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Kansas City 7, Chicago 5: Royals thump Johnson

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Erik Johnson gives up seven runs in 2014 debut as Sox fall back to .500

Ed Zurga

It was a good start for the White Sox in their first game on the road in 2014. Adam Eaton and Marcus Semien set the table quite nicely with back-to-back hits in the top of the first. With runners on second and third with no outs, the Sox could only muster one run when Jose Abreu hit a sacrifice fly to right field, picking up his sixth RBI of the season.

Then Erik Johnson took the mound.

To be fair, this was his first start of the season and only the fifth of his young career. It's expected to have early jitters as the games count, the weather is cold, and pitching on the road. In the first inning, Johnson gave up consecutive singles to Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante before plunking Eric Homser to load the bases.

He did manage to get Billy Butler to fly out with no runs scored, but Alex Gordon had other thoughts. His fly ball to right field continued to sail away from Chicago's Avisail Garcia, landing on the warning track and clearing the bases to give the Royals a 3-1 lead.

After giving up a run in the second inning off of Infante's RBI single, Johnson appeared to be calming down, going three up, three down in the third inning, and getting out of a jam in the fourth by stranding runners in scoring position.

In the fifth is when Johnson again was shaky. Giving up three walks, two hits, and one wild pitch that led to three more runs for the Royals. Called up today due to Nate Jones injury, Jake Petricka got the Sox out of the inning by striking out Infante.

Johnson's first start resulted in this line: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, and 2 K. His next scheduled start falls on April 9 against the Colorado Rockies.

And so the White Sox are back to 5.00. John Danks is set to make his first scheduled start of the year tomorrow against nemesis Bruce "Cy" Chen. First pitch is 1:10 pm CST.

Game Notes:

  • White Sox pitching gave up six walks while only striking out three
  • The Royals have a pretty formidable 1-2 punch in the top of their order with Aoki and Infante. Combined were 6 for 9, two runs scored and one RBI.
  • Jose Abreu is on pace to drive in 243 runs.
  • And your mind blowing stat of the day: 

Record: 2-2 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights