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White Sox 2, Royals 1 (11)

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo -- The Chicago White Sox averted a sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals with a 2-1 victory over the Royals in 11 innings Monday at Kauffman Stadium.

Jordan Danks belted his first home run of the season off Kelvin Herrera (2-3) in the top of the 11th.

Jesse Crain pitched a scoreless 10th for the White Sox to get the win and improve to 1-1. Addison Reed pitched a perfect 11th to pick up his 11th save in 12 chances.

The game was a make-up of Friday's rainout.

Both teams had chances to score more runs but couldn't get the key hit.

The sun-soaked crowd of 15,576 watched an old-fashioned pitchers' duel through regulation. The Royals' James Shields and Chicago's Chris Sale locked up in a rematch of Opening Day, when Sale won a 1-0 decision over Shields and the Royals in Chicago.

Shields was nearly flawless Monday. He mixed his pitches and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, when Dewayne Wise hit a sinking liner into right that just eluded Jeff Francoeur's glove for a single leading off the inning. But Shields retired the next three batters to get out of the inning clean.

Shields finished with no runs allowed in eight innings. He gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out nine.

Sale was equally impressive. He gave up one run on six hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. He threw 119 pitches, 80 of them strikes.

The Royals held to a 1-0 lead entering the ninth, but Greg Holland blew his second save in nine chances. He gave up hits to the first three batters, before getting Paul Konerko to ground into a 1-2-3 double play. But, after intentionally walking Conor Gillaspie, he gave up an infield hit to Alexei Ramirez that drove in the tying run. Second baseman Chris Getz fielded the ball, but couldn't get Gillaspie as Alex Rios scored. Danks, who was pinch-running for Adam Dunn, over-ran third and was tagged out in a rundown.

Shields averted trouble in the top of the seventh when Ramirez pulled a Shields offering just outside of the left-field foul pole. At least that was the ruling. Chicago manager Robin Ventura asked for an umpire review, but the review did not change the call. Replays indicated that it may have been fair, but there was no conclusive replay.

The Royals wasted little time getting to Sale in the first. Alex Gordon hit a line drive off Sale's leg and beat out a close play for a single. After Alcedes Escobar flew out to the wall in left center, Billy Butler yanked one down the third-base line for an RBI double.

Sale, who had pitched 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the opener with 104 pitches, needed 36 pitches to get out of the first. He used another 21 pitches in the second.

But once he found his groove, he was as untouchable as Shields. He needed only 62 pitches in the next 5 1/3 innings. He retired 15 in a row at one point.

NOTES: Jake Peavy had been scheduled for Monday's start but was scratched Saturday because of back spasms. The Royals now stand 10-5 at home after 15 games. At this point in 2012, they stood 2-13...This was Shields' sixth quality start in seven outings.
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