After today's loss, the White Sox will finish the 2011 season with an under-.500 record, and they did it in classic style -- with little help from the offense.
Gavin Floyd pitched well, carrying a no-hitter through five innings and striking out 10 batters for the fifth time in his career. But in a twist, a great play by Alex Rios that preserved his no-hit bid might have cost him the game.
Rios robbed Billy Butler of a double with two outs in the fourth inning, running down his drive to the gap and running straight into a post in the fence. That gave him a face-and-shoulderburger, and he had to leave the game. Alejandro De Aza slid over to center, and Dayan Viciedo took his place in right.
So when Lorenzo Cain led off with a line drive to right that fell in front of Viciedo ... well, De Aza probably could've had that. In short succession, Floyd lost the no-hitter, the shutout and the game. Chris Getz singled to center, Alcides Escobar bunted them over, and Jarrod Dyson slashed a double down the first-base line to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.
That was the Royals' lone hit with runners in scoring position. In fact, they only had three at-bats with runners in scoring position, as Floyd came back from the bummer inning to throw eight strong innings.
Luis Mendoza countered Floyd with a great outing of his own, though. The White Sox bats weren't any more potent -- they went 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and it only counted for one run. Paul Konerko, who had developed a nasty bruise after taking a fastball to his elbow the previous at-bat, came up with runners on first and second and delivered a double down the left-field line. It didn't get down into the corner, so Alexei Ramirez could only make it to third. He would stay there, as Dayan Viciedo gave away an at-bat with a backwards K after an intentional walk to A.J. Pierzynski loaded the bases.