The KC Royals lost their series finale to the Chicago White Sox, 2-1 in 11 innings in Monday’s makeup game.
The Royals offense had White Sox starter Chris Sale on the ropes early, as he needed 57 pitches to get through two innings. Then they got all antsy and started swinging early and often. Next thing you know, Sale makes it into the 8th inning on 119 pitches.
Meanwhile, James Shields did not allow a hit until Dewayne Wise led off the 6th inning with a single. He threw 102 pitches through eight innings, struck out nine, and Ned Yost decided to pull him for closer Greg Holland. Big mistake.
Wasn’t Shields‘ nickname with TB, “Complete Game James” (to go along with “Big Game James”)? So why take him out when you acquired him in a trade to FINISH games?
Well, everyone is debating this question as I type this because Holland allowed three straight singles to load the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth. He looked like a magician when he got Paul Konerko to hit into a 1-2-3 double play. It looked like Holland might escape and get another save, but for some reason, the Royals chose to walk youngster Conner Gillaspie to load the bases to face Alexei Ramirez. Ramirez singled up the middle to tie the game. Fellow youngster Jordan Danks thought he might score too on the hit, but Chris Getz had knocked down the ball and Danks was out.
Danks would redeem himself in the 11th inning.
For some reason, Yost decided to send Kelvin Herrera out for another inning. He was saved with one out in the 11th when Salvador Perez threw Alex Rios out trying to steal second base (after he singled). Danks then hit a solo homerun to give the White Sox the lead. That is the fifth homerun Herrera has allowed six this season in just 14.1 innings. YIKES!
The Royals then went down quietly against White Sox closer Addison Reed in the bottom of the 11th. It was hardly just that inning. The last time they did not go down 1-2-3 was the 7th inning when Perez doubled with two outs.
The Royals now head to Baltimore for three games beginning tomorrow night. I’ll be at Camden Yards on Tuesday night for the series opener and hopefully the rain holds off. Unfortunately, it’ll be another cold one.
*For more on the White Sox, check out South Side Hit Girl.