KANSAS CITY -- Brian Bannister tossed 6 1/3 strong innings, and Shane Costa drove in two runs in an 8-1 win over the White Sox on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Bannister won his fifth start this month and became the second Royals pitcher since June 2003 to win five games in a single month.
The White Sox nicked Bannister for a run in the second inning on a bases-loaded groundout by Juan Uribe. Bannister escaped a two-out, two-on situation when he coaxed a flyout from Scott Podsednik.
Kansas City struck back with a run in the third off White Sox starter Jose Contreras. Tony Pena doubled with one out and, two batters later, David DeJesus walked. Esteban German hit a ground ball deep in the hole between shortstop and third base. Uribe threw to second, but DeJesus beat the throw and Pena scored from third.
They tallied two more in the fourth frame. Billy Butler worked a seven-pitch at-bat before breaking the stalemate with a single to center to break a 1-1 tie, and then catcher John Buck hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.
After the second-inning stumble, Bannister cruised. He encountered trouble just one time in the next five innings, when A.J. Pierzynski doubled with one out in the sixth. Tadahito Iguchi followed with a liner up the middle, but Pena made a jumping grab.
Costa -- seeing just his second start of the season in the cleanup spot -- drove a two-run bases-loaded single to right field in the seventh inning that keyed a three-run rally.
The Royals raised their season-high win streak to five games, and they're 12-8 in their last 20 contests.
Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.