CHICAGO -- The White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals in the next-to-last game of the season.
How it happened: The White Sox flexed their muscles Saturday to get the jump on the Royals. Marcus Semien and Jordan Danks hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning and Adam Dunn hit a two-run shot in the third. The Royals rallied for three runs off White Sox rookie pitcher Erik Johnson, but the power returned in the seventh inning when Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run shot. Addison Reed recorded his 40th save, tying Bobby Jenks for fourth place on the White Sox's single-season list.
What it means: The victory guarantees the White Sox won’t lose 100 games this season. Manager Robin Ventura at least sounded indifferent about avoiding the century mark. “Nobody wants that, 100 losses,” he said. “It doesn’t feel good. But it’s not going to make me feel any better to have 99 instead of 100 going into next year.”
Outside the box: The sample size is extremely small, but Johnson continues to show reasons to be optimistic about him heading into next season. He held the Royals hitless Saturday until Mike Moustakas hit a fifth-inning home run. He was eventually knocked from the game an inning later. Saturday’s outing comes on the heels of his start last weekend at Detroit, when he gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings. One outing before that he pitched a scoreless six innings against the Twins.
Off beat: Avoiding a 100-loss season might not have made Ventura feel good, but it certainly seemed to affect his decision-making Saturday. Ventura went to six different relievers to back up Johnson, managing like his team was in contention instead of just playing out the string.
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Jose Quintana (9-6, 3.45 ERA) to the mound in the final game of the season. The Royals will counter with left-hander Bruce Chen (8-4, 3.31) in the 1:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.