White Sox 8, Royals 5

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CHICAGO (AP)—All the Chicago White Sox can do now is swing their bats and cross their fingers. They have to win their own games and root for whatever team is playing the Minnesota Twins.

“We got to have a lot of help to be in first. We’re hoping Detroit and Cleveland can come through for us and we continue to win,” Frank Thomas said Friday night after he broke a slump with three hits and helped the White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5.

“It doesn’t look good, but we’ll fight until the end,” Thomas said. “We’re not going to quit.”

The Twins beat the Tigers 6-2 Friday night and lead the White Sox by 3 1/2 games. Third-place Kansas City is 5 1/2 out.

Coming off a three-game sweep by the Twins in the Metrodome where they managed seven runs in the entire series, the White Sox rallied with four runs in the seventh, capped by Magglio Ordonez’s two-run homer.

“We had our chances in Minnesota and didn’t take advantage of it. Now we got to take care of Kansas City,” said Chicago’s Jose Valentin, who had three hits, including a homer.

“We’ll try to win every game, finish strong and see what happens.”

Kansas City broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the seventh off Mark Buehrle (14-13). Then the White Sox responded against Royals reliever D.J. Carrasco (6-5).

Chicago got singles from Joe Crede and Sandy Alomar to open the seventh. After a sacrifice, Carlos Lee hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4.

Thomas grounded a single to left for his third hit and Alomar scored on a hard slide to tie it at 5. Ordonez followed with a long homer to center, his 28th of the season.

Valentin homered in the eighth for an 8-5 lead.

“You can be up 3-0, 5-3 but nothing is safe with them,” said the Royals’ Mike Sweeney, who also homered.

“To play in October, we have to win every game, so tonight was a tough blow.”

Buehrle went 7 2-3 innings, giving up seven hits and five runs, and won his third straight start. Tom Gordon got four outs for his 12th save.

Ken Harvey’s double in the seventh put the Royals ahead 4-3. Mike DiFelice’s RBI double gave Kansas City a two-run cushion.

Kansas City starter Jamey Wright gave up five hits in six innings, and just one of the three runs he surrendered was earned.

“Jamey pitched a great game and to give it away for a loss is tough for me to swallow,” Carrasco said.

Sweeney, in a 2-for-24 rut, hit a three-run homer in the third to give the Royals the lead.

Chicago tied it with three in the bottom half off Wright, who’d pitched back-to-back complete games in his two previous outings since joining the Royals from Triple-A.

Valentin doubled and Alomar had an RBI single to end Wright’s 16-inning scoreless streak. After second baseman Desi Relaford fumbled Roberto Alomar’s grounder for an error, Thomas—in a 1-for-13 slump—hit a two-run double past a diving Carlos Beltran in right-center field.

“We still have a chance and when you do, you have to play the right away,”Royals manager Tony Pena said.

Notes

Sweeney’s homer was the 19th of his career against the White Sox, including three this season. … Both the White Sox and Royals have nine games left. After two more games against one another this weekend, the teams wrap up the season with four games at Kauffman Stadium, where they started the season on March 31. … Buehrle is now 8-3 in his career against the Royals. … Thomas’ three RBIs gave him 99 for the season. One more and he will reach 100for the 10th time in his career. … The White Sox are 49-27 at home.

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