Konerko, Buehrle help White Sox get back in win column

Turning point: Konerko's second homer in the eighth broke a 3-3 tie, putting the White Sox up for good.

Figure this: Gil Meche gave up his first earned runs in 22 innings when Konerko lit him up with his first two-run shot in the sixth inning.

Quotable: "[Buehrle's] throwing the ball right now as well as any point probably as a White Sox." -- Paul Konerko

Elias Says: Esteban German ended Buehrle's no-hit bid with a two-out double in the second inning. None of the last 37 pitchers to throw a no-hitter got through the first three innings of their next outing without allowing a hit.

-- ESPN.com news services

White Sox 7, Royals 4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Mark Buehrle didn't pitch another no-hitter. Paul Konerko made sure he didn't need to.

Buehrle allowed five hits in seven innings, leading the Chicago White Sox over the Kansas City Royals 7-4 Monday night.

Konerko, who had not homered since opening day, hit a pair of two-run homers and drove in five runs for the White Sox, the 20th multihomer game of his career.

Last Wednesday against Texas, Buehrle pitched the major leagues' first no-hitter of the season. He didn't get very far in his quest to match Johnny Vander Meer's feat of consecutive no-hitters, allowing a two-out double in the second to Esteban German, who had entered 0-for-7 against him.

"I joked when I came out of the first inning that I have a no-hitter again, just messing around with a couple of guys," Buehrle said. "I did a lot better than I thought I was going to do, just coming off a no-hitter. I thought something crazy was going to happen. I'd go out and give up 10 hits or get beat around a little bit."

Buehrle had retired 38 of his previous 39 batters before the hit, allowing only a walk to the Rangers' Sammy Sosa -- who was picked off.

"Buehrle threw the ball tonight probably how he did in the no-hitter," the Royals' Mike Sweeney said. "He didn't throw many balls over the middle of the plate. He would throw any pitch, anytime for a strike. He was on the black all night."

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen threw his cap in the dugout in jest when Buehrle gave up his first hit.

"He said he was going to do that last night," Buehrle said. "Once I got the ball back, I looked over in the dugout waiting for him to do it."

Buehrle (2-0) gave up two runs, struck out four and walked one, improving to 16-6 against the Royals. He was 3-7 with a 6.44 ERA after the All-Star break last season.

"It's good to see he has his stuff back," Konerko said. "He's throwing the ball right now as well as any point probably as a White Sox."

Did he feel uncomfortable pitching out of the stretch?

"I did enough of that in the second half last year," Buehrle said. "I joked in spring training that I needed to work out of the windup this year."

Konerko connected in the sixth off Gil Meche to tie the score 2-2, then homered in the eighth on David Riske's fifth pitch of the night for a 5-3 lead.

"It feels good to do good," Konerko said. "That never concerns me too much when you're not hitting them because those things come in bunches. They come when you least expect them. The first one clearly was that, not even on my mind. I was trying to shoot a ball the other way. The second one felt better, but I had two strikes on me, so it's not like I was trying to do it there."

Bobby Jenks worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances, retiring David DeJesus on a game-ending, double-play grounder with two on.

By beating Jimmy Gobble (0-1), who allowed Jim Thome's double leading off the eighth, the White Sox won for the first time in five decisions against left-handers this year. Kansas City's bullpen dropped to 0-6 with five blown saves in nine opportunities.

Pinch-hitter Reggie Sanders cut the lead to 5-4 with an RBI single in the bottom half of the eighth. Thome hit an RBI single in the ninth and Konerko had a sacrifice fly.

Konerko's sixth-inning homer was his first in 64 at-bats, and they were the first earned runs Meche allowed in 22 innings. Meche gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings, his ERA rising from 2.22 to 2.55.

"I made some mistakes at the wrong time," Meche said. "I couldn't hold them off when I got a lead, which is something you've got to do."

John Buck's two-run homer in the fifth had put Kansas City ahead.

Game notes
Rookie 3B Alex Gordon, who is struggling with a .133 average, was held out of the Royals' lineup. ... Konerko needs two extra-base hits to tie Nellie Fox and Minnie Minoso for fourth place (474) on the White Sox list.