Monday, July 21, 2014
Rapid Reaction: White Sox 3, Royals 1
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The White Sox nailed down the series opener with a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday and are 3-1 on the homestand.
How it happened: The White Sox put their first four batters of the game on base, scored twice in the opening inning and starter Chris Sale made it stand up. Adam Dunn had a two-run single just to the left of the defensive shift to bring home both first-inning runs. Sale gave up just one run on seven hits over seven innings. Dunn scored an insurance run in the sixth inning on a fly ball to shallow right field by Gordon Beckham.
What it means: Sale wasn’t as dominating as he has been in the past, but he still had plenty in the tank to dispatch the Royals. Now 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA, Sale continues his march toward Cy Young Award recognition, despite missing a month with a sore muscle in his left arm. It was Sale's first start since pitching in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
Outside the box: The White Sox had their chances to blow things open but couldn’t get the key hits they needed. The White Sox not only left eight runners on base, they were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Tyler Flowers missed a three-run home by inches when his towering drive was just foul down the left-field line. Jose Abreu managed to hit a double to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and give him a hit in 30 of his last 31 contests.
Offbeat: Once Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie got a rough first inning out of his system, he was off and running; he gave up two runs and hit two White Sox batters with pitches in the opening frame. In the top of the second, Sale hit Danny Valencia with a pitch on the knuckles. It was the sixth time Sale has hit a batter this season.
Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Scott Carroll (4-5, 4.19 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in the middle game of the series. The Royals will counter with left-hander Bruce Chen (1-2, 6.46) in the 7:10 p.m. CT start from U.S. Cellular Field.