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Royals 8, White Sox 3: Late-inning meltdown

K.C. tags on four runs in the bottom of the eighth to seal the game in frustrating loss

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Ethan Katz, Johnny Cueto and the infield during a discussion in the sixth inning of tonight’s game.
Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

In what was a winnable game, the Chicago White Sox take the 8-3 loss against the Kansas City Royals. It seems like every time there is a step forward, we take about three steps backwards, and tonight was a perfect example of that. What started as a close game turned into a blowout.

Kris Bubic had a quick first inning, followed by Johnny Cueto doing the same, only allowing a single by MJ Melendez and getting out of the inning with a fly out and double play. The South Siders threatened in the top of the second inning after a José Abreu double, Andrew Vaughn walk, and Yasmani Grandal walk. Bubic showed signs of control issues early, but unfortunately the team couldn’t take advantage as Gavin Sheets lined out and Lenyn Sosa struck out to end the inning.

The Royals struck first in the bottom of the third, after a Kyle Isbel double and Bobby Witt Jr. single provided a 1-0 lead.

Bubic continued to pitch a shutout game until the top of the sixth, where he got into trouble. Abreu singled, and with one out Yoán Moncada reached by walk and Yasmani Grandal singled to load the bases. Luckily for Gavin Sheets, he hit a two-run single right through the glove of Michael Massey at second base to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead.

Thank you to the Illinois native Massey for helping us out on that one!

Josh Harrison added to the lead with a single to left field.

Bubic was replaced after 5 23 innings with seven hits, three runs, three walks, and six strikeouts on his docket. Reliever Wyatt Mills finished the inning without any more damage.

The Royals fought right back in the bottom half of the inning, as Witt singled and Salvador Pérez hit an RBI double to drive him in. Massey also drove in a run with a single to tie the game, 3-3, and make things interesting going into the seventh. Cueto was done after six innings in yet another quality start, with nine hits, three runs, one walk, and four strikeouts. His ERA sits at 2.91.

The newly-acquired Jake Diekman hit the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning and Melendez hit a solo home run to break the tie, 4-3. From this point on, I guess you could say things unraveled pretty quickly.

With the game still close in the top of the eighth inning, the White Sox put up some terrible at-bats against Dylan Coleman. He struck out the side, as Moncada and Grandal were caught looking in uncompetitive at-bats and Sheets struck out swinging.

In the bottom half, it all fell apart, as Jimmy Lambert allowed a leadoff single by Hunter Dozier followed by a walk to Nick Pratto. A sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third as Kyle Isbel hit an RBI single for a 6-3 lead. He ended up at second after a stolen base.

The misery didn’t end there, as Melendez continued his successful night with another base hit to extend the lead to 7-3. After a walk to Witt, another single by Pérez extended the lead to 8-3, and Tony La Russa finally replaced Lambert with ... José Ruiz — who got out of the inning. Luke Weaver closed the game for the Royals with a 1-2-3 inning.

The White Sox are now 7-7 vs. the Royals this year.

Cleveland won tonight, leaping ahead of the Minnesota Twins, who lost to the Dodgers. As of right now, we are now 2 12 games back of the first-place Guardians.

Thoughts and opinions are welcome because honestly, I have none right now.

The team is back at it tomorrow in the finale at 1:10 p.m. CT. Dylan Cease will be on the mound, as the team tries to salvage a split in the series.