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Hector Noesi struggles as Chicago White Sox lose 9-1 to Kansas City Royals

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CHICAGO - Hector Noesi was knocked out in the fourth inning, Leury Garcia had a costly error and the bullpen struggled, too.

It was one of those days for the Chicago White Sox.

Paul Konerko had three hits, including his fourth homer, but the White Sox lost 9-1 to the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

Chicago has been outscored 20-3 during a three-game losing streak.

"The offence and the defence and the pitching all kind of work hand-in-hand," Konerko said. "You just have to line that up right."

Danny Duffy matched a career high with nine strikeouts as the Royals extended their winning streak to six games. Duffy (4-5) allowed five hits and walked one in seven-plus innings.

Noesi (2-5) was charged with five runs, two earned, and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings. The right-hander had won each of his previous two starts.

Kansas City scored five times in the fourth, taking advantage of the error by Garcia at third. With no outs and the bases loaded in a scoreless game, Lorenzo Cain hit a grounder right to Garcia, but he was unable to handle the hard-hit ball.

Billy Butler and Alex Gordon scored on the play, and Cain eventually scampered home on Nori Aoki's double-play grounder. Mike Moustakas and Omar Infante each had run-scoring singles as the Royals gave Duffy plenty of support.

"Hector, he's been good for us and he's always given us a chance, but we have help him out on occasion," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "It just kept snowballing to where you couldn't get out of the inning."

Moustakas also homered as the Royals opened the weekend series with a pair of wins.

Duffy improved to 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox. The left-hander departed after a leadoff single by Adam Eaton in the eighth inning.

In Duffy's last start in Chicago on May 13, 2012, he suffered an elbow injury in the first inning, resulting in Tommy John surgery and a nearly year-long layoff.

"I was definitely thinking about it," Duffy said. "I've been waiting to come back here for a long time and not necessarily against anybody. It's just nice to come out and do my job in this city and in this setting."

Moustakas' eighth-inning homer was his sixth of the season. He went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Kansas City added three more runs in the ninth against Daniel Webb. Eric Hosmer doubled home Infante before Butler homered to right.

NOTES: Kansas City has scored first in each game of its winning streak. ... Royals RHP James Shields (7-3, 3.44 ERA) makes his 15th start of the season in Sunday's series finale against White Sox RHP Andre Rienzo (4-3, 5.25 ERA), making his 11th start. ... After going 63-99 in 2013, Ventura is pleased to have his team in contention this year, but he won't project beyond Saturday. "We're not going to look that far down the road," he said. "We're better off focusing on what we're doing today."

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