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Royals 5, White Sox 2: Shorthanded Sox come up short

Gordon Beckham started the game with his 11th homer.
Gordon Beckham started the game with his 11th homer.

With a depleted offense and a longtime nemesis on the mound, Jake Peavy and friends needed to be on top of their games in order to pull out a victory.

They were not on top. They were off to the side a bit, and the Royals had the openings they needed to force a rubber match. With a Detroit victory, the White Sox's lead is down to a half-game.

Peavy opened the game by walking two batters. He found a way to end that threat, but when the Royals rallied in the seventh, he had no such answers. He closed his night with a series of weak hits stemming from imperfect location -- and it started with a bunt single, too! -- which turned a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit.

Peavy was one out away from escaping with a tie after a terrific throw by Dayan Viciedo cut down Eric Hosmer at third, dulling the impact of Tony Abreu's RBI single. But Jarrod Dyson beat out an infield single despite Gordon Beckham's best effort to keep the inning alive, and Alex Gordon served a soft single to left to give the Royals the decisive run.

They added two more in the eighth when Leyson Septimo walked the leadoff batter on four pitches, and then Nate Jones (working for the fourth time in five days) gave up a two-run blast to Billy Butler to dead center. That put the game out of reach.

The White Sox were without Alejandro De Aza (stiff back) and Kevin Youkilis (sore knee), which put Gordon Beckham at the top of the lineup, and Rey Olmedo and Jordan Danks at the bottom of the order.

Beckham did his part, starting the White Sox's attack with a solo homer off Bruce Chen for a quick 1-0 lead. His teammates couldn't cash in either of the next two opportunities, though, leaving Kansas City ample time to get back in the game.

In the second, Alex Rios led off with a single and stole second. A.J. Pierzynski got him to third with a grounder to the right side, but Rios stayed there after Viciedo popped out in foul territory and Danks grounded out.

Three innings later, Pierzynski and Viciedo led off with back-to-back first-pitch singles. Robin Ventura called for Danks to bunt, but two problems -- 1) Danks popped the bunt to Hosmer at first, and 2) Pierzynski decided to get a running start, and was doubled off second.

The White Sox finally came through in the sixth when Adam Dunn laced an RBI single center to score Beckham. He moved to third on Rios' double to left with two outs, but Pierzynski popped out to short. The Sox had to settle for a tie game, and it only lasted a half-inning.

Bullet points:

  • Peavy has received 24 runs of support over his last 10 starts.
  • Beckham drew his first walk since July 17.
  • Philip Humber pitched out of the bullpen for the first time to handle the ninth inning. Abreu greeted him with a leadoff double, but Humber stranded him at third.

Record: 60-49 | Box score | Play-by-play