Royals 4, White Sox 1: A day for the "I's" in "team"

Brian Kersey

Symbolic moments for Paul Konerko and Jose Quintana highlight loss symbolic of 2013 season

With 100 losses out of the question, the White Sox could focus on a couple of individual tasks during the last game of the season.

The first? Sending off Paul Konerko. He received one standing ovation before popping out with two on in the first inning. He received a second one when he was replaced by Conor Gillaspie in the field before the top of the second started. He gave the fans a curtain call, hugged teammates in the dugout, and then headed into the clubhouse. A bothersome back limited him to a brief cameo.

The second? Getting Jose Quintana to 200 innings. He needed seven to reach the milestone for the first time in his career, and he threw seven. He gave up a pair of two-run homers along the way, which was enough to stick him with the loss, instead of his 10th win.  But at least he got one round number out of the way.

The third? Committing as many blunders on the basepaths as possible.

Maybe not, but it sure seemed that way, as the Sox ran into an out in each of the first three innings. The first was a classic Alejandro De Aza doubling-off. Gordon Beckham was thrown out by 20 feet trying to stretch a single into a double in the second, and Marcus Semien made it three by stepping on the wrong side of second on a flyout to left, and failing to touch the bag on the way back to first.

Their string ended in the fourth when Alexei Ramirez trotted around the bases on his sixth home run. The solo shot was the only run scored off Bruce Chen, who induced a ton of pop-ups. They were almost to his detriment, as the Royals botched two thanks to the swirling wins, but the Sox couldn't convert them into runs.

Even the Sox's most sustained rally didn't pay off. The Sox threatened extending the season when they loaded the bases against Greg Holland with one out in the ninth, but Holland struck out Beckham and Semien to end the season. You could say the season was wrapped with an appropriate bow.

Bullet points:

*Beckham made a sensational diving stab and throw to his left for the second out in the seventh inning.

*The White Sox drew 22,633, finishing with 1,745,780 for the season. That's an 11-percent drop from their total of 1,965,955 from last season.

Record: 63-99

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