CHICAGO — The tailspinning Kansas City Royals again dug too deep a hole.

Brad Keller surrendered five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings in what represented his worst outing as a starting pitcher, and the Royals dropped a series opener against the Chicago White Sox 9-6 despite scoring four late unanswered runs.

The Royals are now 5-30 in their last 35 contests.

Leury Garcia hit a two-run first-inning double and smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth that gave the White Sox a 7-2 advantage. Jose Abreu also had a solo home run in the inning for Chicago.

Jorge Bonifacio hit a two-run double in the seventh, Lucas Duda scored on an error in the eighth and Whit Merrifield's two-out RBI single to right field later in that frame to make the deficit 7-6. Bonifacio, though, flied out to center with runners on second and third to end the inning.

Omar Narvaez clubbed a two-run home run off reliever Kevin McCarthy in the bottom of the eighth, and former Royals closer Joakim Soria shut the door in order in the ninth to secure his team's three-run victory.

The series continues at 1:10 p.m. Saturday.