CHICAGO (AP) — Billy Butler has hit 30 points higher against lefties throughout his career. Just not John Danks.
Alex Rios and Brent Morel homered to back Danks, leading the White Sox over the Kansas City Royals 6-3 Saturday night and stopping Chicago's five-game home losing streak.
"He's a strike machine," Butler said of Danks, who beat Kansas City for the third time this year. "The variety of his changeup is really tough to pick up, and he throws it with a lot of arm speed. He's one of the tougher lefties for me. I'd rather face a righty than Danks."
A night after Kansas City scored 11 runs and had 18 hits. Danks (8-12) retired his first 14 batters he faced before Salvador Perez's fifth-inning single.
"We've had trouble solving Danks all year long," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's really, really good against us. His arm action is very deceptive. He does a real nice job of keeping the ball down and away and then cutting it in on our hands."
Danks improved to 5-0 in 12 starts against the Royals, allowing three runs and six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He's 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts against Kansas City this year.
Danks is the only active pitcher with a minimum of 10 starts who is undefeated against the Royals. He also went 8-4 with a 3.69 ERA in his last 16 outings after skidding to 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA in his first 11 starts.
"Definitely good to end on a good note," Danks said Danks. "Obviously, the season hadn't quite gone as I had planned or hoped, but that's part of the game. Happy to end on a good game and hopefully it will carry into next season."
While Chicago won for just the fourth time in 14 games, the Royals lost for the third time in their last 12. At 77-81, the White Sox need to win their remaining games to avoid their third losing season in eight years under manager Ozzie Guillen.
Royals starter Everett Teaford (2-1) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings after giving up one run in 11 innings during his first two major league starts.
Teaford walked three in the four-run second, when Rios homered, Juan Pierre walked with the bases full and Alexei Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly.
"I wasn't getting ahead and wasn't getting the ball down," Teaford said. "You put those two things together and it's going to be a bad night."
Melky Cabrera had a two-run double and two hits, reaching 199 for the season.
Cabrera's 44th double of the season drove in two runs in the sixth, and Eric Hosmer's RBI single cut the deficit to 5-3.
"You can tell even after we got three, (Danks) still settled down and got two more innings and not much more noise," Butler said. "He's got our number, and it seems like he's always on."
Rios had three hits, including a a two-run homer in the second and a leadoff triple in the eighth. Morel's homer was his 10th of the season, including eight in September.
Chicago's Adam Dunn went 0 for 3 with a walk, leaving him with a .162 batting average. He has 485 plate appearances and needs 17 in the team's last four games to become an official qualifier. The post-1900 record for lowest batting average by a qualifier is .179 by Detroit's Rob Deer in 1991, according to STATS LLC.
Morel homered leading off the fourth. His second-inning walk was his 15th of September — he had just seven this year before then.
NOTES: Alex Gordon was back with the Royals after spending Friday's game at the team's hotel because of flu-like symptoms. He was expected to play on Sunday. ... Gavin Floyd will take the mound for the White Sox in Sunday's series finale, looking to improve upon his 3-7 mark against Kansas City. The Royals will counter with Luis Mendoza, who allowed one run in seven innings Tuesday in his first big league start of the season.