White Sox score in ninth to edge Royals
Kansas City drops fourth in a row
Alejandro De Aza's ninth-inning sacrifice fly drove in the go-ahead run as the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium.
Dayan Viciedo singled up the middle and Jeff Keppinger walked leading off the ninth against Aaron Crow (3-3).
Pinch-hitter Gordon Beckham's fly to deep right-center field moved pinch-runner Jordan Danks to third with one out before De Aza hit a sacrifice fly to right field against Greg Holland, scoring Danks.
"He threw me a couple of balls trying to make me chase," De Aza said. "I was just trying to get a piece of it. Dayan and Jeff did a great job and Gordon gave me a chance."
"It was a good situation for us," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Alejandro can get it done a lot of different ways and even with Gordon you figure he's going to get something done."
Addison Reed closed out the Royals with a perfect ninth inning to pick up his 21st save in 23 chances and the 50th of his career.
Chicago has won three consecutive games at Kauffman Stadium for the first time since winning five straight from May 29 to July 3, 2009.
"The difference in the game was we both had the same situations," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They executed and we didn't."
Kansas City has lost four in a row, its longest losing streak since dropping eight straight from May 22-29.
"The bottom of the order in the ninth, the thinking was to get through the bottom of the order with Crow and then have Holland for the top of the order," Yost said. "When the first two reached the thinking changed."
"I think we're a better team than what we've done so far," Crow said. "I think we have the potential to win a lot more games than we have, so we've just got to figure what to do and start winning more games."
The Royals grabbed a 1-0 lead when Miguel Tejada singled with two out in the second and scored on Mike Moustaka's double to right-center field.
Jose Quintana settled in after that, retiring 10 of the next 11 hitters, allowing only an infield hit to Eric Hosmer in the third.
"I felt really good, really strong, from the beginning all the way to the end," Quintana said through interpreter Lino Diaz. "I wanted to throw all my pitches for strikes. My curveball was pretty good, I threw my fastball to get ahead. The plan is to throw strikes. I want to change it up a little the second at-bat but the plan is to throw strikes."
Wade Davis allowed leadoff runners to reach base in the second, third and fourth innings, but pitched out of trouble until the fourth, when the White Sox plated two runs.
Adam Dunn walked to start the frame before Paul Konerko and Conor Gillaspie hit ground-ball singles to center, scoring Dunn. With two out, Keppinger's looping line-drive hit to right brought in Gillaspie for a 2-1 Chicago lead.
"Keppinger came in today on offense and did a nice job and defensively, too," Ventura said. "He's fresh and he swung it pretty good today."
Keppinger finished the afternoon 3-for-3 with a walk.
Kansas City tied the game 2-2 when Alcides Escobar doubled over third base to lead off the sixth and scored on Salvador Perez's single to left.
After Billy Butler walked, Matt Lindstrom replaced Quintana and induced a double-play grounder from Lorenzo Cain on the first pitch.
Quintana went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out four. It was Quintana's fifth straight no-decision; he leads the majors with 10 no-decisions in his 15 starts.
The Royals failed to capitalize in the eighth when Hosmer tripled on a misplayed fly to right-center field with one out. Jesse Crain (2-1) got Perez to pop out and, after Butler walked, he struck out Cain to end the threat.
"My attitude is the same as it is whenever I have anybody on base," Crain said. "It's one pitch at a time and I always have the feeling that I'm going to get through it. I make the best pitch I can. Every time I go out there I try to stay focused. It's one day at a time, one pitch at a time. For me, it does not matter what the batter's strength is I'm going to go with my strength. I feel like I have three quality pitches -- fastball, slider, change -- that I can throw any time."
"We got in a hurry to get it done instead of taking our time trying to get it done," Yost said. "You've got to slow yourself down. We hurried up to get it done. As an offensive team we haven't come together as a team. We're still trying to come together as a team. Guys are trying to take too much responsibility and you can never be consistent doing that."
Davis matched his longest outing of the season with seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out six.
"He's still getting settled into the starting role," Yost said. "After being in the bullpen last year he's still getting lengthened out."
Davis, coming off a win at Tampa Bay in his previous start June 16, has not won consecutive starts since April 10 and 17, his second and third starts of the season.
"Wade gave us seven strong innings and gave up two runs in the fourth," Yost said. "But he pitched really well. He kept us in the game."
NOTES: Of Chicago's first 72 games, 57 (79.2 percent) have been decided by fewer than four runs, including 18 of their last 21. The White Sox also have played 26 one-run games, second most in the American League, and 11 extra-inning games, third most in the majors. Cincinnati and Colorado have played 12 each. ... Despite allowing nine runs, all earned, against Chicago on Friday, Kansas City leads the AL with a 3.49 ERA. In June, while the club has gone 12-7, the Royals' ERA is 2.53 (50 earned runs in 178 innings), second best behind Toronto (2.28). ... Chicago had lost 15 of its last 19 road games and 17 of the last 24 overall, falling a season-high 12 games under .500 before Friday's win at Kansas City. ... One year after having the second-most used bullpen in the majors (behind Colorado), the Royals have the most rested bullpen, having been used for 184 innings (ahead of Philadelphia at 191 2/3 bullpen innings and Detroit at 204). Royals starters have gone at least six innings in 53 games through 72 starts; in 2012 they didn't reach that mark until game No. 118 on August 11.
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