CHICAGO (AP) — The White Sox haven’t been able to solve the Kansas City Royals lately. Now, the AL Central leaders have to figure out a way to slow a dangerous division opponent.
Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur hit RBI singles in the 10th inning that sent Kansas City over Chicago 2-1 Sunday, the Royals’ seventh win in the last eight meetings between the clubs.
The Royals nicked Brett Myers (2-3), the seventh of eight White Sox pitchers. With two outs and the bases empty, Myers walked Billy Butler. Salvador Perez, Moustakas and Francoeur then hit consecutive singles.
The game was scoreless in the ninth when the White Sox loaded the bases, but Alex Rios hit into a double play. Chicago scored in the 10th, but stranded the tying run on third base.
“Situationally, we didn’t do what we wanted to do offensively,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It was a bad day all the way around.”
Myers has allowed 18 hits and 12 runs in 3 1-3 innings against Kansas City this season.
“It seems like every time I face them … balls find the holes and stuff like that,” Myers said. “I don’t necessarily think the quality of the pitches are bad.”
The White Sox still hold a two-game lead over the Tigers, who start a four-game series in Chicago starting on Monday night. The Tigers have won seven straight against the White Sox and 10 of 14 overall this season.
Kelvin Herrera (3-2) got the win after getting Rios to bounce into that key double play.
Chicago had a chance to pull out the win after Greg Holland walked two and gave up Gordon Beckham’s RBI double in the 10th. Holland escaped with his 13th save by striking out Alejandro De Aza and Ray Olmedo with a runner at third.
“Unfortunately for us, the shadows really played a huge part in that last inning,” Beckham said. “It was tough to see and Holland, he’s got a great slider. He’s throwing 98 miles per hour. He’s really good.”
Jeremy Guthrie held Chicago to six hits over eight shutout innings, striking out four, but left with a no-decision. He’s thrown 23 2-3 innings against the White Sox this season without allowing an earned run.
“Guthrie was phenomenal,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I mean really phenomenal. We didn’t get him any runs.”
The Royals have won the last seven games Guthrie’s taken the mound, during which he’s 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA.
“He just mixes pitches real well and got quick outs,” Beckham said. “He’s got a lot of sink on the ball.”
Hector Santiago threw four scoreless innings, and four White Sox relievers added five more shutout frames before the Royals scored in the 10th.
Chicago helped Guthrie’s cause by running into three outs on the bases. Francoeur threw out pinch-runner Alexei Ramirez at third to end the seventh for his big league-leading 18th outfield assist.
“Outfield defense was tremendous today,” Yost said.
Guthrie retired 10 straight batters in one stretch. He took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in his last start against the White Sox, a no-decision in the Royals’ 5-2 win on Aug. 19.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Guthrie said. “If the team wins every time you pitch, that’s a good thing.”
Santiago struck out eight in his second major league start after holding Minnesota to one run over five innings on Sept. 3. His first 36 big league appearances this season came in relief, but he feels like he’s shown enough to get at least one more start in the heat of a pennant race.
“I think I threw well enough to probably get another start but next time I have to get early outs,” Santiago said.
The White Sox have dropped eight of 12 and lack momentum as they begin a crucial set against a team they are 9-23 against over the last two years.
“Obviously you don’t want to lose that series and I thought we played OK today,” Beckham said. “An important series coming up and no rest. We’ve got to come back tomorrow and do it. We know it’s important. We’re excited to play them at home and not in Detroit, I guess.”
NOTES: Ramirez was a late scratch from Chicago’s starting lineup after arriving late to U.S. Cellular Field. He was replaced by Olmedo, who went 0 for 4 and committed an error. Ramirez leads AL shortstops with 66 RBIs, but he’s just 1 for 25 lifetime against Guthrie. … The White Sox were also without Adam Dunn and Kevin Youkilis for a third straight game. Dunn is considered day-to-day with a strained right oblique, while Youkilis is expected back on Monday after returning home for the birth of his son. … Perez stretched his career-best hitting streak to 14 games, the longest streak by a Royals player this season.
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