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Royals 6, White Sox 1: Mike Pelfrey needs more than two hits

Only a Jose Abreu homer with two outs in the ninth spares the shutout

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Under other circumstances, you might be able to pin this loss on not getting out while MIke Pelfrey was ahead.

Pelfrey pitched five scoreless innings, but when he faced the top of the Kansas City order the third time through, the game came crashing down around him in a hurry. Whit Merrifield singled through the middle, setting up a string of one-upsmanship. Mike Moustakas drilled a double through the right-center gap, Lorenzo Cain followed with a triple, and that’s when Pelfrey was lifted. Even then, a sac fly by Eric Hosmer put another run on his tab.

Except Pelfrey was only ahead on a personal level. In terms of the game, the Sox showed little fight at the plate in a scoreless tie, and they would’ve needed peak Chris Sale to even give them a chance.

Nate Karns and the Royals bullpen held the Sox to one hit over the first 823 innings. Only a Jose Abreu solo shot off Matt Strahm saved the Sox the ignominy of a shutout, but that came when the Sox trailed 6-0. Knowing this, it’s probably not worth the energy debating how soon Pelfrey should have been relieved.

Melky Cabrera tallied the first hit of the game with two outs in the first, and the Sox didn’t get their second until two outs in the ninth. In between, Karns had to deal with three baserunners, and none of them should have reached. One was Cabrera on a Karns error in the fourth, and another was Yolmer Sanchez on a dropped third strike in the sixth.

That opened the door for the only potentially interesting inning, because Cabrera followed by drawing the Sox’ lone walk after Sanchez stole second. Alas, Karns came at Abreu with curve balls, and Abreu could only watch three of them before swinging at a fourth out of the zone.

Watching the Sox try to hit tonight, it’s probably adequate managing that Pelfrey pitched into the sixth and Rick Renteria only needed to use Dan Jennings and Chris Beck.

Record: 14-12 | Box score | Highlights