The phone rang about an hour after Dale Sveum lost the first major-league managerial job of his career. On the first Sunday of last October, the front office of the Chicago Cubs deposed him after two seasons of service. As he walked into the Wrigley Field parking lot, unsure of his next move, he looked down at his phone to see a call from an old friend.

A few weeks before, Royals manager Ned Yost had heard rumors about Sveum’s potential downfall on the North Side. Once the decision became official, he pounced. “If you want,” Yost told him, “I’ve got a spot for you here on my staff.”

The next morning, Sveum accepted. He reunited with Yost, who he had studied under in Milwaukee from 2006 to 2008. He returned to this city Friday night, for a sort of homecoming, as the recently installed hitting coach of a surging Royals offense, which stayed hot in a 7-2 thumping of the White Sox.

“It’s worked out very, very well for us,” Yost said.

Call it a conflation of causation with correlation, if you like, but this season’s upswing coincides with Sveum leaving his position as third-base coach and replacing Pedro Grifol. The Royals (34-32) won their 10th game in their last 14.

On Friday they pummeled White Sox starter Jose Quintana with a five-run barrage before he had even recorded two outs, and scored six runs or more for the seventh time since Sveum took over.

Jeremy Guthrie reaped the benefits. In his previous five starts, Guthrie (3-6, 4.04 ERA) had received five runs of run support total. He overcame a touchy start and 11 men on base to limit the White Sox to two runs in 5 2/3 innings. His nine strikeouts matched his highest total as a Royal.