Tonight, they faced the Kansas City Royals, who once again tried to prove why Cheryl calls them PITAs. Luckily, the Sox put together some good hitting at the right time and pulled out a 4-2 win.
Chris Sale got his first start in nine days tonight, and the extra rest seemed to be good for him. He pitched eight solid innings, giving up two runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Those two runs given up were solo home runs to Jeff Francoeur in the fifth and Billy Butler in the seventh. He now has a 13-3 record with a 2.59 ERA. Sale is a strong pitcher and continuously showing why he should be among those AL pitchers being talked about for the Cy Young award. He’s in the top five for sure.
Addison Reed picked up his 20th save of the season in dramatic fashion. After getting Butler to pop out to second, Alexei Ramirez had a fielding error, allowing Salvador Perez to reach base. Reed then gave up a single to Francoeur, putting two men on and the go-ahead run in Eric Hosmer at the plate. Hosmer grounded into a 3-6-1 double play with a very close play at first for the third out.
Sox hitters had a relatively good game today as well. While he didn’t set a White Sox record by homering in six straight games, AJ Pierzynski had another great night at the plate. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI double in the second, scoring Alex Rios. After the Royals went up 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Paul Konerko showed why he is King Konerko and tied the game at two with his 18th homer of the season.
The Sox tacked two more runs on the board in the eighth. With one out, Gordon Beckham came through with his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to left. Royals starter Luis Mendoza then walked Jordan Danks and gave up and RBI double to Kevin Youkilis. Mendoza was then pulled for Tim Collins who finished off the last two thirds of the inning.
The White Sox still sit on top of the AL Central with a 1.5 game lead over the Tigers who beat the Yankees tonight. Tomorrow night, the Sox will deal with Bruce Chen. Chen is 7-9 with a 5.66 ERA and struggled against the Indians in his last outing. He threw 55 pitches in 2.2 innings and was pulled after giving up four runs. The Sox send out Jake Peavy who is pitching on an extra day’s rest after the Sox started Sale tonight. Peavy is 9-7 with a 3.04 ERA.
For more on the Royals, be sure to visit Drinking the Royals Blue Aid.