While hopes were that the Chicago White Sox were not looking past the Kasnas City Royals, many White Sox fans already were, hoping the White Sox would take care of business while they looked forward to the following series against the New York Yankees and the eventual series against the Detroit Tigers. It’s hard to say the White Sox were looking past the Royals, but the overall series was possibly the worst of the season.
What stings for the White Sox even more is who they had on the mound for each of the three games. Friday night started off with Chris Sale taking the ball against Luis Mendoza. Kansas City started the scoring with a home run by Lorenzo Cain, who had three home runs coming into the game. A Paul Konerko solo home run and a Gordon Beckham RBI single gave the White Sox the lead. Billy Butler would tie it again with a solo home run for Kansas City, and then, on what would prove to be Sale’s last pitch of the game, he gave up a two-run double on a 1-2 pitch. The double gave Kansas City the win, as Sale would pick up just his fourth loss of the season.
With Jake Peavy taking the mound on Saturday, the White Sox were hoping that the former Cy Young award winner would be able to be a stopper. Three early runs for Kansas City would put a stop to those thoughts, and Butler added to that with another run on an RBI single in the fifth. As has been the case most of the year, the White Sox wouldn’t lie down, as a Konerko two-run homer cut the deficit in half.
What has also been the case for much of the year is White Sox pitchers giving up runs after they score, and sure enough, in the bottom half of the inning, Eric Hosmer would add to the lead with a solo home run. As the game began to feel like it was getting away, Adam Dunn would hit a ball the other way that would clear the outfield wall for his 400th home run, and more importantly, cutting the lead to one.
But, in the bottom half of the inning, you guessed it, White Sox pitching would give those runs back and more, as the White Sox would fall to the Royals 9-4.
Looking to avoid the sweep, Jose Quintana took the mound for the White Sox. Opposing him was Jeremy Guthrie, who’s 5-12 record and 5.41 ERA have not really helped the White Sox all that much. Guthrie would be more than a headache for the White Sox, as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. But as many people would have predicted, Konerko broke up the no hitter on an infield single.
The play was the cause of some temporary controversy, as many felt the play should have been ruled an error. Down two runs in the eighth, the White Sox would tie the game on a three-base error. However, in the bottom half of the inning, as has happened so often, the White Sox would give the runs back, and the Royals would add three runs. The three runs would be more than enough, as the Royals would complete the three game sweep of the White Sox.
Hopefully for White Sox, manager Robin Ventura has taken some notes from this series. Ventura has never been big on walking hitters, but allowing Billy Butler on Saturday night to beat them with a chance to walk him adds to the mistake of failing to walk Edwin Encarnation in the Toronto series. Both moves would play a large part in losses, so there are lessons to be learned there.
The White Sox will now host the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field beginning Monday night at 7 p.m. Gavin Floyd will take the mound against former White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia. The Yankees are 71-49 before their game with the Boston Red Sox Sunday night.