KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—While Detroit, the AL Central Division leader, and Minnesota, which is in third place, made deals before the non-waiver trading deadline, the second-place Chicago White Sox stood pat.
That didn’t bother Jermaine Dye, who hit his 29th home run as the White Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals 8-4 on Monday night. Alex Cintron, who had three hits, and Joe Crede also homered for the White Sox.
“I don’t think we needed anything. What we started the season with we thought this was going to be the team we’d finish the year off with. We added a couple of guys last week,” Dye said, referring to reliever Mike MacDougal and catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. “I think that’s all we needed. We’re just going to ride this one out and do what we can do.”
What the White Sox have been doing in July is hitting home runs, an American League-leading 49 for the month. They have homered in 17 of the past 18 games and have scored 45 runs in their past seven games.
“For two weeks we didn’t swing the bats, but now we’re hitting,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We’re swinging the bats well. We just need to continue to do it. If we score five runs, the way our pitching is supposed to be we should win.”
Dye hit a solo shot with one out in the third inning off Runelvys Hernandez. Dye has hit nine home runs in his last 28 games and is four shy of his career-best 33 in 2000, when he played for the Royals. Dye, who also hit one Sunday at Baltimore, has homered in consecutive games six times this season.
“We know we have the potential to score a lot of runs,” Dye said.
Two batters later, Crede hit his 22nd homer following a single by Ross Gload. Crede, who is from Westphalia, Mo., about 175 miles from Kansas City, has 13 home runs and 33 RBIs in his last 37 games.
Cintron homered in the second after Scott Podsednik had singled with two outs. Cintron’s home run was an estimated 425 feet.
“I’ve hit one farther in 2003 in San Francisco,” Cintron said. “I hit this one pretty well. I was looking for a fastball. I put a pretty good swing on it. I was surprised how far it went. I tell (Jim) Thome, that’s how you hit them.”
Jose Contreras, who had lost his previous three starts after having his 17-game winning snapped on July 14, earned the victory. Contreras (10-3) started shaky, allowing three runs in the first two innings, but settled down, retiring 11 straight at one point before Joey Gathright’s infield single in the sixth.
“Jose was struggling early and got in trouble, then he settled down.” Guillen said. “It was important for us that he give us innings. It helped the bullpen recover.”
Contreras went seven innings, giving up four runs, three earned, nine hits and two walks, striking out three.
“In the beginning, I didn’t have my control, but in the end I was throwing strikes,” Contreras said through an interpreter.
Hernandez (2-6) was pulled after three innings, giving up eight runs and eight hits, including the three home runs, and two walks. Hernandez also had two balks in the first inning.
“He was more or less wild in the strike zone,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “He couldn’t get his pitches where he wanted to. It was a matter of command. Offensively, we had some opportunities to score early and then only had one real opportunity late in the game.”
In the White Sox’s three-run first, A.J. Pierzynski had an RBI single, his ninth hit in 10 at-bats. Cintron, who had singled, scored on Hernandez’s second balk with Dye batting. Pierzynski scored on Gload’s infield single.
“I was up in the zone,” Hernandez said. “You can’t throw up in the zone to a team like that. I was feeling good, but I missed a lot of pitches up. I was trying to overthrow. I lost concentration. When you don’t have good location, you’re going to get beat.”
The Royals scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Shane Costa’s single scored Mark Grudzielanek with the first run. Esteban German was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Mark Teahen with the second.
Gathright stole second after his single in the sixth inning and scored on John Buck’s single.
Teahen was named the AL Player of the Week, hitting .400 with three homers and eight RBIs. He is the first Royal to win the award this season. … RHP Scott Dohmann, who was acquired in a trade earlier Monday with the Rockies, arrived at Kauffman Stadium in the sixth inning … The White Sox improved to 7-3 against the Royals.