The 19th and final game between the White Sox and Royals this season represented the vast majority of White Sox-Royals games over the last several years, as the White Sox got their butts handed to them. Carlos Rodon looked off his game for most of the day, while Yordano Ventura went the distance on Kansas City’s side of matters. As a result, the White Sox limped to a 5-14 finish against the Royals this season. Kansas City won all six series, and have taken seven in a row.
Typical of this season's games, the White Sox took an early lead. Justin Morneau doubled in the second inning and came home on Todd Frazier’s single for a quick 1-0 lead.
Then Rodon gave up a pair of solo homers in the bottom of the second, and there’d be more to come. Rodon was battling his delivery all day, especially on his changeup, which looked funky out of his hand and ended up sailing high and wide a surprising amount.
It finally caught up to him in the fifth, as a combination of bad luck, bad defense and bad pitching forced him out of the game without retiring any of the four batters he faced. Billy Burns hit a high chopper off the plate to start the inning, and Rodon’s ill-advised throw was well wide of Jose Abreu, resulting in a single and an error. Whit Merrfield shot a single through the right side, and Eric Hosmer also singled to right after Tim Anderson granted him a reprieve by dropping a foul ball (after he called off Todd Frazier late).
Kendrys Morales then sent Rodon back to the dugout by jumping on a 2-0 fastball for a resounding homer. The Royals led 6-2, and really only had to ward off one more threat the following inning.
The Sox loaded the bases with one out on singles by Jose Abreu, Morneau and Frazier. That brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Avisail Garcia.
Two pitches later, Ventura was out of the inning. Garcia’s reached out and pulled a bouncer to third for a fielder’s choice at the plate and Omar Narvaez flared out to third. Then, adding insult to injury, the Royals tacked on two runs after two outs against Blake Smith.
The Sox did provide a little bit of enjoyment with a couple of big blasts. Abreu cleared the second wall in center some 451 feet away with a solo shot in the fourth to tie it up, and Sanchez joined him with a 443-foot dinger to right in the seventh. That only cut the Royals’ lead to 8-3, and that’s where it ended, as Ventura completed the game on 106 pitches.
*Smith did find a way to record his first strikeout before the walls caved in with two outs.
*Juan Minaya and Tommy Kahnle each pitched 1-2-3 innings, and the Sox dusted off Anthony Ranaudo for a scoreless eighths.
*The Royals ran wild on Rodon, too, going 3-for-3 in stolen bases. The Sox were 0-for-1 in that department, with Frazier getting picked off on one of his early jumps.