Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale gave up four hits in eight innings to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 Sunday. Photo by Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas City Royals failed to climb above .500 for the young season, losing to the Chicago White Sox 5-1 Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (2-0) breezed through the Royals allowing four singles, one walk and one hit batter through eight innings of work. He struck out six.
James Shields (0-1) matched Sale until faltering in the seventh. Conor Gillaspie doubled to right with one out. After a ground out moved Gillaspie to third, Alexei Ramirez singled on a ground ball that shortstop Alcides Escobar knocked down but was unable to do anything with, scoring Gillaspie to make it 1-0.
The Royals biggest threat of the day offensively against Sale came in the second inning. With one out, Lorenzo Cain singled to center. After Escobar flied out, Omar Infante singled on a ground ball to shortstop Ramirez. Ramirez threw the ball away and both runners moved up to second and third. However, Danny Valencia popped to shortstop to end the threat.
Tim Collins relieved Shields in the ninth and gave up a single to Adam Dunn and a walk to Leury Garcia to begin the frame. After a pop out by Gillaspie, who was trying to sacrifice the runners up, catcher Salvador Perez threw the ball past Valencia at third trying to catch Garcia stealing third. Garcia scored to make it 2-0. Collins then walked Avasail Garcia on four straight pitches after opening up throwing him a strike.
Manager Ned Yost replaced Collins with lefty Francisley Bueno who was greeted by serving up a run-scoring double by Ramirez and two-run double by Tyler Flowers to open the lead to 5-0.
The Royals mounted a faint rally in the ninth off Matt Lindstrom who relieved Sale to begin the ninth. Valencia singled and was erased on a fielder’s choice with Eric Hosmer reaching first. Billy Butler singled to center and was replaced by pinch runner Jarrod Dyson. Alex Gordon hit an RBI single before Salvador Perez bounced into a 5-4-3 double play.
Notables: Alcides Escobar and Danny Valencia picked up their first hits of the season, with Escobar singling in the eighth and Valencia singling in the ninth. Tim Collins gave up three earned runs in one-third inning of work. Kelvin Herrera pitched a perfect eighth with one strike out. Ned Yost successfully reversed a safe call at first base, obtaining a 4-3 put-out on Marcus Semien.
Both benches were warned as Chris Sale and James Shields hit a batter apiece, and Sale continued to throw severely inside on batters.
The combined batting of the Royals third base position through five games is 1-for-19 (Mike Moustakas 0-15, Valencia 1-4).
NEXT GAME: Monday, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals, 7:10 p.m. start. Matt Moore (0-1, 3.18) vs. Jason Vargas (0-0, 1.29).