Dewayne Wise has been pushing his way into the outfield rotation. With another game like tonight's, Dayan Viciedo may find himself on the outside looking in.
Combining his offense and defense, Viciedo gave away three runs, which just happened to be the margin of victory. In the fourth, he came up with the bases loaded and nobody out and hit a pop-up. The Sox couldn't overcome that setback, failing to score and strengthened the budding "White Sox can't hit Bruce Chen again" storyline.
In the seventh, he couldn't catch Alex Gordon's deep drive to left field for the third out. It wasn't an easy play -- it was an opposite-field drive that took him all the way to the warning track. But it looked like he didn't know where the wall was, and that took away from the attention devoted to making the catch. That turned into a two-run "double" and put the game out of reach.
Viciedo's inability to make the play also marred Chris Sale's final line:
- Catch: 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
- No catch: 6 2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
But the problems extended beyond Viciedo's bad night. The White Sox went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and the lone hit was the Alex Rios single that only loaded the bases for Viciedo.
It also wasn't a good game for the other White Sox Cuban. Alexei Ramirez came up behind Viciedo and also popped out. He went 0-for-4, stranded six runners, and committed a throwing error on an attempt to turn a 3-6-3 double play.
Kevin Youkilis went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts (he's 3-for-35 against Kansas City this season), and hung Alejandro De Aza out to dry when he couldn't pull the trigger on a hit-and-run as the second batter of the game. Flowers struck out looking twice, the first time putting the nail in that bases-loaded threat.
Aside from De Aza, who went 4-for-5 with a double and a triple, and Rios (3-for-4), the White Sox couldn't make good contact. Chen induced seven pop-ups by himself.
The poor effort on offense wasted a well-pitched game. As usual, the Royals got to Sale for hits (he's allowed eight or more hits in all four starts against Kansas City), but he limited the damage nicely, allowing just a Billy Butler sac fly through the first six innings. In fact, Butler came to the plate four times with runners in scoring position, and that lone sac fly was all he could do. The Royals did the White Sox two worse, going 1-for-14 in the clutch -- and that lone hit was the double that shouldn't have been.