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Royals stun White Sox with ninth-inning rally

CHICAGO (AP) -- With only five runs in their previous four games
and their frustrated owner promising to shake things up, the Kansas
City Royals staged a memorable ninth-inning rally.

And now they have two straight road wins after losing their
first 12 away from home.

"Whenever you score three or four runs off those guys anytime
in the game, it's something special," Matt Stairs said Friday when
his two-run, bases-loaded single capped a four-run ninth that led
to a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox.

"It's good when you've got seven wins," Stairs added.

And that's what the Royals have now to go with 20 losses. And
three of those victories have come against the defending World
Series champions, but none more satisfying than Friday's.

"There is no easy team in baseball. They got speed and they
pitched well against us," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said after
his team lost for just the fifth time in 24 games.

"With Buddy Bell, those guys are not going to give up. I know
what type of manager he is. I know what type person he is. He is
not going to let those guys down. He's not going to sit there and
let those guys relax. He's going to be pushing all the way to the
end."

Joe Crede's solo homer in the eighth off Elmer Dessens (2-1) put
Chicago up 2-1, but the White Sox's bullpen couldn't hold it in the
ninth when three relievers issued four walks.

Kerry Robinson had a go-ahead single before Stairs polished off
the rally that put the Royals up 5-2.

Jim Thome hit a two-run homer in the ninth against Ambiorix
Burgos to cut the lead to one. Burgos put two more on but got Rob
Mackowiak to flyout to end it and collect his fourth save.

"Burgy's been good. Our pitching's been outstanding here for
close to a month," Bell said.

"If you can turn anything around, it starts with your pitching
and our pitching's been really good. ... There's not a whole lot
said about our pitching because we're not scoring runs. Tonight we
didn't score until late, but our at-bats were a little better."

And they were helped by the White Sox's wildness as Chicago's
10-game winning streak at U.S. Cellular Field came to an end.

Aaron Guiel worked Matt Thornton for a leadoff walk and the
Royals kept the rally going against Bobby Jenks (1-1), who blew his
first save after converting nine straight.

Jenks walked pinch-hitter Tony Graffanino with one out and then
gave up a tying RBI single to Esteban German.

Robinson then slapped a single in the hole to left for a 3-2
lead before he was picked off between first and second. After Jenks
walked Mark Grudzielanek, Boone Logan issued another walk to Doug
Mientkiewicz to load bases before Stairs hit a two-run single to
right-center.

"The last time I checked I don't think anybody is perfect on
the field," said Jenks, who'd saved 12 straight dating to last
season. "It was one of those days when I didn't have my best
stuff. They are big league hitters for a reason. They just beat
me."

Kansas City's victory came after frustrated owner David Glass
promised some changes. The Royals won their first road game
Thursday night by beating the Twins 1-0.

Royals starter Scott Elarton allowed just three hits in six-plus
innings, including Tadahito Iguchi's game-tying homer leading off
the seventh.

The Royals ended a scoreless duel between Elarton and Chicago's
Jon Garland in the seventh when John Buck's fly ball fell beyond
diving White Sox right fielder Ross Gload for a double and German
followed with an RBI single.

Before Iguchi's homer to right-center, Elarton gave up two
leadoff hits to Scott Podsednik, a single in the first and a double
in the fourth.

The Royals had a big first inning under way when the first two
batters, Robinson and Grudzielanek, singled off Garland. But No. 3
hitter Mientkiewicz sacrificed before Stairs popped out and Emil
Brown hit back to the mound.

Game notes
Royals OF Reggie Sanders was out of the lineup with a tight
left hamstring after leaving Thursday's game after two innings.
Guiel replaced him. ... White Sox RF Jermaine Dye was out of the
lineup for a third straight game with a sore calf and Gload made
his third straight start. Dye said he was improving but wasn't sure
when he would be able to play. ... Royals C Buck snapped an
0-for-16 slump with a second-inning single. ... Garland has three
no-decisions in his last three starts. ... Elarton was 0-2 this
season against the White Sox before Friday night. ... Game-time
temperature was just 48 degrees. ... Thome's homer was his 12th of
the season and 442nd of his career, tying him with Dave Kingman for
31st on the career list.