Sep 19, 6:10 PM EDT

Ventura posts 1st complete-game win, Royals beat White Sox

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AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Yordano Ventura kept his pitch count down, which enabled him to go nine innings for the first time in the majors.

Ventura picked up his first complete-game victory, Kendrys Morales hit a three-run homer and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-3 Monday.

The Royals have won three straight, keeping their faint playoff hopes flickering with 12 games remaining. The Royals went 14-5 against the White Sox this year.

"My goal today was try to get as many outs as I can as quick as I can and go deep in the game and that's what I did today," Ventura said with catching coach Pedro Grifol as his translator. "I'm happy with it."

Ventura (11-11) gave up nine hits, struck out five and walked one. His only other complete game in the majors was a 3-2 loss July 28 at Texas.

"He was outstanding," Royals catcher Drew Butera said. "He was efficient with his pitches. He had great movement, great life. He was really good."

Ventura had allowed 10 runs, 17 hits and six walks in 11 1-3 innings in losing his previous two starts. He threw only 16 pitches in a 10-batter span to end the fifth and into the seventh.

"He did a phenomenal job of managing his pitch-count," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He put himself in a position with a five-run lead to have a complete-game. He got through eight with 92 pitches. He just pitched a great game."

Morales homered off Carlos Rodon (7-10) in a four-run fifth. Morales homered in back-to-back games, bringing his total to 29. The last Royal to hit 30 home runs in a season was Jermaine Dye, with 33 in 2000.

Paulo Orlando and Alcides Escobar homered in the second for the Royals. Eric Hosmer drove in two runs with a pair of singles, giving him 97 RBIs.

Billy Burns had three hits, was hit by a pitch, stole a base and scored two runs.

"They're a good ballclub," Rodon said. "Guys that have been in the game for a while and just understand that, make me throw pitches and get deep in the count, and they did a really good job of that. They swing the bat well, but our guys swung the bat well, too. Some hard balls hit and some home runs, and that's baseball."

Jose Abreu and Carlos Sanchez hit solo home runs for the White Sox. Todd Frazier added an RBI single and had two hits off Ventura.

"He's throwing 97, 98 (mile per hour)," Frazier said late in the game. "That's tough to pick up, tough to lay off, too, as well, because it looks like a strike and comes off. He had good command, basically."

DUAL EJECTIONS

Plate umpire Toby Basner ejected Escobar in the fifth for arguing balls and strikes. When Yost interceded, Basner thumbed him, too.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: INF Tyler Saladino (sore left calf) was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game. "We could play him, but I think an extra day would be best for him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura. ... DH Justin Morneau (neck discomfort) returned to the lineup after missing the previous six games.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP James Shields, who is 0-5 with a 9.37 ERA in his past nine starts, will start Tuesday at Philadelphia. RHP Jake Thompson will start for the Phillies.

Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez, who gave up nine runs on seven hits and four walks in 3 1-3 innings in a Thursday loss to Oakland, will start the series opener at Cleveland. The Indians will counter with RHP Josh Tomlin.

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