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Royals 5, White Sox 4: Embarrassment complete

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Bullpen botches three leads in three games for sweep in Kansas City

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox couldn't hold a four-run lead over three innings on Friday. They couldn't hold a six-run lead over two outs on Saturday.

Why would anybody think they could hold a two-run lead over two innings today?

The only variable in this story is the pitchers' names. Today, it was Nate Jones' turn to crap the bed. He came in after seven good innings by Chris Sale and gave up three runs without even getting three outs.

Like David Robertson on Saturday, this meltdown started innocuously enough, as Whit Merrifield popped out for the first out. Then Lorenzo Cain hammered a 3-2 fastball over the wall in right to cut the lead to one, and Jones folded. Eric Hsomer doubled. Kendrys Morales walked. Paulo Orlando singled to load the bases, and then Jones walked rookie Brett Eibner without even making him swing the bat to tie the game.

In came Matt Albers, who got a grounder to the right side, and too far away from Brett Lawrie to get the double play he needed. Lawrie managed to assist in an out indirectly -- his ill-advised throw from his back landed far enough away from Jose Abreu to lure Orlando into trying to go home, and Abreu cut him down to keep it a 5-4 game.

Albers then walked Drew Butera for no good reason to load the bases, but Adam Eaton ran down Alcides Escobar's fly to get out of the inning with a one-run deficit, which Wade Davis ended up protecting for the sweep.

Bullpen aside, the rest of the White Sox resembled an MLB team. They played great defense behind Chris Sale, who had a typical start against Kansas City (meaning he survived their contact to post a respectable line). The offense put together three separate rallies off Edinson Volquez and Luke Hochevar to build that 4-2 lead.

The offense scored 16 runs over three games, the starters delivered three quality starts, and they have zero wins to show for it.

Oh, and Austin Jackson had to leave the game in the eighth inning after pulling up lame running down the last out of the seventh.

Record: 27-24 | Box score | Highlights