CHICAGO (AP)—Bobby Jenks’ pitch selection got in the way of him setting a remarkable record.
Jenks settled for a share of the record when Joey Gathright broke the Chicago closer’s string of 41 straight outs, and then stopped the White Sox’s worst skid in 16 years by saving a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Jenks, who tied Jim Barr’s mark of 41 for San Francisco in 1972 last Sunday, gave up a single to Joey Gathright to lead off the ninth.
“I messed that one up myself, said Jenks. “I shook off slider to go back to curveball. But he’s hot, tip my hat.”
Jenks responded by retiring the next three batters for his 34th save in 39 chances.
“I was so amped up facing him that I got out of control a little bit, putting him on base,” Jenks said. “Getting that first out calmed me down and I was able to make every pitch after that. In a way, it helped me out a little bit to get the save, but it’s frustrating as well,” Jenks said.
Gathright was just glad to keep his name out of the record books.
“I didn’t know I was that guy. I’m glad I wasn’t,” said Gathright.
Josh Fields broke a 3-all tie in the seventh inning with an RBI single for Chicago. Danny Richar had tied the game earlier in the inning with his second home run of the year. Scott Podsednik also homered for the White Sox, who avoided losing nine in a row for the first time since Aug. 19-28, 1991.
“It feels weird. I forgot the last time we shook hands. I forgot what to do, I was confused,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
Emil Brown hit a two-run homer and Gathright had three hits for the Royals, who fell back into a tie with the White Sox in fourth place in the AL Central.
The White Sox trailed 3-2 with one out in the seventh inning when Richar homered to right to tie the game off Royals reliever David Riske (1-3). Owens followed by reaching on a bunt and stole second. Fields then drove him in to give the White Sox a 4-3 lead.
Chicago has won seven of nine games against Kansas City this season.
Jermaine Dye led off the fifth off Royals starter Gil Meche with a shot off the top of the wall in left-center. Dye settled for a double, and Podsednik brought Dye around on his second homer of the season to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, White Sox starter Mark Buehrle let the lead go to waste.
Mark Grudzielanek doubled to lead off the inning. White Sox center fielder Jerry Owens slid into the wall attempting to make the catch on Grudzielanek’s ball, but he couldn’t hold it. One out later, Brown homered on Buehrle’s 2-1 pitch to left. It was Brown’s sixth of the season and tied the game at two. Alex Gordon chased Buehrle with a double to right, and with two outs, Gathright hit an RBI-single off White Sox reliever Matt Thornton to give the Royals the lead.
Thornton (4-4) rebounded to pitch a scoreless seventh to earn the victory.
Royals starter Gil Meche, who came into the game with a 0-5 record over his last five starts, received a no-decision. He pitched 5 2-3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits. He struck out six and walked two.
It’s a tough loss, Gil was good,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “We had some opportunities.”
Buehrle allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. He had four strikeouts and two walks.
Ryan Garko had been the last player to reach against Jenks, with a home run at Cleveland on July 17. … Reliever Mike Myers and the White Sox reached agreement on a contract Monday, two weeks after the New York Yankees cut the lefty. The 38-year-old Myers will get the prorated minimum salary for the rest of this season. The White Sox hold a $1.1 million option for next year with no buyout. … The Royals and Grudzielanek exercised his $4.5 million option for next year.