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Royals 2, White Sox 1: Danny Duffy goes the distance

Hard work by bullpen after Miguel Gonzalez's groin injury goes for naught

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Thanks to a groin injury that limited Miguel Gonzalez to one inning, the White Sox had to throw the front end of their bullpen against the Royals’ best starter.

Despite receiving only a Jason Coats RBI single as support, they kept it close. Alas, the game turned on a couple of close plays on Carson Fulmer’s watch in the sixth inning.

Fulmer created his own trouble by walking Jarrod Dyson to start his second inning of work. The Sox almost got him out of it by calling a pitchout, but a low pitch from Fulmer turned into a low throw by Dioner Navarro. Tim Anderson picked it and applied a tag that was initially called in time, but a replay showed that Dyson’s hand touched the bag before Anderson’s glove got his back.

Dyson took third on Paulo Orlando’s comebacker, then trotted home when Cheslor Cuthbert tripled. It was a risky move to try for three, but Adam Eaton provided the opportunity with a bad angle, and Cuthbert just beat the relay. That runner also loomed large, because he came home on Eric Hosmer’s single, and the Royals had all the runs they needed.

That was the only blemish on an otherwise admirable effort by the White Sox bullpen, which had to start its night after Gonzalez tweaked his groin delivering a 3-2 pitch to Sal Perez starting the second.

In came Michael Ynoa, who plunked Perez with a curveball, then saw Anderson commit an error behind him for quite the ominous start. Drew Butera helped calm things down by bunting runners over, after which Ynoa handled a comebacker and struck out Raul Mondesi to escape.

Ynoa then made a beautiful barehanded stab and throw on a bunt attempt by Dyson leading off the second, and his night was much easier after that. He ended up retiring the last nine batters he faced, striking out three.

Likewise, Fulmer had the bad sequence started by the walk to Dyson in the sixth, but he threw scoreless innings around it. Even Tommy Kahnle struck out the side in the eighth. The three relievers combined for an outstanding line: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.

The Sox offense just couldn’t do anything against Duffy, at least outside the second inning. The Sox took a 1-0 lead entirely after two outs, as Anderson, Carlos Sanchez and Coats all singled to create a run (Coats’ first RBI).

The Sox only had three hits over the other seven innings, and only one more at-bat with runners in scoring position (they went 1-for-3). He finished his night retiring 16 of the last 17 batters he faced, throwing his first complete game on just 98 pitches.

Bullet points:

*Gonzalez said after the game that his injury will require a trip to the disabled list.

*The Sox did a nice job reading the Royals' mail, sniffing out three stolen base attempts with pickoffs, and snuffing out two of them.

*Anderson went 2-for-3 with a strikeout out of the seventh spot, a nice rebound from his ugly five-strikeout game on Wednesday.

Record: 54-60 | Box score | Highlights