Royals end three-game marathon with win

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Jason Kendall(notes) finally put an end to this marathon series.

Kendall hit a game-ending single with two outs in the 10th inning to give the Kansas City Royals a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, the teams’ third extra-inning game in less than 24 hours.

“Three tough games, all three went extra innings,” Royals starter Zack Greinke(notes) said. “They are playing for the playoffs, so you know they are giving everything they have and we still beat them fighting.”

Gregor Blanco(notes) walked with two outs and stole second and third before Kendall delivered the hit to left-center off Scott Linebrink(notes) (1-1).

The Royals and White Sox played three games totaling 9 hours, 32 minutes and 31 innings. They split a doubleheader Saturday night, the first game going 11 innings and the second 10, that did not end until 1:11 a.m. Sunday morning.

The last time the Royals played three consecutive extra-innings game was June 9-11, 2000, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Royals won the first two games and lost the third in that series. The White Sox last played three straight extra-inning games Aug. 3-5, 1988.

“I don’t think anyone has ever heard of what we did last night, starting at doubleheader at 6,” said Chris Getz(notes), who had two hits, two stolen bases, a walk and a run for the Royals. “Hopefully, we don’t have to do that again.”

The Royals are 9-5 in extra innings this season, while the White Sox are 4-9.

“You just get through it somehow,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.. “It’s tough. Zack did a great job of picking us up and giving us eight strong innings. That was huge. You go through all that work, all that abuse, if you will, to your pitching staff and if you don’t win a series it hurts a lot more.”

The White Sox lost four of six on this trip, and all the losses were by one run, three in extra innings.

“This was a tough road trip,” White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko(notes) said. “No matter how close the games are 2-4 is not good.”

The White Sox have lost 10 of 14 to drop from first place to 4 1/2 games behind the Twins, who play Sunday night.

“This road trip was very important for us, and we played like garbage,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I’m very, very disappointed. It was very, very bad. We’re better than this.”

Sean O’Sullivan(notes) (2-4) worked a scoreless 10th to pick up his first victory since the Royals acquired him in a July 22 trade with the Los Angeles Angels.

Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, went eight innings, walking one and striking out nine. He allowed two runs and nine hits. Greinke, who threw a season-high 120 pitches, is 7-3 in his past 13 starts after beginning the season 1-8.

A.J. Pierzynski(notes) doubled home Carlos Quentin(notes) with the first run in the second inning.

The Royals tied it in the bottom half on Wilson Betemit’s(notes) eighth home run. The Royals went ahead 2-1 in the third when Kendall hit an RBI double.

White Sox left-hander John Danks(notes), who is 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA in his previous nine starts, allowed two runs in six innings, throwing 112 pitches. He walked three and allowed five hits before being replaced by Bobby Jenks(notes), who allowed one hit in three scoreless innings.

“We’re getting down to crunch time,” Danks said. “We need to win these close games. It was a tough series and a tough series against Minnesota. We had three extra-inning defeats. It was a battle and we didn’t get the results we wanted.”

NOTES: White Sox LHP Matt Thornton(notes) has soreness in his left forearm and has not pitched since Tuesday. … Royals rookie reliever Blake Wood(notes) was held out of the White Sox series with tightness in his back. … Getz stole two bases in two attempts, upping his season total to 13, and has 39 steals in 44 attempts in his career. … White Sox 3B Omar Vizquel(notes) singled in the first, his 2,775 hit to move him one past Hall of Famer Andre Dawson for 48th on the all-time hit list.

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