals: Rookie RHP Heath Fillmyer (1-1, 3.61 ERA) will close out the series Sunday.
White Sox: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4-9, 4.40) will take a 1.93 ERA in his last two home starts into the finale. He didn’t figure in either decision.
A talented and mobile young quarterback tasked with taking over a playoff team from a veteran.
Yeah, Pittsburgh Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger may know a little something about that.
Still Kirk Cousins Jersey Big , the two-time Super Bowl winner's eyes get a little wide when talking about Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes.
Asked about his initial impressions of Mahomes 鈥?whom Roethlisberger and the Steelers (0-0-1) will get a close look at when Kansas City (1-0) visits Pittsburgh on Sunday 鈥?and the 36-year-old sounds impressed and a little wistful at the same time.
"An amazing talent," Roethlisberger said. "He's got a big arm."
And big expectations too. Throwing for four touchdowns in your first season opener 鈥?as Mahomes did while lighting up the Chargers on the road in Week 1 鈥?has a way of doing that.
Now all he has to do for an encore is try to help Kansas City win in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1986, nearly a full decade before the 22-year-old was born.
No pressure or anything, though Mahomes isn't exactly concerned about carrying the weight of his team's largely forgettable history against the Steelers.
"It's a brand new season," he said. "We've got a lot of guys that are hungry and want to get better every single week and this will be a great challenge in the early season to kind of get us going."
Pittsburgh has won seven of the past eight meetings, including a 19-13 victory at Arrowhead Stadium last October that put a pin in Kansas City's 5-0 start while simultaneously igniting an eight-game winning streak that carried the Steelers to a second straight AFC North title.
Pittsburgh entered that game needing a boost after getting throttled at home by Jacksonville. The Steelers could use another one after an ugly 21-all tie in Cleveland last week in which they turned it over six times and blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead.
Playing well against Kansas City has rarely been an issue for the Steelers. Neither have home openers. Pittsburgh is 15-2 in season debuts at Heinz Field since moving from Three Rivers Stadium in 2001 and Roethlisberger 鈥?who spent part of the week dealing with an achy right elbow 鈥?tends to find another gear when in Pittsburgh's home black jerseys. He's averaging nearly three touchdown passes per game at Heinz Field since the start of 2014.
Some things to look for as the Chiefs try to end a six-game losing streak in the Steel City while the Steelers try to avoid their worst start since they dropped their first four games in 2013, the last time they missed the playoffs.
KING OF THE HILL
Kansas City wide receiver/punt returner Tyreek Hill piled up 269 total yards in Los Angeles, including a 53-yard catch-and-run touchdown and 91-yard punt return for a score that ended in similar fashion: with Hill flashing the "peace" sign as he traipsed into the end zone.
Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt says older brother Derek 鈥?a fullback for the Chargers 鈥?offered a brief scouting report on Hill, who has 13 touchdowns of 50 yards or more in 32 games.
"He said 10 (Hill) is fast," Watt said. "I said 'I already knew that.'"
So does everyone else. Pittsburgh gave up plenty of big plays last season Patrick Maroon Jersey , allowing 13 passes of more than 40 yards, tied for third-highest in the league. The revamped secondary played well in Cleveland, but that was in the rain against an offense that doesn't feature a player such as Hill.
"He's a human video game," Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree said. "We got to make sure he doesn't make a lot of explosive plays that he always makes."
Pittsburgh will play without All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell for a second straight week while Bell continues to wait to sign his franchise tender. The Steelers hardly missed Bell in Cleveland. James Conner rolled up 192 total yards on 36 touches 鈥?both Bell-like totals 鈥?and scored twice .
The goal now will be trying to replicate that kind of effectiveness again. And again. And again. Bell has been particularly effective against Kansas City, averaging 144 yards when facing the Chiefs.
The Chiefs will likely be without star safety Eric Berry for the second consecutive week. He tore his Achilles tendon last season and had returned for summer workouts, but he's been out since the early part of training camp with soreness in his heel. "Just being cautious with it. It's a long season," Kansas City coach Andy Reid said. "That's where we're at."
The Steelers relied heavily on wide receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster in Cleveland. Help could be on the way Sunday. Tight end Vance McDonald 鈥?sidelined all of training camp with a foot injury 鈥?is expected to play. McDonald was productive when healthy in 2017 and caught 10 passes for 112 yards in a playoff loss to Jacksonville.
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City contributed to this report.
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