Facing the Kansas City Royals for the first time this season, a few White Sox used the opportunity to reverse some unflattering trends.
Gavin Floyd entered the game with a lifetime record of 3-8 and a 4.59 ERA against Kansas City. That will look a little better now, as he threw 7 2/3 shutout innings, and most of them easy. After pitching (and defending) his way out of a second-inning jam, he retired 11 in a row while the offense built him a comfortable lead.
That's where Alex Rios came in. With the Sox leading 2-0, two outs and runners on the corners in the sixth, Rios took Felipe Paulino off the wall in right-center. The ball bounced away from Jarrod Dyson for a two-run triple, stretching the lead to 4-0. He is now 2-for-39 with a runner on third and two outs since the start of 2011.
Adam Dunn started the scoring for the White Sox with a first-inning solo homer. That means he's already matched his 2011 home run total, but that wasn't his only achievement this evening. He avoided making history by not striking out. Oh, he came close -- he had two strikes on him in each plate appearance, but he wouldn't give in:
- First PA: Solo homer on a 1-2 pitch.
- Second PA: Ground-rule double on a 1-2 pitch.
- Third PA: Six-pitch walk (including a swing on 3-0!).
- Fourth PA: Six-pitch walk off lefty Tim Collins.
So his consecutive games with a strikeout streak ends at 36, one shy of the major league record.
And then there's Matt Thornton, who had been scored upon in three straight outings. That didn't discourage Robin Ventura from throwing him into another delicate situation in the eighth. The White Sox led 5-0, but the Royals had the bases loaded and Eric Hosmer at the plate. If Thornton followed his usual bloop-and-a-blast formula, the game would be tied.
He didn't need batted-ball luck tonight. Instead, he made Hosmer look silly by striking him out on two fastballs and a slider, ending the inning and effectively wrapping up a rather enjoyable evening.
- The Sox were 2-for-3 stealing bases, and the successes paid off. In the third, De Aza singled with two outs, swiped second and scored on Gordon Beckham's single. Eduardo Escobar stole second with one out in the eighth, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on De Aza's single.
- De Aza, Beckham and Dunn each had two hits, one run and one RBI. The top of the order worked tonight.
- Floyd loaded the bases in the eighth with one out and his pitch count well over 100, but Ventura still left him in to pitch to Billy Butler. He struck him out with a full-count slider on his 116th and final pitch. BHB.
Record: 16-17 | Box score | Play-by-play