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Royals 3, White Sox 2: Two bunts overcome two homers

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Paul Konerko goes deep in what might be his last series as a White Sox, but a misplayed bunt looms larger

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox locked up the third overall pick with tonight's loss, and their weaknesses got them across the finish line -- a lack of offense and timely defensive lapses.

It was also another one-run game, in which the Sox are 23-35 overall this season.

In particular, a pair of misplayed bunts killed the Sox, and saddled Andre Rienzo with the loss. Rienzo departed with the score 2-2 after allowing a leadoff single in the seventh, and Robin Ventura called on Donnie Veal. The move was inconsequential, because the Royals' next two hitters bunted. Somehow, one of them brought home the game-winning run.

David Lough dropped the first bunt in Paul Konerko's direction. Justin Maxwell, the runner on first, took off on the play, and Konerko had no shot at him. But that didn't stop Konerko from looking at second in vain anyway, even with Gordon Beckham awaiting a toss at first. A free out turned into a single, and the bunting responsibility then fell on George Kottaras' shoulders.

Kottaras did his part, dropping a nice bunt down between Veal, Bryan Anderson and Conor Gillaspie. Anderson had the best angle, so he took charge by rounding it off, picking it up, and firing well over the head of Konerko at first. A run scored on the play, which was enough for the Royals to win this one. Silver lining for Rienzo -- it remained unearned, because Veal got a groundout and a strikeout to keep the runner on third, and Daniel Webb finished it off with a bounceout to third to end the inning.

The White Sox never really came close to tying it up. The best they could do was an Alejandro De Aza leadoff single in the eighth, but he was thrown out stealing, so that led to nothing.

They weren't shut out, because Konerko (second inning) and Adam Dunn (sixth inning) hit resounding solo homers to their pull fields. But outside of those much-needed-for-personal-reasons blasts, the Sox offense couldn't get anything going. Jeremy Guthrie and Co. limited the Sox to one at-bat with runners in scoring position. They were 0-for-1.

Record: 62-97 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights