CHICAGO (AP) — Jeremy Guthrie pitched seven strong innings, and David Lough hit a two-run homer to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
One day after being eliminated from the postseason, the Royals earned their 84th win, their most since 1993.
The Royals’ 6-0 loss to Seattle on Wednesday, combined with victories from all three teams ahead of them in the AL wild-card standings, officially eliminated them from playoff contention.
Guthrie (15-12) became the Royals’ third 15-game winner since 1997. He gave up two runs and four hits, striking out four and allowing one walk. Guthrie already surpassed his career best win total when he won his 12th on Aug. 5 against the Twins.
Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn hit solo homers for the White Sox, who have lost 21 of their 27. The White Sox are 35 games under .500 (62-97) for the first time since ending the 1970 season 56-106 and must win once in this series to avoid finishing with 100 losses, which would be the fourth-most in franchise history.
White Sox starter Andre Rienzo (2-3) pitched six-plus innings and allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits.
Royals closer Greg Holland pitched a scoreless ninth for his 46th save in 49 chances as the Royals ended a two-game losing streak. Holland set a franchise record in saves, surpassing Dan Quisenberry (1983) and Jeff Montgomery (1993).
Trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning, Lough hit a two-run homer, snapping a streak of 21 scoreless innings for the Royals. The last time the Royals scored was in the 12th inning of a 6-5 victory at Seattle on Monday.
Dunn tied the game in the sixth with a long home run to right. It was his 33rd of the season and it was measured at 442 feet.
In the seventh inning, Justin Maxwell led off with a single and advanced to second on Lough’s bunt, then he came around to score after catcher Bryan Anderson fielded George Kottaras’ sacrifice bunt and threw it down the right-field line to give the Royals a 3-2 lead.
Konerko, who missed Wednesday’s game at Cleveland after fouling a pitch off his knee on Tuesday, homered in the first inning. It was his 12th of the season. Konerko is possibly playing his last series with the White Sox. He is a free agent after the season and has been a member of the club for the last 15 seasons.
NOTES: Kansas City RHP James Shields will attempt to win his 100th career game on Friday night. … Chris Sale, who leads the AL in complete games, will start for Chicago. … Kansas City pitching set a franchise record with its 1178th strikeout.
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