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White Sox 6, Royals 5: Fireworks, for real this time

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100-loss season narrowly avoided thanks to four-homer outburst by offense

David Banks

Premature explosions marked an otherwise forgettable Friday night loss.

Tonight featured fireworks abound, and all displays were warranted. With a stiff wind blowing out to left, the White Sox made sparks fly with four home runs.

(There was also a fireworks show after the game, but no, it wasn't to celebrate the White Sox avoiding 100 losses on the season. Or Jeff Manto's firing, for that matter.)

Marcus Semien started the show with a solo shot to left, homering in support of his college teammate, starter Erik Johnson. Jordan Danks made it back-to-back with an opposite-field shot to left center.

One inning later, Adam Dunn came through with a two-out homer 406 feet away just left of center, his 34th homer of the year, stretching the lead to 4-0.

Erik Johnson carried a no-hitter into the fifth, before Mike Moustakas spoiled that and the shutout with a one-out solo shot to right. He allowed two more baserunners before stranding them with a strikeout of Alex Gordon, but bigger problems ended his night in the sixth.

After Eric Hosmer took a curve through the left side for a single, Billy Butler also went to left, but 300something feet farther. His mammoth two-run homer closed the gap to 4-3, and a subsequent single and walk ended Johnson's night at 5 1/3 innings. His fellow rookies picked him up -- Charlie Leesman struck out the only batter he faced in a LOOGY situation, and Daniel Webb did the same to Alcides Escobar to preserve the lead.

The Royals later answered Conor Gillaspie's two-run homer in the seventh with a Salvador Perez two-run shot in the eighth, but the White Sox managed to hold the lead for the entire game. Addison Reed pitched around a two-out walk and a stolen base for his 40th save of the season, followed by, yes, more fireworks.

Bullet points

*Semien had three hits, falling the proverbial triple short of the cycle. That's a nice way to break out of an 0-for-12 slump.

*Konerko exited what might be his penultimate game when Alexei Ramirez replaced him as a defensive sub in the eighth.

Record: 63-98 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights