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White Sox send Royals to ninth consecutive loss

CHICAGO (AP) -- This is what the Chicago White Sox expect from
Jon Garland: He kept his pitches down in the strike zone and kept
the hitters off balance.

Garland led the White Sox to their eighth win in nine games and
extended the Kansas City Royals' deep slump with Chicago's 4-1
victory Tuesday night.

"I kept the ball down a lot better," said Garland, who allowed
one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings after getting hit hard in his
first two starts. "The previous two starts, I was missing pitches
up and out over the plate, and I was getting killed."

Kansas City has lost nine in a row, its longest skid since its
team-record 19-game losing streak late last year, and is a major
league-worst 2-11 -- beating the White Sox on April 7 and 8.

Jeremy Affeldt (0-2) allowed three runs -- all unearned -- and
four hits in six innings. He struggled a bit with his cutter, but
the curve was there. Overall, he said his command was "the best
it's been" this season.

Royals shortstop Angel Berroa made the key error.

Garland, who struck out three and walked none, resembled the
pitcher who won a career-high 18 games last season -- not the guy
who allowed nine runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss at Kansas City or
the pitcher who got the win at Detroit despite giving up seven runs
in five innings.

He allowed a leadoff homer to Mark Teahen in the third and left
after Teahen singled with one out in the seventh. Brandon McCarthy
relieved and retired Angel Berroa and John Buck on flyouts.

"He just tried to wipe the last two starts out, and he went out
there and tried to start over," catcher Chris Widger said of
Garland.

Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save in five
chances, finishing Chicago's fourth win in a row.

Joe Crede and Juan Uribe had RBI singles as the White Sox scored
three runs in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. Crede was 2-for-4.
Scott Podsednik had two singles -- his third straight multihit game
-- and stole two bases for Chicago, 9-5 after a 1-4 start.

One night after managing one hit against Jose Contreras and two
relievers, the Royals struck first when Teahen hit his first homer
of the season in the third.

With a runner on and two out in the fourth, Berroa botched
Jermaine Dye's grounder to short. Crede singled in Jim Thome from
second to tie it, and Juan Uribe singled to drive in Dye and Crede
for a 3-1 lead.

"I hit my spots," Affeldt said. "I threw a pretty good pitch
to Uribe. He didn't hit it that hard. He just hit it where no one
was at. With second and third and two outs, it kind of kills you
right there."

Manager Buddy Bell seemed more upset by the error than the
single.

"You just can't give this team over there extra outs," he
said.

Thome has scored a run in each of the first 14 games -- the
longest streak by a major leaguer to start the season since former
White Sox star Frank Thomas in 1994. Thome drove in Podsednik with
a single in the seventh off Andrew Sisco that made it 4-1.

Kansas City center fielder David DeJesus left the game with
tightness in his left hamstring in the second inning. DeJesus led
off the game with a ground ball that second baseman Tadahito Iguchi
backhanded on the edge of the outfield grass behind the bag before
firing to first for a close out. He took the field in the bottom of
the inning, but Shane Costa went to center in the second.

DeJesus missed six games with the same injury, and is 1-for-12
since returning on Saturday at Tampa Bay.

That first at-bat was an omen for the Royals. But it was also a
positive sign for Garland.

"I think a lot of these teams know I'll come down with that
sinker, and they're sitting on it," Garland said. "I threw a few
more off-speed pitches and had these guys out in front."

It's too early to say he's back to last season's form, but this
certainly was a good step for him.

"I'm going to go out there and continue to try to keep my team
in the game and try to keep the ball down," he said. "If I can do
those things, hopefully, I can turn it around."

Game notes
Tuesday was the 15th anniversary of the opening of the new
Comiskey Parker, later renamed U.S. Cellular Field. Detroit beat
the White Sox 16-0 on April 18, 1991. ... Paul Konerko was 0-for-3,
snapping his seven-game hitting streak. ... White Sox manager Ozzie
Guillen had some encouraging words for rookie CF Brian Anderson,
who entered Tuesday's game with a .143 average. "I told him, 'Kid,
you've struggled for two weeks. I struggled for 16 years." ...
Chicago RF Jermaine Dye and CF Brian Anderson made nice defensive
plays in the fourth. Dye barehanded Mike Sweeney's hit down the
right-field line and sidearmed a one-hopper to get him at second
leading off the inning. Then, Anderson ran in and dove to catch
Reggie Sanders' shot to center.