The Royals continue their pestering of the Sox as Chris Sale was unable to get the best of Luis Mendoza in Kansas City. A couple of solo shots and a bases loaded double did Chris in as he was handed his 4th loss of the year.
White Sox (65-53): 2
Royals (52-66): 4
With two down in the 4th, Paul Konerko started his own welcome back party by taking a Luis Mendoza offering into the left field bullpen. With the game tied from each team’s offering of solo homeruns, Lorenzo Cain having gone long on Sale in the 2nd, Alexei Ramirez lined a double and was able to score on a single by Gordon Beckham. Alexei made the turn at third at about the time that Jeff Franceour came up with the ball and prepared to unleash a throw. Joe McEwing was not intimidated and it paid off.
Billy Butler took Chris Sale deep in the 6th to tie the game back up and the lefty pitched himself into trouble in the 7th, loading the bases for Salvador Perez to knock a double against the wall that put the Royals in front 4-2. Sale finished with 9 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks (2 of them intentionally issued to Jeff Franceour) and 5 strikeouts.
The Sox kicked off the 8th with a pair of hits by Viciedo and Beckham. Alejandro De Aza was lifted from the game and Dewayne Wise inserted to hit in his place. Wise immediately attempted to lay down a bunt, and on the first pitch he bounced one on the plate that was fielded quickly by Perez and the triple play drill was performed. Home plate umpire Dan Iossogna declared the ball foul and Wise was able to live through another failed bunt attempt followed by a K. From there, two more Ks by Kelvin Herrera and the threat was over.
Plus: Paul Konerko in the lineup is a nice sight. As Jim Margalus points out, the Sox made do for the short while that he was shelved, but when timely hitting runs out, it’s best to have quality hitting right there waiting. Of course, announcing his return with a HR is a nice way to distribute warm fuzzies all around.
Minus: I know you’re expecting the bunt lecture, and I really want to give it. I’ll just say that with 2 on and no outs down by 2 runs a sacrifice bunt doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The sacrifice was not executed and Wise ultimately struck out, but the whole complexion of the inning changed when that concept was put in motion.
Player of the Game
Gordon Beckham – .196 WPA