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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Royals 2, White Sox 1

By Doug Padilla



CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox were in it late but fell 2-1 on Wednesday in the series finale against the Kansas City Royals.

How it happened: Norichika Aoki drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning for the Royals against reliever Zach Putnam. An expected pitchers' duel between the White Sox's Jose Quintana and the Royals' James Shields came to fruition. Quintana gave up one run on seven hits over seven innings, while Shields gave up one run on six hits over seven innings. Both runs came home in the first inning as the Royals scored on Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly and the White Sox tied it on Adam Dunn's single.

What it means: On the cusp of winning a series against the Royals, the White Sox fell again to their division rival. The White Sox won the series opener, but lost the next two games and still haven't beat the Royals in a series at home since April of 2013. The White Sox are now 2-12 in their last 14 home games against Kansas City.

Outside the box: Tyler Flowers' hot run at the plate continued with two more hits. In an offensive funk heading toward the end of the first half that saw his batting average dip to .213 and his on-base percentage fall to .270, Flowers has turned things around quickly with three multi-hit games over his last five contests.

Off beat: The incredible no-decision tally continued yet again for Quintana. The left-hander was left with a no-decision after a hard day of work for the ninth time this season. Since 2012, nobody in baseball has more than Quintana's 36 no-decisions. It was his 16th quality start of the season after entering the day fifth in the American League in that category. Opponents were hitting .43 home runs per nine innings against him, fifth best in the AL.

Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Hector Noesi (4-6, 4.55 ERA) to the mound Thursday at Minnesota in the opener of a four-game series. The Twins will counter with right-hander Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.05) in the 7:10 p.m. start from Target Field.