White Sox 5, Royals 4; Sox avoid disaster and hold on for win

Chris Sale won his 16th game today against the Royals. He started slow but retired the last 10 men he faced.

The White Sox roughed up Bruce "Cy" Chen today with three homers. Dayan Viciedo, batting in the 3rd spot, smashed one over the right field fence in the first inning. In the fourth, Tyler Flowers hit one into the bullpen for a two run shot. Paul Konerko delivered a lead off homer in the 6th. Throw in an Alexei Ramirez third inning double to score Gordon Beckham, who also doubled, and the Sox had a 5-1 lead.

Chris Sale struggled early on. He fell behind a ton of hitters, threw a lot of pitches and couldn't put guys away for the first 3 innings. He managed to keep the Royals out of the run column until the top of the third when Billy Butler singled to right to score Lorenzo Cain.

After that single though, Sale started to dominate. Butler was the last man to reach off of Sale, as he retired the last ten men he saw. Unfortunately, his pitch count was up near the 100 area so in the seventh, Robin Ventura called on Jesse Crain. Crain used a biting curve ball to pitch a perfect seventh, which included two strikeouts.

Brett Myers couldn't do the same. He faced three batters and gave up three line hits. Johnny Giavotella ripped a ground rule double to left. Cain singled to right and Alcides Escobar hit the left field wall to score Giavotella. Thankfully, Viciedo made a great throw to Ramirez who gunned out Cain at the plate for one out. Matt Thornton came in and struck out Alex Gordon and Billy Butler to preserve the 5-2 lead.

Addison Reed came in to atone for last night and started strong. He struck out Salvador Perez and got Jeff Francoeur to pop out foul to Flowers for the second out. Mike Moustakas then hit a soft liner to left that Jordan Danks, who came in for defense, lost in the lights. I immediately went into Ron Santo mode with an "Oh No"! Brayan Pena then singled to right to make it 5-3. After a stolen base, Giavotella singled to make it 5-4. Next up was Cain, who won the game off of Reed last evening. Pinch runner Jarrod Dyson stole 2nd, meaning a base hit would tie the game, but Reed was up for the challenge today as he got Cain swinging to end the game and the 6 game losing streak to the Royals.

* Mark Parent got the boot for yelling at the umpire after Cain was called safe at the plate in the third inning. Parent was indeed correct as replays showed Cain was out. It wasn't even close.

* Viciedo's homer was his 20th of the year, as he joined Adam Dunn, A.J. Pierzynski, Alex Rios and Paul Konerko with at least 20 this year.

* Dunn (oblique) and Kevin Youkilis (paternity leave) both missed the game again today.

* The Sox had a chance to really put the game out of reach in the 7th inning as Gordon Beckham led off with a walk, DeWayne Wise followed with a single and after a Ramirez line out, Viciedo singled to load the bases. Unfortunately, Paul Konerko popped up to Butler and Rios grounded into a 6-4 force out to end the threat. Konerko is now 1-11 this year with the bases loaded.

* The Sox move to 1 1/2 up on the Tigers, who face the Angels tonight. Justin Verlander squares off against C.J. Wilson.

* Sale earned the win, his 16th of the year.

* Hector Santiago takes the mound tomorrow afternoon against Jeremy "Big Train" Guthrie.

Record: 75-63 | Box

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