FOLLOW LIVE:

White Sox hit four homers, cruise past Royals

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- It's only two games and two wins into the season, but the Chicago White Sox have to feel good about the way they've beaten the Kansas City Royals thus far.

After shutting out their American League Central rival 1-0 on Opening Day, they came right back two days later and took care of the Royals 5-2 at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday afternoon.

Once again, the weather was cold -- 44 degrees to start the game -- but the White Sox's pitching stayed hot. Chicago's bats also heated up, launching four home runs and giving starter Jake Peavy all the support he needed to pick up the win.

"Anytime you get a lead is nice," said Peavy, who struck out six and allowed just two runs (one earned) in six innings.

"I'm comfortable pitching in a close, tight ballgame, that's for sure, but anytime you get a (multiple-run) lead, you feel like you can be even more aggressive ... and attack without one swing of the bat beating us. That's always nice," Peavy said.

White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, who homered for the only run in Monday's season opener, clubbed another one Wednesday off Royals starter Ervin Santana, who allowed three of four Sox home runs and four runs total in six innings.

Adam Dunn also hit his first homer of the year in the second inning, and Dayan Viciedo gave Chicago a 4-1 lead in the fourth with a two-run home run off Santana. Alexei Ramirez provided an insurance run with a seventh-inning homer off Luke Hochevar.

The Royals got a run in the third and another in the seventh but couldn't get the big hit to turn potential rallies into multiple runs. That was also the case in the season-opening loss to the White Sox, but nobody in the Kansas City clubhouse is ready to hit the panic button yet.

"It's early in the season," said Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who doubled Wednesday but is 1-for-8 in the two games.

"We're going to figure these things out. We're going to start playing a little more as a team, and then, once we start rolling, we'll see where we're at. We're still getting our feet wet together."

The Sox, meanwhile, have more going right after the first couple games. Aside from strong starting pitching and the home runs, they got another strong performance out of their bullpen -- just as they did on Opening Day.

After Peavy departed, Sox relievers Jesse Crain, Donnie Veal and Matt Lindstrom overcame a one out, bases-loaded situation in the seventh that was sparked by one of three Chicago errors. Lindstrom and Matt Thornton combined to retire the side in the eighth before Addison Reed picked up his second straight save by pitching a perfect ninth.

The White Sox were thrilled about the escape, but it was equally as frustrating on the other side of the field.

"We had, again, some opportunities and couldn't push across a run or two in some of those spots to get us back into the game," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We'll get back on track quickly. We will hit. We can swing the bats."

It didn't help that Peavy (1-0) had some really good stuff on the mound, especially early. He wasn't quite as efficient with his pitch count as Chris Sale was Monday, but he was every bit as effective. Peavy struck out five through the first two innings and overcame the first of Chicago's errors -- by Viciedo on a single to left in the third -- allowing just one unearned run to score.

That tied it 1-1 after Dunn had homered to right field in the second, but Flowers untied it in the third with his second homer in as many games. Viciedo followed with a two-run shot off Santana (0-1) in the fourth, which drove in Dunn and gave Peavy a 4-1 lead.

Kansas City's Billy Butler drove in Alex Gordon from third on a fielder's choice in the sixth to make it 4-2 before Ramirez homered to left for what became the final margin.

Despite allowing three home runs, Santana impressed his manager. The Royals acquired the right-hander from the Angels last October.

Santana struck out eight, getting his good stuff working late in his outing. He struck out the side in the fifth, but the Royals already trailed by three runs at that point.

"I thought he threw the ball real well," Yost said. "I thought he commanded the ball very well. I thought he changed speeds effectively. All three pitches that he gave up for homers were pretty good pitches."

NOTES: The White Sox play 14 of their next 25 games at U.S. Cellular Field. ... Peavy came into the game 0-6 with a 5.56 ERA in his previous seven starts against the Royals. ... Chicago re-acquired 1B Lars Anderson from the Blue Jays on Monday for cash considerations and assigned him to Triple-A Charlotte. ... Paul Konerko's double in the sixth inning tied him with Frank Thomas for third in White Sox history with 2,136 hits. ... Miguel Tejada got his first plate appearance as a Royal in the seventh when he pinch-hit for Chris Getz with runners on first and third. Tejada drew a walk against Veal to load the bases. ... According to Nielsen Media Research and Fox Sports, Monday's Opening Day telecast pulled in a 4.7 household rating in the Kansas City market, which was 203 percent higher than the last time the Royals opened on the road (1.6 on April 7, 2009, in Chicago).

Instantly join a new league.

League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 29 9:00 am
View Comments (7)