White Sox 5, Royals 4, 10 innings

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CHICAGO (AP)—Jermaine Dye’s been struggling. And he’s had plenty of company.

Runs and hits have been scarce for the Chicago White Sox, with many of their top hitters hovering around .200 nearly six weeks into the season.

So, Dye went out for early batting practice Saturday and then applied what he practiced.

After teammate Juan Uribe hit a two-out double in the ninth to tie the game, Dye singled in the winning run in the 10th for a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals.

“Hits haven’t been coming too good for me,” said Dye, who entered the game in an 0-for-13 slump before raising his average from .193 to .202 with a 2-for-5 night.

“My mind-set today was try to get one hit and go from there, stay positive, keep swinging and sooner or later, I’ll come out of it,” he said. “Hopefully tonight is a start.”

After Royals closer Joakim Soria got the first two outs in the bottom of the ninth with Kansas City leading 4-3, Darin Erstad singled and Uribe doubled off the top of the right-center field fence. It was Soria’s second blown save in eight chances.

“You can’t expect him to be perfect. He’s been very good for us and he’s only had a couple outings where he hasn’t been able to get it done. That’s going to happen,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said of Soria. “We love the kid. But he’s going to have nights like this. Two out, nobody on, you end up losing the game. That’s a tough loss.”

Uribe, who homered in the first, had been moved to second in the batting order as manager Ozzie Guillen tried to find a spark for an offense that entered the game last in the American League in batting average, on-base percentage and runs scored.

“This is a sign of what we were about a couple of years ago, never giving up,” Dye said. “Uribe came up big for us and we were able to keep them from scoring and give ourselves a chance and we did it.

“I think our offense is going to start clicking. As good as our lineup is, as much talent as we have, it’s just a matter of time,” Dye added.

Paul Konerko walked to start the bottom of the 10th and pinch-runner Luis Terrero moved up on a wild pitch by Brandon Duckworth (0-3). Dye singled to center and Terrero beat the throw to the plate.

Chicago has won four straight and 6 of 7. The Royals have lost 7 of 8.

“It’s always deflating when you have the lead and you end up losing it in extra innings. Going into the ninth, especially with two outs, it’s very difficult,” Duckworth said. “Especially with the way we’ve been playing. It’s very frustrating. You just have to keep going.”

In the top of the 10th, Mike MacDougal (1-0) walked Emil Brown, who stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. But MacDougal retired Billy Butler on a slow grounder and struck out Alex Gordon.

Until the ninth, Royals starter Scott Elarton had been on his way to first victory since his last July 16—two weeks before surgery on his right shoulder.

Making his first major league appearance since the operation, Elarton gave up six hits, including solo homers by Uribe and Ryan Sweeney, while allowing three runs in five innings. Former starter Zack Greinke replaced Elarton and pitched three hitless innings before Soria stumbled.

Chicago starter Mark Buehrle failed in his third attempt for his 100th career victory. Buehrle gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings and is 1-1 with two no-decisions since his no-hitter against the Rangers on April 18.

John Buck’s two-run homer capped a four-run fourth off Buehrle, who was staked to an early 2-0 lead. Mark Teahen’s single, Mike Sweeney’s RBI double past first and Butler’s sacrifice fly tied the game at 2-2. One out later, Buck connected for his fifth homer of the season.

Sweeney’s first major league homer, leading off the bottom of the fifth, cut it to 4-3. The White Sox then loaded the bases on a double, walk and an error on shortstop Esteban German. But Elarton retired Rob Mackowiak on an inning-ending groundout.

Notes

In August 2004, Elarton pitched the best game of his career, a two-hit shutout of the White Sox while he was with the Indians. … White Sox slugger Jim Thome, out with a muscle strain in his rib cage, took batting practice and could start a minor league rehab assignment Monday. … Uribe finished with a season-high three hits.

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