White Sox 11, Royals 8
Pierzynski’s hit broke a tie in the sixth inning and sent the Chicago White Sox to an 11-8 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night after blowing a four-run lead.
“Every time you win a close one, it’s more confidence, but it does drain you a little bit,” said Paul Konerko, who was 3-for-4 with four RBIs. “That’s the give-and-take of it. But ultimately, it’s probably a good thing.”
Konerko hit a three-run homer in the first, Thomas had a solo shot in the third and Dye led off the fifth with a home run. But the Royals rallied from 7-3 down and tied it 8-all on back-to-back home runs by John Buck and Ruben Gotay in the sixth.
The White Sox quickly answered against Ryan Jensen (3-2).
Tadahito Iguchi and Konerko singled, and Dye walked to load the bases with two outs. That brought up Pierzynski, whose bloop single to center made it 10-8. The next batter, Joe Crede, gave the White Sox an insurance run with an RBI single to left.
“They’re playing together, they always find a way to win and they’ve got a good bullpen, too,” Royals starter Jose Lima said.
Neal Cotts (2-0) struck out three and allowed one hit in 2 1-3 innings, extending his scoreless streak to nine straight outings—13 2-3 innings. Dustin Hermanson pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances.
Cotts’ performance drew this evaluation from manager Ozzie Guillen: “Neal is our MVP over the last two or three weeks.”
Cotts disputed that, but did say, “I’ve been throwing the ball pretty well. But other guys are throwing just as well, and guys are coming through with clutch hits.”
Like Pierzynski, who was 2-for-24 before this game.
One of those hits was a game-ending, two-run homer Saturday against the Dodgers. On Monday, he was 3-for-4, including a bunt single.
“When you’re struggling, in a tie game, you’ll take anything you can get,” Pierzynski said. “Especially in that situation (the sixth inning). You’ll take anything you can get.”
Konerko hit his team-high 18th home run. Thomas’ homer was his sixth in nine hits. And Dye’s shot was his 14th.
“It’s good to hit behind (Thomas),” Konerko said. “Even when he has a tough game, he usually squeaks out a walk, makes the pitchers throw. I’ve got to think, that no matter how he’s going—good or bad—the other team focuses on him a lot. Sometimes I get a good pitch to hit because it seems so much energy is (devoted) to him. There might be a let up.”
Mark Teahen drove in three runs for the Royals.
The White Sox got to Lima early, tagging him for seven runs in four innings. That looked as if it would be enough support for Brandon McCarthy, who was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte earlier in the day to start for Orlando Hernandez. El Duque went on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.
But McCarthy got in trouble in the fourth, allowing a two-run double to Teahen. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, McCarthy balked in a run and left after giving up a two-run double to Matt Stairs that cut the White Sox’ lead to 7-6.
“The balk was just a rookie mistake,” McCarthy said. “I’m sure they were trying to rattle me and that basically worked. I let my lower body hitch a little bit. It’s one of those things that you learn and move on from.”
The Royals placed four-time All-Star Mike Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist and elbow before the game. LHP Jeremy Affeldt (strained left groin) and righty Ambiorix Burgos (strained rotator cuff) also went on the 15-day DL. … The Royals’ Emil Brown extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the top of the second. … The White Sox had four steals, giving them a major league-leading 75.
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