Six-run first spurs White Sox to 9-5 win
Chicago’s first eight batters reached Friday night and the White Sox turned seven first-inning singles into six runs in a 9-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Greinke had given up six hits and a run over seven innings against Chicago when the teams met in Kansas City eight days ago. He didn’t look like the same pitcher as the teams opened the second half of the season.
“We were different. We just came out and attacked and before you knew it, he had given up a couple of runs off four or five hits and I think he didn’t know what hit him,” said Chicago’s Jermaine Dye, who had a two-run single in the first.
“I was surprised we came out like that after four days off and being able to see the ball like we did tonight.”
“They had four days off to recoup themselves mentally and physically. … To see them come out and swing the bat that way, you feel a little bit better,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
“Because in the back of your mind, you don’t know how they’re going to throw, how they’re going to hit, how they’re going to play defense. Because four days is a lot of time off. But they reacted the right way.”
Buehrle (7-8) allowed four hits, including a long three-run homer to Billy Butler that got Kansas City within 7-4 in the sixth. But the White Sox added two runs against the Royals’ bullpen and maintained their 1 1/2 -game lead over Minnesota.
The White Sox had 22 hits Sunday in a 12-11 loss at Texas in their final game before the break and then continued the hitting tear in the first against Greinke.
Greinke (7-6) lasted three-plus innings, his shortest outing of the season, and left after loading the bases in the fourth on a single and two walks, a jam reliever Joel Peralta quickly escaped. Greinke, 2-8 in his career against the White Sox including 0-6 at U.S. Cellular Field, gave up seven runs, 11 hits and three walks.
And the White Sox were feasting on his pitches early in the count. They scored five runs after the Royals’ right-hander had thrown only 16 pitches.
“It’s starting to get into my head a little bit,” Greinke said of his poor outings in Chicago. “Always in this park. … Kind of weird. Five pitches, six pitches, five hits or five people on base. So before you knew it, it was really bad.”
Orlando Cabrera and A.J. Pierzysnki opened with singles and Greinke hit Quentin with a pitch near the left wrist to load the bases. Dye followed with a two-run single, Jim Thome and Paul Konerko had run-scoring singles and Nick Swisher singled to reload the bases. Joe Crede delivered another RBI single and then Alexei Ramirez had a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to make it 6-1.
Quentin hit his 23rd homer leading off the second for a 7-1 lead.
The only hit Buerhle allowed through the first five innings was a bloop RBI single in the first by Mark Grudzielanek.
But the Royals got singles from David DeJesus and Mark Teahen in the sixth before Butler broke an 0-for-12 streak with his third homer to make it a three-run game. Butler added an RBI single off Nick Masset in the eighth.
Royals reliever Jimmy Gobble replaced Peralta with a runner at first in the seventh and walked Thome before hitting Konerko with a low pitch—Royals manager Trey Hillman argued the call—to load the bases. He walked Swisher on a 3-2 pitch to force in Chicago’s eighth run, and Crede greeted reliever Robinson Tejada with a sacrifice fly.
Kansas City got an unearned run in the first on Grudzielanek’s single right after Ramirez fumbled Butler’s grounder to second for an error. Butler, however, was thrown out on the play by right fielder Dye as he tried to get to third.
Royals cleanup hitter Jose Guillen was a scratch with back spasms. … Buehrle, who lost to the Royals last week in Kansas City, is 17-7 against them lifetime, his second-most wins against any opponent behind the 21 over the Minnesota Twins.