The White Sox returned home from a very inspiring 6-1 road trip, only to face their nemesis Bruce Chen and the Kansas City Royals. The only person who threatened Chen all game was himself. The Sox had two opportunities with the bases loaded, but couldn't get the job done.
The first threat was in the bottom of the first. With 2 outs, Paul Konerko drew a walk and Carlos Quentin followed up by getting hit by a pitch. Up came A.J. Pierzynski who singled to right field. The combination of Jeff Francoeur's arm and Paul Konerko's knee made sure there was no play at the plate, as Konerko held up at third to load the bases. Alex Rios stepped up and flew out to right to end the threat.
In the third, Chen walked Juan Pierre to start the inning. After Alexei Ramirez flew out, Konerko walked again. Quentin hit a soft liner to Chen to make it two outs, which brought up Pierzynski. A.J. got hit in the wrist with a pitch, which caused him to leave the game. X-rays were negative. With the bases loaded, Rios again flew out to right to end the last real Sox threat of the evening. The Sox lone run scored in the bottom of the 9th as Omar Vizquel walked, took second on defensive indifference and scored on a Juan Pierre single.
Zach Stewart pitched a pretty nice ballgame again after a real shaky start. Alex Gordon walked to lead off the game. Melky Cabrera dropped down a beautiful bunt single. Billy Butler got the scoring started with a single to right. Eric Hosmer then hit a blooper that fell in between Ramirez, Pierre and Brent Morel to load the bases with nobody out. Stewart composed himself quickly and caught Francoeur looking. With one out, Johnny Giavotella grounded to third to start the 5-4-3 double play to get Stewart and the Sox out of the inning with only one run.
Butler struck again leading off the 6th with a homer to straight away center to make it 2-0. In the 7th, with one out, Alcides Escobar singled. Gordon followed him up with a double to put men on 2nd and 3rd. Ozzie Guillen called for Will Ohman to get Stewart out of the jam, and Ohman did just that. He induced Cabrera to pop out to third and after an intentional walk to Butler, got Hosmer to chop out to Beckham to keep the score at 2-0.
The Royals put the game out of reach in the 9th off of Matt Thornton, as Escobar led off with a single. Gordon followed with a single of his own, which brought up Cabrera. Melky made it 5-0 with a bomb to left field.
The Sox fell to 24-33 at the Cell, and failed in their attempt to get back to .500.
* What I found to be the most interesting part of the game was that two Sox players lost their gloves. Tyler Flowers, who was inserted into the game for the injured Pierzynski, got his glove taken off on an Alex Gordon swing, giving Gordon first on catchers interference. In the 6th, Hosmer hit a sharp grounder to Stewart, who's glove got taken off when trying to catch it. Stewart recovered the ball and threw out Hosmer.
* Chen also was warned by the umpire for attempting to "quick pitch" Morel. He had pulled it off against Gordon Beckham, but when he tried to sneak one by Morel the ump called time and warned the pitcher.
* The Royals were 5/5 in stolen bases.
WP: Chen (7-5)
LP: Stewart (1-2)
S: Holland (2)
HR: Butler (14), Cabrera (15)
* Tomorrow the Sox try to get back in the win column as Jake Peavy faces Luke Hochevar. Hopefully the mini-meth up crowd can come through with a victory.
Record: 58-60 | Box