Sweeney, Royals figure out Buehrle in win

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Losses have been piling up so quickly
for Kansas City, even the players lost count.

Neither Mike Sweeney nor Carlos Beltran, who both homered in a
9-6 victory Wednesday night over Chicago, knew they were one defeat
away from a home record nine in a row.

"Whether we lose 99 or 100 or 89, it's still going to be a
disappointing year for me,'' said Sweeney, the AL hitting leader
who had a three-run homer in the eighth.

Brandon Berger also had a two-run homer as the Royals snapped
their eight-game losing skid. The victory was the first this month
for the Royals and enabled them to avoid a team-record ninth
straight home loss.

"I didn't realize that before the game,'' Sweeney said. "I
said, 'Man when's the last time we won a game?' One of the guys
mentioned it was in Seattle. That's tough to swallow.''

Beltran wasn't sure the Royals had lost eight in a row and eight
straight at home either.

"I didn't know that,'' said Beltran. "I know we lost like
seven or eight games in a row. I'm glad today we won. We swung the
bats well and went out there and won.''

Chicago's loss reduced Minnesota's magic number for clinching
the AL Central to three.

Mark Buehrle (17-11) gave up six runs and 11 hits in six
innings. He came in with a 5-1 record and 2.51 lifetime ERA against
the Royals but failed to become the first White Sox left-hander in
17 years to win 18 games.

"My last start, I was leaving my sinker up,'' Buehrle said.
"This time I couldn't throw my sinker for a strike. It was sinking
too much and they were laying off of it. So I went to my
four-seamer and I was throwing it down the middle and they were
hitting it.''

Chicago's Aaron Rowand had a career-high four RBI on a two-run
homer off Darrell May (4-9) and a two-run double off Jason Grimsley
that made it 6-5 in the eighth.

"Some at-bats I feel really good. Some at-bats, I don't,''
Rowand said. "I'm starting to hit the ball with authority, which
is something I've been doing sporadically this season.''

Sweeney connected off Matt Ginter with two out in the bottom of
the eighth. He was 1-for-3 and stayed at .341 -- four points ahead
of Boston's Manny Ramirez.

May went six-plus innings for his first win as a starter in
three months. The left-hander, who spent the previous four years in
Japan, allowed three, four hits and three walks.

Rowand chased May with a two-run homer that made it 6-3 in the
seventh. Rowand has three hits off May and all are homers.

Berger's two-run homer in the second was his fourth off Buehrle
in 11 at-bats.

Beltran's two-run shot made it 6-1 in the sixth. It was the 25th
home run for the center fielder, who is hitting .463 in his last 11
games with four homers and 15 RBI in his last 11 games.

The White Sox got a run in the fourth after Magglio Ordonez
doubled and scored on and a throwing error by shortstop Angel

Joe Randa had a two-run double in the second for the Royals, who
had lost five in a row to the White Sox.

Jose Valentin led off the ninth with his 23rd homer of the year
to round out Chicago's scoring.

Game notes
Ordonez moved past Albert Belle for fourth on the White Sox
single-season list with 77 extra-base hits. It was also his 100th
run. ... Todd Ritchie had a 1-0 count on Randa in the bottom of the
seventh when 9:11 p.m. came and everyone paused to join in a moment
of silence. ... Chicago OF Carlos Lee had a tooth removed on
Wednesday and was not in the game. ... The last White Sox lefty
with 18 wins was Britt Burns, who was 18-11 in 1985. ... Even
though they won, the Royals' 56-89 record is still their worst ever
after 145 games.