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"I love their team," Peavy said. "I love their makeup. I love their manager. They have a great team. They have a great bunch of guys, and they play hard. That team is scrappy. They don't strike out much. ... It's nice to come out (against) a team that's had our number as a team and play well."
The Royals, full of optimism after posting the majors' best record in spring training, will try to avoid a season-opening sweep Thursday.
"They're a good team," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't think they're going to lay down."
The White Sox have no intention of that, either. They insist they can make another run in the AL Central after finishing second to Detroit, even though they made no splashy additions while other teams in the division loaded up.
They're off to a good start.
Peavy (1-0) allowed one earned run and four hits in six innings, striking out six and walking none. Not bad, considering he said he didn't have his best stuff.
Even so, he managed to keep the Royals off balance on a chilly day when the game-time temperature was 43. More important, he looked about as good as he did last year, when he rebounded from all those injuries and made the All-Star team.
"I don't wake up every day worrying about my body holding together," Peavy said. "But at the same time, I do a lot of preventive work to try to hold everything intact the way it is now and stay as strong as I did last year."
Dunn had two hits and scored twice. He led off the second with his 407th home run -- tying Duke Snider for 48th place on the career list -- and Flowers opened the third with his second shot.
Viciedo made up for his gaffes in left field with a big swing in the fourth, hitting a two-run drive that made it 4-1. The Royals scored a run in the sixth and loaded the bases against the Chicago bullpen in the seventh, only to come away empty-handed. Ramirez got the lead back up to 5-2 with a drive leading off the bottom half off Luke Hochevar, and the White Sox hung on from there.
The three-time All-Star re-signed with Chicago after a rebound season last year and started this one on a strong note. Five relievers combined to shut down the Royals, with Addison Reed working the ninth for his second save.
Santana (0-1), a mainstay in the Angels' rotation for eight seasons, also went six innings and gave up four runs and five hits. He struck out eight and walked one in his first start with the Royals.
"Everything was good," Santana said. "My off-speed was very good. My sinker was good. Fastball was good."
Royals hitters did him no favors, going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, and the long ball did him in.
Dunn put the White Sox ahead 1-0 with a 431-foot line drive to the seats in right-center, but the White Sox quickly gave it back.
Ramirez, the shortstop, was charged with an error even though Viciedo actually dropped Chris Getz's pop fly in a collision with one out. Then with two out, Viciedo misplayed Alcides Escobar's single, allowing Getz to score from first.
Flowers, who homered Monday, connected again leading off the third, and Viciedo gave them a cushion with his two-run drive in the fourth, the ball tipping a leaping Alex Gordon's glove in left.
"I wish I could have done that over again," Gordon said. "I was right there in position."
The Royals got a run off Peavy in the sixth when Gordon doubled past a diving Viciedo and scored from third on a groundout by Billy Butler, but they couldn't come through after they loaded the bases against the White Sox bullpen in the seventh.
Donnie Veal relieved Jesse Crain with two on and one out and walked pinch hitter Miguel Tejada before retiring Gordon on a fly to shallow left. Matt Lindstrom came in and got Escobar to fly to right, ending the threat.
- Paul Konerko tied Frank Thomas for third on the White Sox hits list with 2,136 when he doubled in the sixth.
- The Royals are 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and have left 14 on base through two games.