Tonight's game felt like many White Sox-Royals games over the years, back when their places in the standings were reversed. The White Sox didn't necessarily win the game as much as the Royals didn't take it themselves.
Granted, those victories from years past were more defined by confusing, hilarious efforts by Kansas City's defense, and that wasn't the case tonight. But the Royals did leave the home crowd wanting thanks to a mix of bad luck, bad baserunning, and, more than anything, an injury-ravaged lineup.
The White Sox jumped on the Royals early with single runs in the first and second. Gordon Beckham took Ervin Santana out of the park on a no-doubt shot, which isn't necessarily unusual these days. The way Paul Konerko scored in the second was slightly more unorthodox.
He started the second by hitting a grounder past Jamey Carroll at third, and it ended up along the wall in left. Konerko went for second on Alex Gordon and lived to tell about it for a leadoff double. He moved to third on Avisail Garcia's single, and then scored courtesy of the old Wild Pitch Offense.
The scorer called it a passed ball, technically, but either way, it wouldn't have been enough for Konerko to score alone. Even though Santana missed by an entire plate and Salvador Perez couldn't get a glove on it, Konerko wasn't inclined to break down the line. He only started jogging home when Perez went to the backstop and discovered that the ball disappeared between the padding and the signage on the wall. Konerko came home to give the Sox a 2-0 lead, and that provided John Danks one more run than he needed (perhaps the offense knew it, because the Sox were outhit 8-5).
Danks posted his finest start since his return, scattering seven hits (six singles and a double) and a walk over eight shutout innings. He only struck out two, but he didn't exactly BABIP his way to success, either. The Royals hit a handful of balls hard, and each of the mobile infielders snagged a line drive or hot grounder, but Danks never allowed them in a sequence that suggested he was on the verge of losing control of the game.
The Royals helped him out with some poor baserunning courtesy of White Sox graduate Chris Getz. In the third inning, Getz took off on a hit-and-run with Jamey Carroll. Carroll hit a soft fly to center, Getz didn't pick it up, and Alejandro De Aza had an easy double-play toss to first after making the catch to kill one threat.
Getz wasn't done. He could've caused the White Sox to sweat a bit when he singled off Danks to start the eighth. Danks hadn't even reached the 100-pitch mark, but he was in unfamilar territory in terms of innings, and it would've been incredibly easy to second-guess Robin Ventura. Then Danks picked off Getz (who barely had a lead, but went the other way on first movement), and he retired Carroll and Eric Hosmer on two pitches apiece to finish the night with 100 pitches even.
Addison Reed pitched around a leadoff single for his fourth save in as many games. His slider did a lot of the work, setting up a jamshot popout off the bat of Salvador Perez, and getting Justin Maxwell swinging to end the game.
Danks picked up his first victory since July 2, improving his record to 3-10. He's had some bad luck, and facing a lineup that features Justin Maxwell, Emilio Bonifacio, Alcides Escobar, Getz and Carroll hitting in succession is a good way to boost self-esteem.