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Royals 1, White Sox 0: Nothing for Sale

Baserunning error seals complete-game loss for chronically unsupported ace

Wondering where it all went wrong.
Wondering where it all went wrong.
David Banks

It's one thing to not help Chris Sale get a win.

It's another thing to refuse to take him off the hook.

Sale went the distance -- one run on seven hits and a walk, seven strikeouts -- and the only damage he allowed came via three grounders. In the sixth, Eric Hosmer led off with a single up the middle, moved up on Billy Butler's single, and scored two batters later on a Lorenzo Cain double.

Sale escaped the inning with no further damage by stranding both runners, but it was already too much. The Sox couldn't do anything against Wade Davis, and they refused to score against Greg Holland.

Alex Rios started the ninth with a single off the Kansas City closer, moved up to second on Adam Dunn's walk, and took third on Paul Konerko's groundout (which could've been a double play, but Dunn's hellacious takeout slide of Chris Getz broke it up).

That put the tying run on third with one out, and Jeff Keppinger followed by slashing a liner to right. David Lough broke in and made an incredible diving catch -- one that left in him no position to throw home. But he didn't need to, because Rios broke home, and had to retreat to third after the catch, taking a sacrifice fly off the board. Conor Gillaspie struck out to end the game, sealing another quiet night on the South Side. Sale dropped to 6-10 while lowering his ERA to 2.69, good for fifth in the American League.

The White Sox were held to five hits (all single) and four walks during a game started by a guy with a 5.92 ERA. They only could muster one hit through the first five, and even when the hits started coming, the Royals' defense took more away.

With two on and two out in the sixth, Cain overcame a late jump and slip to run down a Paul Konerko drive to center, which prevented at least one run from scoring, and possibly two. One inning later, he started the seventh by making a more impressive catch on a deep drive by Keppinger that took him into the wall. He left the game the next inning with a groin problem, but between the double (the only extra-base hit for either team) and two catches, he'd already done enough damage to the Sox.

On the other side, Gordon Beckham made the most notable defensive play when he turned a routine pop-up into a circus catch by stumbling over himself while backpedaling and catching the ball as he tumbled onto his head.

Studies in contrast.

Record: 40-61 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights