A rubber match with Jeremy Guthrie on the mound for the Royals, who came into the evening toting an ERA+ of 71 had simplicity written all over it. Jose Quintana, who has had a couple bad games following a game of bad luck, pitched 7 strong innings, allowing a pair of solo homeruns for the only tallies KC could muster. Problem is, the Sox mustered less (they were without mustard) against Guthrie. Instead of looking like a Rockies castoff, which is what he was before tonight, Guthrie looked like a staff ace as he held the Sox to 0 runs on 5 hits in his 8 innings to lead himself to his first victory in a Royals uniform.
Royals (47-63): 2
White Sox (60-50): 1
The White Sox did begin with a disadvantage of their own, being without Alex Rios (stiff back) and Paul Konerko (aches and pains). The lack of offense certainly shone through. Alejandro De Aza stroked a pair of hits in his return from a sore back of his own but beyond that there wasn’t much cooking. Guthrie worked through the lineup time after time without walking anybody and striking out 6.
Youngsters Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas were all that kept this game from being virtually void of offense on both sides. Moustakas struck first with 2nd inning blast and Perez added a solo shot of his own in the 4th. Guthrie did not come out for the 9th to finish what he started, instead the Sox had an opportunity to make it interesting against Greg Holland. And they did. Adam Dunn launched a double and came around to score on a single up the middle by A.J. Pierzynski. In the end, it was a too little too late scenario. That run would be the only that the Sox could manage.
Plus: Jose Quintana is not broken. I worried a little bit, after he was handed another no-decision 3 starts ago in a game he clearly should have won with ease. But the ship has been righted and we got another quality performance from the young Colombian.
Minus: Where are you, offense? Can’t win games without scoring runs. Can’t score runs without getting hits. The concept is easy, the execution is difficult. This time it was difficult against a guy that was probably a pair of starts away from a DFA. There is a silver lining though: the Yankees finally got it together against the Tigers and the Sox get to remain in first.
Player of the Game
A.J> Pierzynski – .053 Win Probability added