The Chicago White Sox managed to avoid the sweep in Kansas City on Monday with a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Jordan Danks made up for a baserunning mistake in the ninth inning with a go-ahead home run in the 11th. The White Sox scored the tying run with two outs in the ninth inning on Alexei Ramirez's ground ball up the middle, but Danks ended the scoring threat when he went too far around third base on the play and was caught in a rundown. The game had been a pitchers' duel between the Royals' James Shields (eight innings, two hits, no runs) and the White Sox's Chris Sale (7 1/3 innings, six hits, one run). A day after his first blown save of the season, Addison Reed closed it out for his 11th save of the season.
WHAT IT MEANS: Sale wasn't around to pick up the victory, but he was the biggest reason the White Sox had a chance to stay in the game in the late innings. After a shaky start when he threw 57 pitches through two innings, Sale not only made it into the eighth inning, he retired 15 consecutive batters at one point. It was an outing he has only topped once this season, when he allowed no runs on Opening Day over 7 2/3 innings. That start was also against the Royals.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: It had to figure that if the White Sox were going to finally get a victory in Kansas City, it wasn't going to be easy. The extra-inning game meant that nine of the White Sox's last 24 games in Kansas City have gone past the ninth. The White Sox still lost the series, though, dropping five of six in the Royals' home park. The White Sox entered the contest with just 3.4 runs scored per game in Kansas City since 2011.
OFF BEAT: If Major League Baseball ever decided to put cameras at the top of each foul pole, expect Ramirez to be on board with the concept. He appeared to give the White Sox a lead with a home run down the line, but umpires called it foul. Manager Robin Venture argued, prompting a review but replays were apparently inconclusive. One replay angle seemed to clearly show the ball landing fair, but there was no view of the ball passing the foul pole.
UP NEXT: White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago (1-1, 2.29 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday in New York for the White Sox's first ever series at Citi Field. The Mets will counter with right-hander Matt Harvey (0-3, 4.34) in the 6:10 CT time start.