The White Sox had opportunities to change their fate Friday night against Kansas City. In the second and eighth innings, they had a runner on third base with fewer than two outs and failed to drive in the runner. Missed chances seems to be a running theme for Chicago in Kauffman Stadium, which has been a house of horrors as the White Sox remain winless in Kansas City this season.
In the second inning, Melky Cabrera doubled down the left field line off Royals starter, Edinson Volquez. Avisail Garcia followed with a productive out by grounding out to second baseman Omar Infante, moving Cabrera to third. A struggling Adam LaRoche, who recently took multiple days off during the White Sox last road series to refocus and clear his head, failed to drive Cabrera as his fly ball to left field was too shallow for a sacrifice. Alexei Ramirez ended the inning with a shallow pop fly to Infante to keep the game scoreless.
Trayce Thompson entered the game in the bottom half of the fourth inning when Adam Eaton slipped and fell on his throwing shoulder. The impact with ground was significant enough to merit Herm Schneider to order a MRI on Eaton's shoulder. CSN Chicago's Dan Hayes reports that it is just a jammed shoulder and Eaton is day-to-day.
The game remained scoreless until the fifth inning, when former White Sox Alex Rios doubled down the left field line off John Danks, which scored Mike Moustakas from first base on a terrific slide that just barely beat the tag by Tyler Flowers. The Sox came back to tie it the next inning. Thompson led off with an infield single, his first MLB hit. Jose Abreu followed up with his 20th double to right-center field, scoring the rookie to make it 1-1.
Danks entered the game 9-1 lifetime against the Royals, but his luck faded in the bottom of the sixth. Kansas City scored twice thanks to a Lorezno Cain triple (his ninth extra-base hit against Chicago in 2015) and a Moustakas single, which made it 3-1 and set up the game in favor of Kansas City's bullpen.
Yet, the White Sox had a chance to tie the game in the eighth. A dreaded leadoff walk for Tyler Flowers set the stage for the rookie Thompson. Recording his first career hit in the previous at-bat, Thompson added his first extra base hit with a ground rule double down the left field line. No outs, runners in scoring position for Tyler Saladino, Jose Abreu, and Melky Cabrera -- that's a good bet for at least one run, right? Alas, Saladino and Abreu struck out while Cabrera flied out to right field, ending the threat.
Chicago had one last rally in the ninth as LaRoche homered for the first time since June 24 off Royals closer Greg Holland, cutting the lead to 3-2. With two outs, Carlos Sanchez singled to left field to put the go-ahead run at home plate. Instead of pinch-hitting Geovany Soto, who was the best remaining home-run threat on the bench, Robin Ventura stuck with Flowers against Holland. He struck out and the Royals increased their AL-leading win total to 64-44.